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Keller & Stakelum: The Essentials of ‘Little Data’ Within The Talent Data Conversation

Posted on October 28, 2013
Filed Under Best Practices, Big Data | Leave a Comment

Little Data – It’s theoretical and methodological DNA play focal point to the Bigger Ambitions that follow

One of the areas of common discussion within the recruiting industry surrounds the notion of Big Data. The idea that we can better identify people for opportunities that become available by bringing together various sources of information on candidates and employees is conceptually appealing but often challenging in practice.

Humana has partnered with a research team from the Wharton School to work through many of these challenges in an effort to unlock the insights that are hiding in data that we already collect. In doing so, we have adopted what is best described as a “Little Data” approach to our analysis. The term “Little Data” refers to the myriad sources of data already available to companies about their associates, candidates, and recruiting processes; information that is collected during the regular course of business. A “Little Data” analytical approach involves finding and combining these various data sources and using advanced analysis of that information to determine trends, patterns and possible success indicators to provide a more valuable view of the talent that is available in an organization and to then maximize its use in helping to make that talent more successful.

“There is a great deal of general performance information that is available to most companies but the challenge is that the information is not as integrated as it could be” says Kevin Stakelum, Director of Talent Acquisition at Humana. “The theoretical and methodological advances we have made through academic research allow us to analyze and assess this information in ways that are not always available in corporate settings” commented JR Keller from The Wharton School.

Compared to “Big Data”, this “Little Data” approach is still in the early stages of development but is beginning to show results that we feel are quite promising. Many organizations would greatly benefit simply through making better use of the “Little Data” that they already possess – the data that is most likely to inform everyday conversations with business managers. This includes data on talent acquisition, compensation, employee performance, employee engagement and development, data which is frequently housed in different databases and is often “owned” by different departments. The promise of making connections between these data sets lies in the ability to solve problems and enhance decision-making. It can help to answer questions such as, “Which sources deliver the highest-performing new hires?” and “Where should we devote more resources to internal sourcing?”

As the teams at Humana and Wharton continue to partner and refine the findings, we will continue to build out the answers to the questions listed above, but both partners are really excited about the possibilities that they are seeing as a result of the partnership.

About The Writers

JR Keller ( is a doctoral candidate in the Management Department at The Wharton School. His research focuses on how firms combine internal and external talent sourcing and acquisition strategies to meet their human capital needs. He has published papers and book chapters on the decision to hire externally or promote from within, supply chain approaches to talent management, the use of nonstandard work arrangements, and talent management more generally.

< a href=”″>Kevin Stakelum ( is the Talent Acquisition Director for Humana Inc., a Fortune 100 wellness company located in Louisville, Ky. As the leader of Talent Acquisition, Kevin creates the strategy and provides the leadership and direction for all aspects of talent acquisition for the company. His leadership in the areas of recruiting process design and implementation, interviewing capability and design and process standardization ensures that the function continues to enable the business to hire the best talent in the industry.


The World As I know It … Ambassador John Bolton Provides Brilliant Analysis

Posted on September 4, 2013
Filed Under News | Leave a Comment

The global economy will breathe this situation as its oxygen …. ignore it at your peril


Posted on August 29, 2013
Filed Under Economics, Jobs, WebVideo | Leave a Comment


I would support your cause for one week of pay at this wage if you promise to take an ECONOMICS 101 course to learn about supply and demand and diminishing returns. You see there are consequences for dropping out of high school, being in prison, and not learning to read or speak proper grammar.

MOREOVER, you see for every $1 increase in pay , several 100,000 of the most vulnerable in society lose their jobs. That’s because when the increase in pay adds up to a new worker on the payroll in total, they will layoff to sustain the low profit margin franchisees make after paying licensing fees, regulations, rent etc to the McDonalds, Burger Kings and KFC. It means minority unemployment and High School students have higher unemployment. Why would they hire a no experience candidate when they can hire a special needs or elderly worker who will show up on time and work hard for the same wage?

Am I heartless? Well the Wall Street Journal confirms minimum wage increases are truly “slapping the vulnerable with kindness”

“Earlier this year, economist David Neumark of the University of California, Irvine, wrote on these pages that the 70-cent-an-hour increase in the minimum wage would cost some 300,000 jobs. Sure enough, the mandated increase to $7.25 took effect in July, and right on cue the August and September jobless numbers confirm the rapid disappearance of jobs for teenagers”


CAUSE: Ask what happened to Hostess Brands — the maker of such iconic baked goods as Twinkies, Drake’s Devil Dogs and Wonder Bread … After the The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union walked off on strike despite widely repeated warnings that doing so would directly result in the company’s bankruptcy.

