There seem to be a lot of preemptive attacks being threatened these days. Although not quite as alarming as the belligerent posturing between Donald and Kim, a San Francisco company HiQ Labs is filing a preemptive lawsuit against LinkedIn to protect their access to publicly available profiles on the networking platform.

HiQ is a data science company that hoovers up data, behaviours and activities from people’s public LinkedIn profiles, feeds it into some smart algorithms, and produces analytics around things like the likelihood of someone to quit from their job, their level of flight risk, or their level of exposure to being tapped up by the competition.

Given the increasing frequency that people change jobs these days, and the acknowledged long-term ineffectiveness of counter offers, this is probably pretty useful data for business owners and HR departments seeking to improve retention rates. It’s also going to be pretty useful data for us in recruitment, if used in the right way.

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LinkedIn don’t like it, though. I suspect because they wish they’d thought of it themselves, for as we all know LinkedIn like nothing more than devising some new way to coerce money from your pockets and into the pockets of their shareholders. They claim HiQ are violating US anti-hacking laws, while HiQ’s CEO responded saying,

“LinkedIn is trying to illegally force out a smaller competitor so that they can have the business for themselves, plain and simple.”

Those of you that are smart enough to have tapped into Indeed’s CV Search function, or SEEK’s Premium Talent Search product, will be familiar with jobseeker profiles being graded and highlighted in terms of responsiveness or approach-ability. This development from HiQ is simply a variation on a theme. This kind of stuff is the closest that AI has got to our roles in recruitment so far and, rather than being something to be feared, is just another tool to add to your recruitment arsenal. If anything, it’s simply an efficiency tool, to enable you to prioritise who to talk to first. You’ll still need to employ your recruiter powers of attraction, engagement, and influence to take matters to the next level.

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I welcome it and wish HiQ well in their endeavours.

One other, unrelated thing: ¬†This week marks the ten year anniversary of my first week as a “rec-to-rec” recruiting for the recruitment industry. ¬†After a couple of years with Hays I was given the opportunity by Paul Hamilton to set up Hughes Recruitment in New Zealand, and what an eye-opening experience that first week was! The first client I visited also became the first recruitment firm that I made a placement into. They took 6 months to pay the invoice and are no longer in business, so hardly the most auspicious of starts, but ten years on and having placed hundreds of recruiters at all levels across New Zealand I feel humbled and grateful to have been able to play my role in #nzrec.

Thanks for having me.

Jonathan Rice

Jonathan Rice

MD at New Zealand rec-to-rec firm Rice Consulting and co-founder of on-demand recruiter offering Joyn. Recruitment agitator and frustrated idealist, father of two, husband of one, and lover of all things Arsenal and crafty beer.

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