Does Big Data Create a Faster and Fairer Hiring Process?

I was really intrigued by this question posed by Forbes. Here’s their initial response to the question:

Might computers today have a better nose for human talent than humans do?

Why not? Human hiring managers may feel cranky, overwhelmed or cynical on many days. Or they may be using rigid, out-of-date talent-measurement stereotypes that are out of step with the culture their company seeks to build.

The article also suggests that many “Recruiters and hiring managers rely heavily on instincts, hunches and memory to choose the right candidates.” It’s true that computers don’t have instincts or hunches to help them in the process. However, they also don’t have bad days, tough experiences, sleepless nights which distort their ability to think straight either. Sure, a computer algorithm can be wrong, but it’s going to execute that algorithm every time.

This doesn’t mean that we get rid of the in person experience all together and move to a completely metric driven approach to hiring. Computers also can’t tell if someone is a jerk or a bad fit for a company based on personality (although, I imagine some algorithms may try). However, could a data driven approach help a company to do in person interviews with the right people. We know it can help.

However, there are two sides to this coin. A data driven computer algorithm could open up the hiring process to a new set of applicants that would have otherwise not made it through the regular resume screening. However, a poorly coded algorithm could also “discriminate” against some really qualified people as well. It depends a lot on the quality of the algorithm.

Like pretty much everything else in our lives, big data is here to stay. Is there any reason why we wouldn’t apply great data analytics to recruiting and hiring as well? Of course, from the job seeker perspective, it makes me wonder what Big Data says about me.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.