EFFECT: Hostess’ nearly 18,500 workers will lose their jobs as the company shuts 33 bakeries and 565 distribution centers nationwide, as well as 570 outlet stores.

You See …. It’s not meant to be a living wage. It’s a “TRAINING WAGE” …. so good luck demanding more for your low skill, lack of proper education choices, or anti-social behaviors. Go back to school. Get a school loan, a grant, or learn a new trade in demand. I worked at $3.35 an hour in 1986 and it reinforced why I continued school. I hated it …. it convinced me I don’t want to flip burgers. It was and should always be a temporary job. Now walk out on strike today, get fired and wake up from the agitators to learn that’s the proper consequence. And …. don’t be surprised when you lose a job going on strike demanding higher wages and your plant closes like the unions forced upon Twinkies Hostess. Learn Math too. And don’t have several dads for your babies … have one, get married first … and stay in school.

Yours Truly “EL DAVE”


  • The Young and the Jobless: The minimum wage hike has driven the wages of teen employees down to $0.00.

  • Hostess Brands closing for good after Union fails to Heed Warning of Risking Bankruptcy

  • Racist origins of the minimum wage

  • Hostess’ nearly 18,500 workers will lose their jobs as the company shuts 33 bakeries and 565 distribution centers nationwide, as well as 570 outlet stores. The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union represents about 5,000 Hostess employees.

    “We deeply regret the necessity of today’s decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike,” said CEO Gregory Rayburn in a statement.

    Danielle Monaghan “An HR Journey Leads to Insights on Asia” Interview Article, HR Magazine July 2013 * Cross-Cultural HR Experiences

    Posted on July 23, 2013
    Filed Under Asia, Human Resources, Interviews | Leave a Comment

    Interview by John Scorza, SHRM, Danielle Monaghan, HR director at Cisco Systems Inc., learns from cross-cultural HR experiences. “as HR director for Cisco Systems in North Asia, she delivered a range of HR services to more than 7,000 employees in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. Back in the U.S. since last year, Monaghan is director of human resources overseeing leadership development, organizational design and workforce planning for Cisco’s Technical Services Division in San Jose, Calif.”


    Futurecasting White Paper Review Series: Kevin Stakelum, Talent Acquisition Director at Humana

    Posted on July 8, 2013
    Filed Under Futurecasting Social Data, Interviews, Kevin Stakelum, Reviews | 7 Comments

    By Kevin Stakelum
    Talent Acquisition Director at Humana
    Louisville, Kentucky

    Kevin Stakelum leads the Talent Acquisition Function for Humana. He provides strategic direction for the function, design enterprise level processes, create efficiencies in the system and assist the business in creating strategies and approaches that result in them hiring the best talent for their positions.
    Kevin also leads the company’s Veteran Hiring Initiative that delivered on Humana’s initial commitment to hire 1000 veterans and military spouses. He leads a team that designed the processes that allowed the company to deliver that goal 14 months ahead of schedule. Humana has also re-committed to hire an additional 1000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2014. Kevin served previously a Sr. HR Manager and Staffing Manager, Server and Tools Business at Microsoft

    More Reactions after reading Dave Mendoza’s white paper on Futurecasting and Big Data:

    Dave has always been a visionary in the use of technology and social media approaches as they pertain to recruiting. His recent white paper on Futurecasting and the concepts around using Big Data in recruiting is a perfect example of this.

    I first saw this topic when I received his white paper from a friend of mine. That was in the April timeframe and I have since seen several other white papers and presentations on this topic. It has certainly been a topic that was gaining momentum at the recent recruiting conferences that I attended.

    Dave does a great job of explaining why we would want to consider using big data in our recruiting efforts, but he also spends some time effectively explaining how I would go about getting started and that is where I feel his white paper differentiates itself from the others that I have seen.

    The biggest difference that I found between Dave’s paper and the others that I have seen are as follows:

    1) Dave’s paper explains a consistent standardized approach to the concept as it pertains to implementation.
    2) It is specific enough for me to actually apply the concepts to my business.
    3) It is laid out in a clear and concise way that walks me through the process that he suggests.

