They say it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. But the missing implication of that is the importance of who they know. The ways that we are all connected are broadly interesting in a “six degrees of Kevin Bacon” way. However, for recruitment sites trying to find and access important, talented people, it’s much more valuable than that. Endless internet searches and manually trawling through CVs is the common process for many recruiters today – but this is time consuming and quite restrictive in what information it can deliver. Also, once the data is gathered it can be difficult to sit back and actually make sense of it. So, how can the recruitment industry move on from this?

Traditionally, the ways that such data is stored has not been easy to access or analyse. Relational databases, often formatted in tables, could provide plenty of information about individual records in a basic siloed form, but simply weren’t designed to show relationships and patterns between those records. You could unearth some of these connections at a very high level, but the results were extremely slow and lacked real definition. It’s like the difference between understanding two people that live in one house and knowing if they are married, siblings, flatmates or tenants.

Today, far too much time and effort is consumed in the slow process of working with the old style of databases or manual methods like trawling the internet. This works, of course – but it gives you little or no advantage over your competition. And the market for great talent is nothing if not competitive.

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