The Data Must be Accurate – I Found It Online!

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The Data Must be Accurate – I Found It Online!

How many times have you heard jokes made about the accuracy of data you find online? “It must be true if Google found it – right?” I sure hope everybody knows the answer to that question!
Just like you, I receive email blasts just about daily about some new database or some new use for an old database that claims to be full of “accurate and up to date” information on potential candidates, prospects, etc. The question I ask every time is how does the information get verified? Are you using a tool that relies on another database that might already be flawed to “verify” the information? You can see where I am going with this.
Do you regularly “verify” candidate details using information you find in online databases – how do you know the database is accurate?
Would you still do it if you knew the information was less than 60% accurate??
With all the press out there today on who has accurate data, I recently put one of these large digital storage platforms to the test – Data.com.
In particular, I wanted to know:
• Who is to stop anyone from posting anything about anybody on databases like these?
• Who sifts through each and every detail on these databases to not only ensure they are accurate, but guarantee they are up to date?
• If I utilize this service, how accurate will the information be, exactly?
Curious to find these answers, I had my research team contact Data.com directly to find out how they verify their information.
Instead of giving us a detailed explanation about specifically designated individuals who verify the information on a regular basis, we were given a three-page, vague explainer (that didn’t explain) as well as a statement that Data.com’s verification process allows them to be “60% more accurate than any other data provider.”
Sixty percent?? How do they know? That’s certainly a disappointing percentage to rely on as a recruiter.
Data.com isn’t alone in this common recruiting issue, and certainly isn’t the worst offender out there. But what my research team really verified is that relying only on crowdsourcing does not work effectively for recruiting purposes.
Let’s face it, if you rely on others to input data in order to get data, the old pay to play that Jigsaw.com (now Data.com) was based on, how accurate can you claim it to be? At the time Jigsaw.com was big, I and many others uploaded old data from cards that were in the bottom of my drawer in order to access other names in the system. If this what we are basing the accuracy of the information on, we are in real trouble. Starting with inaccurate information results in spreading inaccurate information which results in wasting time – something we have little of!!
Online databases and social networking tools can be a great recruiting resource, but we really need to leverage these tools with picking up the phone to verify this information as well as building a professional relationship with candidates. Skipping steps only leads to wasted time, mis-hires, and more trouble down the road.
Data.com may have the ideal name, but does it have the right stuff?
In my next post, I’ll talk about other risks associated with verifying candidate information online.

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