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Talent Data: What You Need To Know

March 2, 2021

Talent data, HCM data, people data, workforce data, HR data. Whatever you call it, it's become important for talent management professionals. These days, decisions and strategies need to be data-driven. This means we need to be sure that we understand the data itself. 

In this article, we'll tell you what you need to know about talent data. We'll be discussing data lakes, getting your data to work for you, and much more. 

Talent Data: The Basics 

Before we get into the deeper, more complex information, let's look at the absolute basics. Like the definition and benefits of talent data. 

A Definition 

Talent is the group of people who use their skills and abilities to help a business reach its goals. Talent data is every piece of insight a business has collected about its current, previous and prospective talent. This can even include data about the talent of your competitors if you are lucky!

Often the data needs to be drawn out of a variety of your existing systems. Examples of these systems include your ATS or your talent management system. Of course, drawing out data is not limited to these two systems. It can come from any system in HR or recruiting. It can include data on recruiting, onboarding, performance, collaboration, demographics, and behavior. 

The Benefits And Uses 

Talent data is a big deal. Using it, you can leverage a variety of benefits, including forecasting employee retention. You can also forecast active and inactive candidates or the performance of employees. More importantly, though, talent data can help guide and inform the decisions you make. 

Over in the people analytics world, talent data gives you the power to make better decisions. You can improve your hiring, recruiting, talent development, and more. You can identify trends and patterns, and find correlations that you can’t always see in person. Talent data keeps you deeply informed about your workforce. 

It can give you insight into who you should prime for a promotion, or what the agents of high performance are. You can also find out what the perfect instance of talent is. With this information at your fingertips, your workforce will only get stronger. 

Further, you may be able to predict the likelihood of high employee turnover. This allows you to be forward-thinking and take pre-emptive action to reduce losses. 

Making Talent Data Work For You 

To ensure that you are getting the most out of your talent data, there are a few things you must do.

Siloed Data

siloed data

Image by Todd Trapani on Pexels 

One of the main issues faced by talent management professionals is siloed data

Organizations have tons of data, but this data is difficult to access. This is because it all exists in different places. Businesses have talent data in a variety of systems. These include applicant tracking systems, customer relationship management systems, spreadsheets, and more. Moreover, there is data on the internet that is often used too. 

Having data all over the place in silos means the data gets left behind. This is especially true when it’s older data, which results in a lack of historical data. As a result, you will struggle to make predictions for the future. 

If you want to get the maximum value from your talent data, you need to effectively un-silo your data. To do this, you can use artificial intelligence, machine learning, and much more. Once you connect your data, you're one step closer. 

Current And Convenient Data 

To make the best decisions for your business, your data must be of high quality. If it’s not, you’ll be making decisions based on incorrect information. This leads to sloppy talent management activities and processes. One of the ways you need to keep the quality of your data high is by keeping it current. In other words, to need to ensure that your data is not out of date or decayed. 

Take this example. You reach out to a former candidate to find out if they’re available. You then find out that they have moved on to a new role with one of your competitors. This has happened because you aren’t automatically refreshing your data.  Now, as a result of that, you’ve lost time and reduced your chances of successful recruitment. 

There are many instances where data decay can slow you down in the race for talent. This is why it is imperative to keep your data current.  

Convenience is also a major factor in useful talent data. You must have easy access to your data. Moreover, access to data on an individual but also en masse is important. This means you must be able to view data on individual employees and candidates. You also need access to data on wider workforce groups, and on the labor market as a whole.

Clean And Curated Data 

While data hygiene is much easier now than it ever was in the past (thanks to AI, API’s and all kinds of tech), it’s still an important consideration. By this, we mean that your data must be as clean as it can be. 

If it isn't, your workforce analytics and recruitment marketing will suffer. Automation is also hampered...everything reliant on data will suffer. Further, both the employee and candidate experience will be of lower quality. As a result, your organization’s brand will take a hit. 

Keeping your data cleans means taking several steps. You need to deal with duplicate data, data errors, and data decay. Once you have clean data, you then must curate it. If your talent data is well managed, you can't go wrong.

Data Lakes 

To help you organize and better manage your talent data, a data lake is a good option. A data lake is a repository that encapsulates all the data you have. It keeps the data in its raw form. 

data lake

Image By Simon Migaj on Pexels

Using it, you can have all your data in one easy to access place. Further, you can pair it up with machine learning and artificial intelligence. This can result in better recruiting, for example. It can even help you solve talent shortage issues

Of course, before implementing a data lake, there are some things you should consider. For instance, many feel that planning before implementing a data lake is best for them. They will consider the classifications of data that will be added, and how large their talent base is, among other things. Yet, you need to know that this is not totally necessary. 

One of the best things about a data lake (instead of a data warehouse) is that it is highly adaptable. You’re able to change your mind and your plans as you go along, and it won’t be a big deal. So while planning before the time might help you to prepare your expectations to an extent, you should know that the outcomes are not set in stone. 

You probably already know of one or two problems that you want to solve by putting your data lake in place. Once you have it up and running, though, you’re likely to find that you can solve many more. Don’t put too much pressure on knowing everything upfront. Your use of the data lake will grow as time passes because data lakes are highly flexible. 

You won’t even have to worry about security too much, as vendors take care of everything for you! Don’t allow the worry of challenges to stop you from getting the benefits of a data lake. 

Talent Data Platform

A talent data platform does a lot of work for you. It can control, curate, and connect your data and manage automation, migrations, and your data lake. Here's why you need to use one: 

  • A talent data platform gives you the power to ensure the right information is in the right hands. For example, recruiters and talent managers can instantly access candidate profiles. Any analytics they need is also available. This means they can make the best data-driven decisions for your organization.
  • You can automate various processes, including a lot of the busy-work. This means increased efficiency and streamlined workflows. 
  • It will ensure that you have better control over your systems and your data. As a result, your compliance, integrations, and everything else will be as good as they can be.
  • Your datasets in your data lake will be secure. The talent data platform will also optimize your data so that it is ready for use (for AI or analytics, for instance).  

While this sounds too good to be true, it's really not. With SwoopTalent's talent data platform, you can have all this and more. 

Mismanaging talent data can cause significant loss. You can lose the top candidates and waste resources. On top of this, you'll have an incomplete understanding of your workforce. By using our talent data platform, you won't have to worry about these losses.

Understanding Data As A Service For Talent Data 

As we mentioned before, talent data is all over the place. From your ATS and CRM to social media and the rest of the internet too. Using a talent platform, you get served this data, in an understandable and efficient way. 

Data as a service (DaaS) is often compared to software as a service (SaaS). Both products (data or software) are yours on demand. Your location is not an issue, nor is the distance between you and your provider. It is not to be confused with a data warehouse, which is a different collection of business data. 

Final Thoughts 

There is a lot to know about talent data. Luckily, if you're using the best vendors, like SwoopTalent, you don't have to know it all. As long as you understand the importance of well-managed talent data, we can help you with the rest of it. Contact SwoopTalent today, for all your Talent Data needs. 

Main Image by Andrea Piacquado on Pexels

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