It seems hard to believe today, but when I started working in the recruiting industry in the late 1990s, people were still faxing resumes to companies for jobs that they found in newspapers. Those faxes were then scanned by hand into the recruiting software of the time, and reviewed individually by administrative staff for optical character recognition errors. Only then, about three days later, could a recruiter review the resume online.
The process was pretty revolutionary for the time, but still slow and fraught with errors. This was before the explosion of online job boards, which increased the volume of resumes that companies were getting exponentially. At that point, employers’ focus shifted from getting enough candidates to dealing with resume overload.
Since then, sourcing specialists have replaced HR generalists, online profiles have replaced paper resumes, and candidates are often the ones deluged by emails from recruiters who found them on a social network. While teams are handling a much higher volume of resumes, a shroud of mystery still hovers over the best way to market job openings and attract the best candidates. Enter the latest way to get a leg up on your recruiting competition (coined in 1997 as the “War for Talent” by McKinsey): sourcing analytics.