Thursday, November 17, 2011

Moneyball For Recruiting

I really enjoyed the movie Moneyball, probably because I love the idea of an old and stuffy way of doing things being disrupted by a more innovative approach. In the recruiting world a lot of people are excited about applying quantitative analysis in some sort of Moneyball approach to recruiting.

In my opinion, the recruiting business is a long way off from offering a really interesting quantitative tool one can just buy off the shelf. Here are a few reasons, in no particular order:
  • Companies don't share their recruiting data in any meaningful way. Google and Facebook fight over talent all the time. Each company has it's own tips and tricks for attracting good people, but they're not going to share that talent with each other. If you can't compare the recruiting processes of each company, you can't figure out the common denominator of what does and doesn't work.

  • Applicant tracking systems like Jobvite and Taleo have access to pan-company data, but they aren't in the business of selling their customers data. My impression is that these companies lockdown their customers' data pretty tight and can't/don't/won't share much at all.

  • Recruiting databases and job boards like and are in the information hoarding and selling business. I doubt they'll share their trade secrets with you and I.

  • Staffing agencies like Robert Half and ReadyForce are in the information business, too. Good luck getting them to give you access to their secrets.

  • Social services liked LinkedIn and BranchOut are another breed of information hoarders.

  • I'm sure there are services that exist that would love to help job seekers and employers come together based on a data driven approach, but these services are virtually unknown and lack wide exposure or adoption.

What I really want to see is a vertically integrated recruiting service actively working to connect with employers and job seekers and then sharing every bit of non-secret information possible. Get a venture capitalist to fund that idea please :)

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