Candidate data is an essential part of the recruiting process these days. The industry abounds with it, but using it in meaningful ways can be particularly challenging. There’s big data, small data, outdated data and just about every other “you name it” data you can imagine. Plus, you probably don’t have access to teams of data scientists and engineers like major computing companies.

So how can you improve your sourcing results by utilizing all of the candidate information that floats around your pipelines, applicant tracking systems, and the internet?

Let’s dig into the data.

Candidate data is always changing

Over the past two decades, many companies evolved their conventional hiring practices by embracing candidate data and the impact it can have on its personnel decisions. Even old-school companies are now utilizing data points to predict candidate matches and recruiting success rates. These data points aren’t just your typical:

  • Contact information
  • Education
  • Skills

Internal candidate profiles can now include sci-fi sounding stats, like “biometric data,” which is supposed to determine a candidate’s honesty when responding to personality testing. An example of Biometric testing was utilized by Wells Fargo and Kiran Analytics. During screenings with their current employees, these employees were asked verifiable questions so that connections could later be drawn between successful employees and their roles. These connections were then used to create predictive models.

Some metrics have always been important, but never have they been so eagerly measured, tracked and used to inform decisions. Now, internal hiring managers will source (or judge your performance against) critical pieces of data, like:

  • Retention rates
  • Turnover costs
  • Definable candidate sources that provide the best candidates over time (and during specific seasons)

Communicate data to be heard at the table


Your ability to digest and communicate candidate data to clients and hiring managers has never been more important as well. You may be most interested in things like hard skills, experiences and contact info, but remember that nearly every piece of available information that pertains to a single candidate can be considered that candidate’s “candidate data.” Frankly, the more the better as long as you can organize, understand, and communicate it.

We’ve spoken before on the importance of “speaking the language of business.” But the only way you speak that language fluently is through numbers and data. Take a look at the linked article for deeper learning on the subject, but if you only have time for one takeaway, it’s this:

Use data and hard figures to inform your clients, directing them to their best decisions.

Ok, but how does one functionally use (or even acquire) this valuable data? All this theory is great, but it doesn’t add up to much if you’re not matching qualified candidates to your job req’s.

Work your existing pipelines

Pipelines are always the safe first step. After all, you already spent the time finding these candidates, so it’d be ideal if you can translate the sunk manpower into a quickly matched request. However, your pipelines inevitably grow stale after enough time, right? Candidates gain new skills and experiences, but you’re stuck with old data that probably doesn’t even include current contact information.

You really only have two data-saving options:

  1. Bulk update old candidate profiles
  2. Ignore your existing database and hunt for new talent (which very well could include previous candidates who have updated online resumes and profiles)

1. Refresh old pipelines and outdated candidate data

A singular approach

To make old resumes and candidate profiles useful again, manually updating them is your first option. Albeit, it’s not a great choice. This is a tedious process that typically requires comparing dated resumes with updated LinkedIn profiles to log candidates’ new skills and updated contact information on a spreadsheet or inside your ATS. This is a time-consuming process, but you can generate new leads from it without going through the early steps of a standard sourcing cycle. Reaching out to these candidates may also be easier if you have a rapport with them already.

If you were interested in refreshing yourself with the contents of your pipelines, this isn’t a terrible idea since you’ll be killing two birds with one stone. The manual approach really isn’t feasible for anyone who’s been in the game for an extended period of time though. Looking through thousands of resumes simply doesn’t make sense from a time/cost view.

Bulk enrichment

For 98% of active recruiters, automation is your best bet. We offer bulk enrichment for Jobjet users because our customers have told us how important updated, usable data is for them. With our Bulk Enrichment, they can take old unusable candidate databases and turn them into up-to-date pipelines that are ready for action. Whether you have a resume database of 10 candidates or 10,000, bulk enrichment is your most efficient option.

Label like you mean it

While no one likes labels, tagging candidates based on their skill sets can save you the hassle of updating all of your candidate profiles at once. Tags such as a “date last updated” tag will allow you to quickly determine if the candidate will now have the required years of experience for a role or if they still need a few more years in their field. Consider also tagging candidates based on:

  • Experiences
  • Scores on any job-related testing
  • Date sourced
  • Any other relevant information

A label system should allow you to conduct more specific searches when using your ATS. While it may take a bit of work upfront to add these tags, it will ultimately make sourcing from existing pipelines a faster and more streamlined process for you and your team.

2. Find new talent with new alternate Boolean strings

When pipelines begin to yield outdated (and unhelpful) profiles or your standard search strings come up with redundant results, it may be time to begin adding some variation to your searches with new semantic patterns. Tapping into your existing pipelines is the best option, but sometimes you have to rely on the user-generated relevancy of sites like LinkedIn, AngelList and Github. When you’re searching sites like these, Boolean strings are your safest bet for digging through all of the candidate data that will inundate your broader searches.

Search for common misspellings or trendy job titles and incorporate these alternative terms into your Boolean searches. Many candidates go unfound because they accidentally include a misspelled skill or experience in their profiles.

For more tips on generating quality semantic searches, take a look at our post on the subject.


Data is vital in this modern era, but effectively storing and utilizing it can be a challenge (particularly for smaller teams and independent recruiters). We hope these suggestions help you manage candidate data with confidence and a savvy approach. It’s likely that data will only increase as more and more information becomes available online, so the sooner you master it, the better off you’ll be. Good luck!