Textual Data- Challenges to HR

  • Maybe there is no other domain or function that deals with so much text (and least data) as HR. Consider the millions of resumes and the number of lines of text in them, the number of job descriptions and lines of texts in them, and then the interview evaluation forms, training forms, performance appraisal forms and so many others where so much of text is created.
  • The problem with textual data is that it is difficult to create. Not everyone is equally adept at writing text. And when forced to, we tend to be brief and may miss out important aspects. I have seen so many forms where even managers write “Good”, “Consider”, “Needs to improve” even when they are provided big boxes to write text.
  • Text is losing its charm. Because of the paucity of time and our attention being drawn to so many places, we read less and less. And also communication is moving towards numbers, visuals, 140 characters, and such.
  • Finally and very importantly textual data is very difficult to crunch. How easy can it be to compare two resumes say of even 2 pages each? Mind will be required to pick some keywords from the first, store them in its mind, read the next, pick the keywords from that and now do a comparison on text between the two.

So what can be done?

  • We can reduce text in HR drastically, at least the free text. Instead we can have words and phrases that people can pick to express information, comments, feedback and such.
  • Such use of words and phrases will help make it easy for the person expressing them and those who are crunching information say, HR or Recruiters to understand and appreciate.
  • Finally such a structured, simple and normalized information model will lead to better flow of information and utility of the same.

It’s Your Skills in the arena endeavors to evangelise a common, simple, structured way for skills. Experience it now!!

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Ramu heads up the It’s Your Skills team and enjoys being completely hands on with day-to-day operations. An engineer from the Indian Institute of Technology at BHU in Varanasi and with an MBA in HR from XLRI in Jamshedpur, his key objectives are conceptualizing and developing ideas for solutions, driving product development and business strategy. A creative and strategic thinker, Ramu has a rich and distinguished career with almost a quarter of century spent in senior management positions in the IT, FMCG and HR sectors.

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