Stacy Chapman: The ATS, Sourcing and Data

Stacy ChapmanI was connected with Stacy early this year and all I can say is that she is a force to be reckoned with. Passionate, knowledgeable and honest, Stacy is the CEO of SwoopTalent and has more than twenty years’ experience in talent strategy, data, process and systems, including work with some of the world’s leading employers. Stacy founded Aruspex in 2003 to tackle the huge challenge of strategic workforce planning and leads SwoopTalent to leverage social networks and big data for really effective talent sourcing and hiring.

Stacy ran both a workshop – about bringing sourcing into your business – and sat as a panelist on the Future of HR & Recruiting Technology session at The Job Board Summit 2015 – Europe. Both were great and her passion and commonsense came through loud and clear.

I was delighted to interview Stacy and it’s safe to say no punches were pulled:

Job Boards V The ATS – What’s the issue with integration?

Well, this topic doesn’t really get me going, but I understand the issue and challenges as an ex ATS/HRMS person so I’ll share some thoughts:

• Purely at a tactical/cost level, it’s a many-many relationship. An ATS would need to integrate to a LOT of job boards, and vice versa. So we’ve ended up with intermediaries like eQuest very effectively supporting the need for the ATS to send data to the job boards, and lowest common denominator “add candidate” API’s in the ATS to receive candidate data from job boards (and also CRM’s, sourcing systems, application front ends, mobile apply apps, etc). Most job boards don’t even send candidates via these API’s, they just have the candidate click the apply link to the hirer’s career page. It’s too expensive to do so. Unfortunately this means we lose valuable data around candidates and candidate experience, but we also save a lot of budget to spend on other things. It also means that likely the candidate data is not shared…and is not the same.

• There’s also a trust issue, and the issue of how much we perceive data has value. Employers don’t want their data shared with others, job boards don’t want to give their data away free. Fair enough I guess but are we missing the point, we hear that what our clients want is more “data” led solutions that support better decision making and surely in a world of “mashup’s” we need to break this negative cycle.

For me it’s frustrating to see just how talent data is strewn about – in ATS’, in job boards, in CRM’s, in inboxes, on social media, in spreadsheets…yecch. The more we can do to create unified datasets, private and protected though they need to be, the better it will be for the industry as a whole “.

Is sourcing the new posting? and why do job boards need to reach beyond their CV databases?

As you can see this is less of a question and more of a statement and I agree with the way Stacy posed the question back to me and I have to agree with her.
“The likelihood of the perfect job getting in front of the perfect candidate at exactly the right time is pretty low, when you think about the numbers involved – one in a zillion in any given combination? But the effort and cost to maximize that likelihood is potentially very high. So it becomes a matter of bang for the buck and horses for courses and probably at least nine other clichés when you are deciding when sourcing is what’s needed. Both direct and strategic sourcing* need to be part of the toolbox you have when recruiting, but they are not always applicable. Direct sourcing (which is what I think most people mean when they say sourcing) is at its most valuable when these conditions are true:

1) The applications being received through other channels are not of sufficient volume and/or quality. This can be because of a talent shortage (rarer than you think), or because your brand presence, recruiting techniques, selected channels, or even your job descriptions aren’t performing.

2) Performance differentiation in the role is high – aka a top candidate will make a significantly higher impact on the outcomes of the role for the business than a B or C candidate will. This is rarer than you think! For many roles, the cost of getting, managing and retaining the very best is not justified by the business impact that human will make. But where the performance difference really is high, you had better be focused on finding and hiring the best. This one can be tough for a recruiter to assess, since most hiring manager always just say they need the best…but great recruiters find a way.

3) The right candidates can be found/sourced. This is NOT always true online.

Where these conditions are true (especially #2), the value of the candidate is high. And employers ARE doing direct sourcing – based on our revenue numbers the willingness to spend money on direct sourcing is surging. So…why would job boards NOT look beyond their own data to other data that’s available? I could rabbit on like others do about purple squirrels, and while that’s a good point, et’s not the main point here – the main point is that if job boards want to innovate to provide more services to employers, then this is a service they can and should offer. And if that service lets them fulfil employer needs with high value candidates, well…it’s a snoozer. And where they can integrate their own datasets with publicly available talent data to offer something a bit special to candidates (which isn’t as hard as you might think), it’s particularly valuable.

*Direct sourcing is when you go out and search for individuals who are perfect for jobs and try to get them to join you. Don’t ask me why we don’t call it headhunting any more. Strategic sourcing is when you analyze the labor market and your hiring data to decide what the best sources and strategies for your recruiting activities are.”

3 Things Job Boards Could do with their data

1. Use social/internet data to refresh what they have. CV’s are rich point in time snapshots of candidates, but they tend to be frozen in time and employers tend to think “oh, that resume is too old!”. Social/internet data can enhance and refresh that data, and also let job boards offer enhanced candidate views to customers.

2. Provide labor market insights to support direct hiring (many do this, albeit with usually with horribly obvious bias).

3. Offer passive sourcing to reach candidates who AREN’T currently part of their datasets – or better, merge their data WITH all the passive data available for a +1 unique data source.


Gold Sponsors of The Job Board Summit 2015 – Europe

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