Creepy Big Data Can Tell You Are Job Hunting

You know all those calls and emails that you get from recruiters asking if you are considering a new role? You give the standard “don’t call me, I’ll call you” answer, right? Maybe you might have a brief chat if they’re lucky. Well, soon recruiters won’t be asking, they will be stating a fact, and with a pretty high degree of certainty……

There are already Big Data recruitment data crunchers out there which are already theoretically adept at predicting when you might be considering that fateful decision…..

With time, more reliable data, and more comparative data sets, their algorithms will be constantly refined. Country specific, industry specific, age specific, education specific – you name it – they will be able to measure it, and they will work out exactly how you behave when you start to get itchy feet at work. Which sites you are reading, how many (and which) changes you make to your social media profiles, the types of photos you are deleting, the change in tone of your messages and shares, who you are following on Twitter and LinkedIn – everything will be measurable and everything will point to one clear thing – you are polishing up your act with a view to job searching.

They’ll work backwards to start with – every sound analytical system needs a solid base. For example, they might look at the LinkedIn profiles for thousands of recent job movers, analyse their activities for months up to that point, create patterns, flow charts, decision trees…. A candidate’s every digital move will be compared and contrasted with their peers; patterns will emerge – we aren’t so different when it comes down to it.

If you tick enough of these “job seeker” boxes, a little green light will flash on someone’s dashboard, and you will not only be on the radars of recruiters, but also increasing numbers of direct employers who have their finger on the pulse. This has to be a good thing, doesn’t it? Well, there is only one problem and not an insignificant one at that…. your employers will probably be analysing the same information on their employees – some sort of loyalty quotient…. Starting to feel a little uneasy now? Yep, well, me too.

You see, from my point of view, my thought process about any subject can be a long and winding road to nowhere sometimes. I might investigate what seems a great idea one day, only to throw it onto the rejects pile the next day. I might make a few off the cuff changes to my LinkedIn profile, only to think better of it two days later. My career has been far from linear, and there has been much thought and research behind the scenes. I very nearly left my first company before I was moved abroad by them to the job of a lifetime…..

The trouble with your every move being analysed is that it cannot possibly take into account the chaotic nature of the human mind, the infinite possibilities for future actions and the events that might occur in your life to influence those actions. I might start exhibiting job hunting “behaviours” one week as we want to move to a different city, but my wife might get a promotion the next week and we decide to stay. Job hunting activity ceases, but that green light (or red light in the case of my employer) may have already flashed up on that dashboard……


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