The hyper-competitive talent wars are increasingly being fought and won based on having the right information. The scale and velocity of staffing operations, along with the massive quantities of external big data from various online sources, can leave sourcers and recruiters at a loss — unless supported by technology. However, technology can also bring other problems into the mix (e.g., loss of data ownership to external entities, internal systems silos and incompatible views of data).

One young company has swooped into this information melee to help talent acquisition organizations become masters of their own data and owners of their own unique talent intelligence. In 2012, Stacy Chapman and Satish Sallakonda (hailing from well-known talent technology companies) began establishing the technology foundation for Swoop (including an array of state-of-the-art, data-related technologies), and by the end of 2013, they were serving the first members of their customer base (which today largely comprises staffing businesses and some RPOs and corporates).

“Talent acquisition organizations are encountering enormous amounts of dynamic data, but they do not have capabilities to harness and exploit it,” Chapman says. “They have subscriptions to job boards, LinkedIn, etc. and parsed résumés and contact records amassed in ATSs. And many have powerful CESs (candidate engagement systems) that produce even more real-time data. What we saw was a need for a technology solution that would not make everyone’s lives more difficult, but rather would bring together all of this data into unified views.”

Reaching into external data sources, ATS, and CES, Swoop utilizes state-of-the-art technology (like NoSQL data structures, data algorithms, semantic search and visualization tools) to aggregate data and integrate information about talent and candidates in ways unique to each specific talent acquisition organization. Recruiters in particular benefit from the rich information they can access as they work with candidates through all stages of the recruitment process. Talent acquisition organizations, especially those focused in talent verticals (like oil and gas, health, etc.), can achieve significant competitive advantage based on this information.

The Buzz

Big data can be harnessed by staffing firms in ways that give them unique advantages in the war for talent.