Using data to uncover ‘non-traditional’ digital talent pools

Savvy recruiters can augment their 'traditional' headhunting approaches with job market data analysis.
6 August 2019

Your new digital talent might be hidden in the data. Source: Pexels

Today’s businesses require a new breed of digital talent. With technology sweeping across every sector, organizations are looking towards emerging skillsets to provide the catalyst for their future direction.

The demands of digital business mean the hiring function today could be scouting for skills in big data, 3D printing, cloud hosting or virtual reality tech. But these tech-driven attributes are no longer just the reserve of the IT function.

As digital, data and automation technology wind their way into every aspect of the business, digital nouse is swiftly becoming a crucial component across the entire staff roster, whether it’s data analysis, advanced coding or solution selling.

But as noted by Alex Johnston, the Group Vice President of Gartner; “Simply put, it is harder today than it has even been to plan for, find and hire the talent we need.”

With digital talent in high demand and competitors vying for a seemingly limited talent pool, the main challenge organizations face is where to look for it.

The first thing businesses should do is to be clear with the skills they require for a certain role. A digital solutions company, for example, needs sales representatives and account managers with cloud computing, big data, and blockchain knowledge.

Once the business has identified the attributes they are looking for, recruiters can turn to the power of data to augment current approaches— laying various labor market datasets over one another to narrow down their searches and more thoroughly tap back into talent pools that might have been missed. 

# 1 | Locations with low labor costs

In very few cases will cost ‘not be a factor’ when it comes to making a hire. Generally, recruiters must balance strict internal guidelines and industry standards in order to scout the most talented, experienced individual for their company’s budget.

Data can help by comparing possible geographic locations in terms of cost and benefits. Some locations may produce the digital talents you need while demanding much less than the talent pool in your existing location.

Hiring from these pools could save a lot on recruitment costs, while still getting the candidate quality desired. As businesses move towards remote and flexible working environments, a candidate located in another city— or even country— could present a tactical acquisition for a business to bolster its talent. 

# 2 | Smaller talent pools

The obvious thing to do when it comes to sourcing talents is to search in big talent pools. With everyone doing this, competition can become too high.

By analyzing data on talent supply and demand, recruiters will find more options for talent sourcing will emerge— particularly for new roles emerging across industries. Monitoring the push and pull of talent demand could also reveal insights into wider, changing business practices and industry-specific market trends.

# 3 | Emerging digital talent pools

Businesses can also use data to identify cities, or geographies, where digital is still in the early stages of adoption. Here recruiters can make an impact by advertising attractive job packages, including relocation to organizations’ operational centers. 

This approach can help businesses maximize their application yield from outside of competitive tech hubs. They can identify talent that is qualified, and ready to move for a position befitting of their skill, and fewer companies will be vying for the same candidate. 

# 4 | Similar industries and companies

Hiring managers will often come across other companies and industries that are looking for the same talent as their organization. Using data, they could identify non-traditional competitors, operating outside of their sector, and find out which organizations are actively hiring the talent their company needs.

A business’s ‘real’ competitors will be focused on talent with their particular sector, but there are plenty of equally skilled candidates working in adjacent industries that can be transferred easily into a business’s own. Organizations should add these less-obvious sectors to own sourcing criteria to grow their talent pool.

# 5 | Graduates

With the high competition in sourcing talents for digital roles, let’s not forget graduates.

Entry-level hires are the ones influencing the world’s future growth capabilities, and investment in them and their development can be a financially wise move that puts your organization in the best stead for the future.

While recruiters are busy building relationships with leading IT universities, these represent incredibly competitive talent pools.

Instead, recruiters can use data to identify establishments lower down the rankings or those focusing on the specific skills you need, that are pushing out skilled graduates, who themselves are up against a competitive jobseeker’s market.

Identifying and building relationships with these universities and colleges can ensure a long-term pipeline of relevant talent for an organization’s consideration going forward.

Turning to data to beat demand

Finding the right people to fill up digital-based jobs eventually boils down to your requirements. Being innovative about the data available to them, hirers can be creative in their hunt for talent.

With the demand for digital talent rising by the day, recruiters will face a challenge in using traditional means to break through the noise of competitors. Becoming savvy with job market data pools, and the ability to analyze and compare this data will lay bare opportunities that would previously have been hidden.