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De-duping to clean your candidate data? Here's why you shouldn't

February 19, 2018

De-duping isn't always the right way to manage your talent data

For those of us in CRM or recruitment marketing, clean data can feel like the holy grail. And we're often hearing about ways to consolidate records with the promise that it will improve accuracy. In fact, most CRMs cite "de-duping," a process by which leads are merged to eliminate duplicate copies, as one of the most important pieces of a quality sales strategy. 

But does this thinking hold true for talent recruiters? Thanks to improvements in data analytics and algorithms that can move across systems, we're not so sure. 

Put very simply, to make data-powered talent decisions you need data. While de-duping might make it easier for a human to manually analyze data records, it can also unnecessarily eliminate some critical information. Consider the following:

  • Each record has value. Think about it. Every place and time you've connected, every transaction that has taken place - this is data that builds a comprehensive view of your relationship with a contact. A full picture of how these connections happen can help talent recruiters better understand an individual and their behavior.
  • Change over time matters. For talent recruiters, it's valuable to understand the way people move through their careers over time. Improved data analytics can help you navigate these movements, but if you lose this history, you're putting your analytics on an unnecessary diet. You could lose insights that compound over time as AI improves.
  • Compliance is a concern. Some systems need to preserve data at a certain point in time for compliance reasons. For compliance, the more records you retain the better. If it's not necessary to eliminate a record, why do it?

We do think it's important to keep a primary record. But with advanced analytics, it's not necessary that these records are the same across systems. A good data lake can allow you to connect these records and keep all of them, without the de-duping process, allowing you to have the best of both worlds. To learn more, contact us.

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