Predictive Analytics with the Algorithms

by Ryan Healy

It wasn’t that long ago when recruiters relied on a phone, a Rolodex and a pile of resumes. With little else to work from, it was up to the recruiter to determine whether or not the candidate had the qualifications as stated. The problem with this process was that it was time-consuming and it was easy to let candidates fall out of the pipeline if they weren’t engaged soon enough. Along came technology which attempted to fix this. Automated emails, AI, and CRMs are just the tip of the iceberg. Technology, however, has become a double-edged sword. That’s because at the heart of the matter, recruiting is personal and needs to be tailored to the person, the hiring manager, the company. It’s never one size fits all. So, are we better off returning to days past or sticking with what we got? Or, is there a third way?

Tools like predictive analytics are tremendously helpful – provided the organization has the resources in place to make sense of all the data. But even then, is the information gleaned from a major predictive analytics project worth the investment in statisticians and data scientists? It might be, but I’m here to argue that there are universal behaviors and indicators that recruiters can start to take advantage of right now without employing those with this specialized skillset. It’s predictive analytics without the algorithms. It’s predictive best practices. But this doesn’t mean it’s not supported by data, as we’ll see.

So, what is predictive analytics without algorithms? Let’s start with an analogy that most everyone is familiar with: the Nigerian prince email scam. I’m assuming you’ve received a similar email from a supposed Nigerian prince that explains that he is in dire trouble. Maybe his parents were murdered in a local conflict or he had to flee the country because his home was raided by a rival gang. In any case, the Nigerian prince needs somewhere to quickly transfer his large sums of money to keep the fortune protected. And he reached out to you to be his savior. All you have to do is give him access to your bank account so he can transfer his money. And by doing so, he’ll give you a large reward.

Sounds ridiculous, right? But that’s exactly the point. The scammers don’t want to waste their time with those that find the email ridiculous yet still respond. For hypothetical purposes, let’s say the scammers send out an email like this to a million email addresses. Ninety percent will ignore it but 10% will respond in some way, shape or form even if it’s just to say, “leave me alone!.” Of those 10%, only a fraction are actually going to fall for the scam (yes, people actually do fall for the scam). But to find that fraction would require the scammers to weed through 100,000 emails! And time is money. Plus, if it takes too long for the scammers to weed through all those emails, they may miss their diamond in the rough.

Instead, the scammers make the email sound as ridiculous as possible to reduce the number of false positives. The scammers only want those that are eventually going to fall for the scam to respond. The more ridiculous the email sounds, the fewer responses the scammers will receive. And those that do respond are more likely to be duped.

So how does this apply to hiring? Well, if recruiters can eliminate the false positives (candidates that fill out applications or send in resumes that aren’t a fit) then they’d be able to save time which could then be used to wine and dine only the best candidates. And this is extremely important because in this candidate-driven labor market, recruiters need to maximize their time with only the best otherwise they risk missing out on a really great candidate.

One way we’ve found to do this is by offering candidates the option to chat online with your recruiters. Firstly, chat is a much more welcoming option than Apply Now, so it leads to more candidates. But we don’t want just more (remember, we want to eliminate false positives). We also want qualified. Well, chat does this, too. As welcoming as chat is, it also requires a candidate to talk with another human being. Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t typically engage with people in conversation unless I am serious about the person. So, by offering your candidates the option to chat online with your recruiters you are increasing the number of qualified candidates in your funnel and decreasing the number of unqualified ones.

I promised you numbers. Our clients that are using chat are seeing a doubling in the number of hires compared to traditional recruiting methods and this all stems from the fact that recruiters are better able to predict which candidates will be good and which ones will be bad (or not good) based on their behavior. Namely, the behavior to enter into a chat with a recruiter.

And that’s predictive analytics without algorithms.

Chat has other predictive value and it relates closely to what Google found when it created its own predictive analytics models for what predicts quality of hire. I’ll talk about this and more at my upcoming presentation at reruitDC.

Attendees of recruitDC Spring 2018 will learn more about the relationship between candidate behaviors and quality of hire and the role recruiters play in shaping this dynamic on May 24 at 2:00 p.m. ET. In addition, gain insight into the strategies that enable top talent to find hiring organizations, instead of the other way around. Make you get your ticket today by clicking here! See you there!



As the president of Brazen Technologies, which provides a text-based messaging platform for recruiters to engage candidates, Ryan Healy, has led the company to triple-digit sales and revenue growth year-over-year since 2012.  He has been named one of the Top 25 Online Influencers in Recruiting. He has nearly a decade of experience in the Human Capital field and has appeared in national media outlets including 60 Minutes, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.