Be Clear: Why Data Transparency Will Be a Hit with Candidates

In recruiting, data involves some degree of give-and-take.


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Candidates are asked to provide necessary information to be assessed by organizations. Personal data, professional background, social media activity, and a whole list of insights get factored into determining how good a fit someone might be for an open position.

In turn, those candidates put trust in the company to take care of that data. Access to data is nothing new for recruiters; what is different for today’s recruiters is access to resources and solutions that can put that information in the proper context. These tools can modify how recruiters approach individuals, ultimately leading to a companywide shift in recruiting practices.

As valuable as those tools are, they can also expose some of that data to platforms or outlets candidates might not recognize. To that end, recruiters need to communicate the kinds of data candidates should provide and, most importantly, how the company plans to use that sensitive information. That way, both sides of that give-and-take feel like they’ve earned the value they sought.

The Value of Transparent Data Intentions

Data misappropriation doesn’t sit well with the masses. A Gartner study indicates that 71% of employees think their employers should practice transparency in all areas, including data management.

When recruiters practice data transparency, it says a lot about their company—mostly positive. Companies that spell out how they use and leverage data present themselves as organizations confident enough to give talent a peek behind the curtain.

The give-and-take of data sharing can sometimes leave candidates feeling vulnerable with the information they’ve provided and how it might be interpreted. Transparency, however, invites those candidates into the fold and enables them to help shape the recruiting process. In the current environment, this is more important than ever.

Transparency helps candidates feel a degree of ownership in the process. As they feel empowered, they become more comfortable sharing data that enable recruiters to sift through the mounds of candidates they see and gain a better understanding of the applicant pool. With that information, recruiters can assess both professional and cultural fit for open positions. Recruiters can also get a peek at each candidate’s potential for growth in the role he or she is applying for (and beyond).

Data transparency is a plus for candidates and recruiters when it’s integrated into the talent acquisition process. Putting it into action, however, is a process.

Add Clarity to Your Recruiting Process

About 55% of respondents to a LinkedIn survey say they still need help putting people analytics into action, which data transparency can help them accomplish. Take the following three steps to incorporate data transparency into your recruiting process:

1. Lay your cards on the table. Candidates know you’ve researched them. You’ve asked them to share information about their past experiences, as well as their present and future goals.

Acknowledge that you’ve reviewed that information. Incorporate it into your recruiting process, work it into your dialogues, and show that you’ve done your due diligence and that you’re using their data responsibly. If you want to see more information or work they’ve done, ask them. There’s nothing worse to a candidate than the feeling that he or she could’ve given more.

2. Let data dictate the pursuit. Candidate information already plays a significant role in talent outreach. Continue to be transparent by deliberately showing candidates how their data influence the recruitment process.

Reassess the data to determine potential job fit. Maybe they’re ideal for the role they’re pursuing, or perhaps they’re better suited for something else. The data will tell that story, but you’ll want to double-check everything to ensure your recruitment is on the right path. It’s also a show of good faith to recruits that you’re invested in putting their information and talents to the best use.

3. Filter through data with artificial intelligence (AI). Most recruiters spend their time going through candidate data to source applicants and determine whether they’re fit for a job. With technology, the sourcing process can be faster and produce customized insights.

Use AI to produce streamlined candidate data that give you the essentials you need to evaluate candidates. In addition to saving you time and energy, it shows candidates you’re putting their information to good use and being mindful of their time. Ultimately, everyone just wants to feel understood and acknowledged.

The use of personal data in the recruitment process can put sharers on edge and recipients in a position to be accountable for using the information properly. Show candidates you take that responsibility seriously by embracing data transparency. That way, the give-and-take of recruiting can occur with both sides at ease.

Abby Carter is the content marketing manager of Leoforce, the company behind the people intelligence platform Arya. She is based in Raleigh, North Carolina.