I find data to be a bit of a gateway drug.   You get a taste of it and you go deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole finding both answers to your original questions and finding new questions you didn’t realize you needed resolution for as well.  As I am retiring for the day, I can frequently find myself disappearing into Wikipedia for hours at a time as one question leads to another and another until the sun comes up.

I think there is a segment of the population who like definitive answers to their questions.  I expect these are the personalities that were draw to math and science and away from the vagueness of the humanities where anything could be an answer as long as you can find some support to your argument/opinion.

In the business world, the expectation is that everything can be measured, quantified and one answer is correct or at least will be more right than the others.  As recruiters we deal in a world of degrees.   This candidate has 5 years Java experience, that candidate has 3 years experience but knows the tech has a salary that is 10k cheaper.  Which data points are the most important to know and track?  Which ones show the best ROI?  Which candidate is the ‘right’ hire?

“While data is data, and there is certainly nothing human about it; the use of the data takes humanity to make sense. Data is worthless without asking the right questions. Finding the right questions to ask takes creativity. It also takes creativity to interpret data. And storytelling skills are needed to share the results of Human Capital Analytics with leaders in such a way that it all makes sense.” Anne Loehr penned these words for the Huffington Post a few weeks back.  She had just attended a conference on Human Capital Analytics and shared her perspective and experience of the event.  Most of the recruiters I know are busy running 30 reqs, laterally managing a score of hiring managers, and booked for interviews everywhere in between.  Continuing education in both statistics and storytelling doesn’t seem to fit into the schedule but to be competitive in today’s market we have to find a way.

If questions like those keep you up at night I have some good news.  The team at Indeed is meeting me on June 30, 2015 at 2pm ET for the webinar, The Science of Talent Attraction: What Makes People Click, to share their latest research on how candidates make decisions in the talent-driven economy.  Director of Employer Insights, Kevin Walker, will discuss a data-based perspective on the realities of what it takes to attract talent in today’s tight labor market and we’ll be reviewing his 5 best practices for attracting top talent.  If you have a boss or a hiring manager who loves the absolute right/wrong hire perspective, this will be the webinar for you.    Hope to see you there.

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