The perception of data has been evolving for some time now. Initially – data was cool. Coming from a world where we found phone numbers and addresses in the phone book, data was helpful. Structured data was created very intentionally with the purpose of helping people connect and find long lost friends. It made it easier to find that new restaurant and not to get lost. We began to feel connected in a world that was once limited by phones and the USPS. That structured data led to structured connections and social mediums like Facebook and Twitter.

I still remember the first time I signed on to Facebook. At this point, I was one of the last members of my sorority to join the site and instantly, I began connecting with people from my past and present. Moving 13 times meant that I had a lot of friends in a lot of places – many of whom I lost touch with at some point or another due to a lack of an efficient medium. I started to seek out those people, first the friends and slowly I became curious about high school frien-emies, bullies and exes. This was before privacy settings were all the rage so I found myself in this dark hole of data consumption – seeking out the deep dark secrets and piecing together stories I didn’t really need to know about people I didn’t even know any more.

As they say, it’s all fun and games until someone is getting stalked on social media. Wait, I don’t think that’s a saying. My point is that there’s a very fine line between data for good and data for evil. Really, perception is king. As more and more sites require a little extra information about where we live, what we do and who we’re connected with – we’re creating a web. One that privacy settings can’t really protect. One that’s can be tracked right back to us. Our IP address leaves a signature everywhere we go and that data, too, is collected without our knowledge in most cases. It’s use – well, who the hell knows. With more data, the more access we give everyone – not just the ones we accept permissions for – to the details of our lives.

Digital Danger

recruiting badCareers and lives are made and destroyed by digital trails, leading back to our proudest moments as well as our deepest darkest secrets. Even political agendas and discourse in this nation is driven by what’s shared on social media, from police brutality to gun regulations. Politicians decide their speaking points based on sentiment, with much of their analysis of the nation’s opinions decided from what they see and hear on Facebook.

When it comes to recruiting and sourcing, we’re made or broken by what we find online. We are the hunters and gathers of career content on the internet and our ability to do that with tools ranging from free to “holy crap that’s expensive” are indicators of how good we are. There’s a tool to scour and scrape every corner of the Internet.

Traditionally, that data gets old and stale. You change jobs, change numbers, change locations. In sourcing, we’ve all run into a dead end or hundred where we figure out that something has changed, but we’re not sure what. Boolean isn’t built to sort out the correct information, just to tell you there is information and point the way.

As data and its collection has evolved, new tools are working for good to answer that “what’s the best number” question. They’re able to scrape that web trail we’ve left behind and update the profile information you submitted to your dream company years ago. The digital trail is harnessed, maintained and updated and the ATS isn’t a resume graveyard but rather a living, breathing candidate database; one that’s effective and efficient, behind the scenes. There’s a huge opportunity here for job seekers who were left behind, undiscovered or the second choice too. They’re able to get back on radar and of course, we’re able to find hires in our back yards instead of scouring communities and sending yet another InMail.

That’s where TalentIQ comes in. This week on the RecruitingTools Podcast, we invited our guest, Sean Thorne – CEO at TalentIQ, to discuss the good, bad and ugly of data and where his company is filling in the gaps. Our hosts brought the hard questions about the boundaries of data and the acronyms that control it as we nervously took a glimpse into the maybe too-transparent future when it comes to personal data and hiring.

Heard in this podcast:

Amy AlaAmy Ala Miller, Recruiting Consultant, Microsoft

Amy has 15+ years of recruiting experience, starting her career in agency recruiting running a desk for companies like Spherion & Lucas Group before making the move in-house, where she has held strategic roles for the State of Washington and Zones.

Katrina Kibben small

Katrina Kibben, Managing Editor, RecruitingDaily

Katrina Kibben is the Managing Editor for Recruiting Daily, and has served in marketing leadership roles at companies such as Monster Worldwide and
Twitter: @KatrinaKibben


By Katrina Kibben

RecruitingDaily contributing writer and editor.  I am a storyteller. A tactical problem solver. A curious mind. A data nerd. With that unique filter, I work to craft messages that strategically improve the perceptions and experiences of our clients, the people they employ and the candidates they wish to attract. I methodically review and collect research and insights to offer solution-based recommendations that meet the one-off, and not so one-off, recruiting and employer branding problems of today's global employers.


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