“I just read through your white paper and was quite impressed. First of all, you’re an accomplished professional writer. You’ve got some big words here and there but you’re speaking to a highly educated audience and I never felt that the words created speed bumps nor did I feel that any of them were thrown in to baffle the reader. Some writers try to dazzle with bullshit because they don’t know shit. Clearly you do.
I really liked the forward by our friend Gerry Crispin, the large middle section which outlined the issues, and then the specific case study at the end that allowed you to strut your stuff. The reader trusted you by that point. Nice.
I also liked the use of funky graphics on many (most?) of the pages. They were appropriate and not at all cheesy like I often see. They added to and did not detract from your paper. Maybe they added a couple of extra pages to the length but their use was helpful.
I was fascinated by the database you built for Informatica and how you tied that into Jobs2web and social. I obviously know a little about Informatica — mostly thanks to you — and know a lot about Jobs2web as we have a great partnership with them. I also consider myself to be pretty knowledgeable about social even if you and I sometimes disagree there.
If there was one thing that I was hoping to read but never came across it was a discussion on the issue of you don’t know what you don’t know. If something isn’t in the data, then what? I’m delighted that more and more recruiters are actually understanding what the hell data is, starting to use it, and some even using it appropriately.
In terms of industry observations, I’m frustrated as hell that some who are using data are doing so to pretend that they’re not making arbitrary and ridiculous decisions. For example, other than professions like the engineering ones you covered in the white paper which require degrees in order to be licensed, is there actually any data to support an organization’s decision that it should hire grads from specific schools? Is there even any data to support the decision they should hire grads period? I feel that some recruiters are practicing covert racial and socioeconomic discrimination — sometimes subconsciously — by requiring college degrees. Does someone really need a college degree to be a guest services worker in a hotel? A telemarketer? A manager of a retail store? If I’m right, there will soon be a lot of class action lawsuits.
Will the use of big data — social or otherwise — help these organizations understand when a degree is a legitimate screening technique and when it isn’t? I sure hope so.”