Big Data Technology: HR and the Candidate Experience

“The fact that the recent HR Tech Europe Spring conference in London focused not on technology but on data tells you just how important the issue is becoming for organisations.”

HR Magazine, 9th May 2013

Big data technology has revolutionised the world of data analytics, offering comprehensive, in-depth insights into every area of a business. The importance of monitoring and analysing big data has clearly not gone unnoticed either, with 94% of enterprises placing this in their Top 10 IT priorities for 2013. When it comes to HR and the candidate experience, big data offers a huge opportunity to build on current successes and not only correct any existing issues but also predict future ones before they arise. The important role of technology in HR strategy is only set to continue as well, with 53% of respondents to the HR Service Delivery and Technology Survey stating that their investment in HR technology will match last year, whilst 27% are planning to increase spending. However, choosing the right technology to gather these insights is essential for the development of an informed strategy.

Issues the technology must address

According to research undertaken by Infochimps and, despite the importance of big data analysis 55% of projects go unfinished. The top two reasons given for this were:

  • Lack of expertise to connect the dots
  • Lack of business context around data

When asked to pinpoint which phases of a big data project challenged departments the most, respondents indicated:

  • 43% processing the data
  • 42% on-going management of the data
  • 41% analysing the data

But where to start?

When conducting a big data project, the main challenge comes from the enormity of the task at hand. There are 1.8 zettabytes of data produced every year – that’s 1.8 trillion gigabytes – and this is doubling every two years. Technology analyst, John Summers, believes that ‘”the scale and speed” at which data is being created requires HR to re-examine how it operates and, in particular, how HR teams make decisions.’ HR teams need to ensure that their chosen big data technology not only processes, manages and analyses data but also offers real-time business insight at the click of a button. It should enable users to make meaningful connections between data points and identify key trends’ easily from one location.

And when it comes to usability…

Research suggests that the top four user requirements for big data solutions are:

  1. Ease of management
  2. Ability to scale
  3. Flexible architecture
  4. Speed of deployment

Big data & candidate experience measurement

Here at Mystery Applicant our candidate experience technology has been designed with the user in mind, addressing these issues and requirements to create a solution that provides an easy yet informative experience as it highlights key areas of interest within the data. Using Mystery Applicant to measure candidate feedback offers a solution that processes, manages and analyses data in a user-friendly way:

Ease of management

Instead of limited samples of feedback, Mystery Applicant analyses all available data to offer a complete review of how your recruitment processes are performing. Tens of thousands of data points are examined in real-time, placing the findings within their business context, to assess the success and efficiency of your recruitment strategy. The conclusions are then communicated via our easy-to-use online dashboard. To help support on-going HR strategy planning, insight reports and extracts to popular file formats such as PDF’s are available.


Cloud-based cutting edge solutions allow for the unlimited growth of your data ensuring that HR processes can be up or down scaled without obstruction. SaaS availability allows for candidate feedback to be gathered globally, whilst users can access the analytics dashboard from any location and across any platform whether it be desktop, tablet or mobile. This accessibility also applies to communications between companies and candidates.

Flexible architecture

Mystery Applicant easily adapts to work alongside your current internal processes and ATS systems. The tiered architecture means that the tool can be tailored to suit user requirements. Whilst additional bespoke question sets are possible if required, applicant questions have been designed to provide insight into the key areas of HR and business practice that the candidate experience specifically impacts. The dashboard can then be used to filter and contrast these findings across department, job family and title, status, geography and diversity (plus any additional bespoke filters), to identify critical connections between recruitment strategy, applicants and wider business practices. These findings can then be applied to strategies throughout HR.

Speed of deployment

Mystery Applicant is able to integrate across multiple data channels quickly and easily. Once the tool is integrated additional features can be added as the user requires. Comprehensive on-boarding sessions and on-going access to our customer service helpline ensures any questions that arise are answered quickly.

The key to conducting successful and meticulous big data projects is in the technology used to complete them. It is essential that departments chose technology that not only analyses the data but also manages and interprets it into an easy to understand format that always relates the data back to its position within the wider business context.

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