Invest in data to improve D&I says LinkedIn HRD

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​HR should invest in data to improve diversity in recruitment, according to LinkedIn’s senior director of HR EMEA Wendy Murphy

In a talk on the recruitment site's use of data at the 2018 HRD Summit in Birmingham, Murphy encouraged HR professionals to view data as a vital tool in shaping the future of recruitment.

“Technology has been seen as a scary word in HR, but it’s a mistake not to invest in data and analytics. There’s a real opportunity to create change, particularly with regards to diversity and inclusion,” she said.

Murphy explained that introducing data to an organisation can help to attract a diverse workforce, and provided examples of how LinkedIn has used technology to gain access to a wider pool of talent.

At LinkedIn we used analytics to create a talent flow report, which shows us exactly where our workers are coming from and where they're going. We were struck by the fact that a lot of our recruits were coming from the same companies,” Murphy told HR magazine after her presentation.

"Through that data we were able to get more women into senior positions, and to get talent from around the globe. There’s plenty of research to suggest that companies who encourage D&I are far more productive and profitable, so everyone wins,” she said.

She added: “Cultural fit is important, and we’re obviously advocates of networking and referrals, but there’s a fine line between getting people who are a good cultural fit and failing to provide a diverse workforce."

LinkedIn’s annual report found that 82% of recruiters considered diversity to be their biggest priority for 2018, but 38% said that they struggled to find applicants from diverse backgrounds.

Murphy added that it was not necessary for a company to have an in-depth knowledge of data or a large budget to use technology in recruitment.

“Each company will have different resources and different challenges," she said. "Not everyone will be able to hire a data scientist, but we’d tell organisations to start small; just a little training in digital can make a huge difference. Tech could be transformative for HR.”

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