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Thought Leaders in Big Data: David Bernstein, Vice President of eQuest’s Big Data Division (Part 4)

Posted on Thursday, Dec 27th 2012

Sramana Mitra: So, you are basically optimizing job advertising campaigns for your clients based on your extensive knowledge [of] data that is flowing through your system and of the behavior of different clients. Let me ask you about trends because you are doing big data on a very large scale. What trends do you see in terms of jobs? Are there specific kinds of jobs that are easier to fill than others?

David Bernstein: I can’t answer that question in only one way. We can start answering exact questions like this by having a particular function or recruitment market in mind. From there we would begin to be able to talk about what we see in that market and which jobs are most frequently requested – if that market is the entire U.S., or if we would we narrow it down to cities or regions in a part of the country.

SM: I am thinking more about micro-views. I know from experience that everybody who has access to a lot of data tends to show off some of their data capabilities by [parlaying] insights into interesting trends.

DB: One trend I was referring to earlier concerns the days of the week. If we look at the data from 2011 and compare it to what is going on in 2012, we can see that candidate response patterns have changed dramatically. Which days of the week and which kinds of positions [are involved]? There is a press release on healthcare positions compared to IT positions compared to retail, for example. Today [December 26] a version of that press release was posted on It showed that Wednesday seems to be a great day for having jobs posted; it seems to be a day of high response. We work with a reporter in the Chicago market. We were looking at what he is reporting on and what is going on in industries in Chicago over the past six months. We analyzed which industries were doing the most hiring and which jobs within those industries employers are seeking [to fill].

SM: Could you talk about the trend in new technology jobs in different markets around the U.S.? What is the top market where technology jobs in startups are the most active?

DB: Our data is based on the types of customers we have in our customer set. That includes customers from around the world. They need to be using one of the applications we are wired into. As I mentioned, we are wired into almost every primary HR and ATS system out there. If they are startups and are not using our service, then I wouldn’t have that level of insight. But what I do have are representative samples of the hiring activity within any particular market or type of job function.

SM: What kinds of markets are you strong in? Where is your adoption?

DB: Our customers are headquartered in 22 countries around the world, and they post in around 180 countries. The job boards we are preintegrated with are all in those regions. Another interesting facet is that part of the value of real-time analysis is not just being able to give our customers a sense of their own effectiveness, but being able to show them how the compare.

The phrase “the war for talent” is frequently used in the literature. Everybody is out there trying to find the best talent the first time. If you are out there and your recruitment is always very effective, and you have no idea about the recruitment efforts of those around you, then you have a bit of a blind spot. An employment brand is critical, as is enabling the company’s recruitment team to be as engaged as possible with the candidate pool and making sure that the employment brand is as effective as it can be in supporting the recruiting process. We bring candidates in and sell them on the vision of the company and the position, and we show them why they should move from where they are to this new opportunity. Getting that handshake going requires a high level of engagement, not just the administration of the process. So, we free up our customers to be more focused on the important parts of the recruiting cycle as well as give them insights into how well their brand is working and show them how to resolve issues. Usually HR benchmark on salary or best practices, being unaware of how well their brand is received in any particular recruiting market as well as being able to understand it, breaking it down into job functions within a market. They might fare well with the finance side in a particular space, but perhaps the reputation of that company within the IT world might be more on the performing side. We gauge our customers in the markets they are recruiting in for these kinds of positions, to do a peer group analysis.

SM: I would like to point out that a lot of businesses depend on such peer group analysis. Therefore, you need to cluster this company that has been in the sector for you to be able to produce meaningful data, is that correct?

DB: Correct. We have thousands of customers from around the world across industries. We have a representative sample. I wouldn’t say that in every market we have the exact same depth of customer type. What we do have is a depth of data that is neutral and unbiased. We have no agenda with our customers to sway them to use any particular boards or any particular way to describe, post, or title their jobs. It is all within the category of increasing the posts’ effectiveness.

This segment is part 4 in the series : Thought Leaders in Big Data: David Bernstein, Vice President of eQuest’s Big Data Division
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