    I also really appreciated that Dave focused on the tangible outcomes of his approach instead of just focusing on the activities and the philosophy of the approach. Some of the outcomes that really resonated with me are as follows:

    1) He focused on the concept of creating “Dynamic Data” that is independent of individuals and that becomes the intellectual property of the organization.
    2) His approach takes into account the entire prospect life cycle vs just looking at the candidate once they become a candidate.
    3) Dave includes both a short term and long term vision of the impact that his concepts can have on the effectiveness of the activities of the Talent Acquisition organization
    4) He also includes a governance model as a part of the framework that the other papers that I have read seemed to underplay or ignore altogether.

    Overall, I found this white paper to be extremely well written. It presents a thoughtful and robust approach to the topic that includes a framework that can be followed to implement it within my organization. I feel that Dave further demonstrated his unique talents and vision by explaining why it is important to us now and how we should be thinking about this topic in the future.

    He provides a blueprint that I can follow to get my team moving down this path successfully, and that is what I think differentiates his approach from the others that I have seen.

    HRO TODAY MAGAZINE: “How the Rise of Big Data & Social Data APIs Will Revolutionize Talent Pipelines In The Fortune 500″

    Posted on June 21, 2013
    Filed Under Futurecasting Social Data, RPO | 1 Comment

    The Future Could Be Bright
    Magazine Issue: -Vol. 12 No. 5 – June 2013
    Topics: HRMS/HR Software, RPO & Staffing,
    Main Feature

    Leveraging big data with customer relationship management applications is key to getting the best talent first.
    By Dave Mendoza

    “Do you market to people? Hire people? Manage people? Research people? Recruit people? Work with people?

    If you do, you’ve probably heard the term big data thrown around a bit. The stories of how market research harnessed the massive quantities of data that Target had on its customers’ purchasing behavior to accurately predict a young woman’s pregnancy. IBM is combing through 600,000 pieces of medical evidence, 2 million pages of text from 42 medical journals and clinical trials in the area of oncology research, and 1.5 million patient records to identify common causes and possible cures for different types of cancers. The power that exists inside the little bits of data that organizations collect from our purchasing behavior, our social activities and yes, our educational and career paths, has started to make waves in talent acquisition as a potential game changer.”

    READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE in Print and Online HERE

    Feel free to update your Linkedin and Twitter Posts with the following phrase:
    HRO Today: “When CRM & Big Social data API Converge” By Dave Mendoza – Future Could Be Bright,

    Still haven’t had an opportunity to download my white paper? Click HERE

    Neil Cavuto: I am ‘alarmed’ over NSA phone record collection

    Posted on June 13, 2013
    Filed Under News | Leave a Comment

    Futurecasting White Paper Review Series: Recruiting Animal “When Gerry Crispin was a boy hiring was so easy”

    Posted on May 13, 2013
    Filed Under Futurecasting Social Data, Gerry Crispin, Podcast, Recruiting Animal, Recruiting Roadshow,, Recruitment Industry, Reviews, Talent Acquisition | Leave a Comment

    How do you like my Big Data? Big Brother comes to Recruiting
    Posted by Recruiting Animal on April 22, 2013

    “When Gerry Crispin was a boy hiring was so easy. There was lots of talent just lying all over the place.

    All you had to do was put an ad in the paper and hire a secretary to open the resumes.

    But, now, things are different.

    You have access to everyone in the world because they all have profiles online but there’s not enough skilled people to go around. And that’s a problem, eh?

    So, what are you going to do? Well, if you’re fishing for trout you have to go where the trout are.

    now we’ve got lots of data — Big Data from social media — so what are we going to do? Dave Mendoza has the answer and he’s written a white paper to prove it.

    It’s called FUTURECASTING: How the Rise of Big Social Data is set to transform the Business of Recruiting. And all I can say is, “Look out, trout!”

    First of all, you’ve got Customer Relationship Management software that lets you capture candidate info online and communicate directly with the good ones.

    Then you’ve got the API. That’s a link to a good site that lets you transfer data from there to your own database. Hot! …”


      Recruiting Animal Radio Show
      Recruiting Animal (animal) on Twitter
      Recruiting Animal | Facebook
      Recruiting Animal Show Group, Linkedin

    Futurecasting White Paper Review Series: Alex Putman, Director of People & Engagement at Case-Mate

    Posted on May 7, 2013
    Filed Under Best Practices, Big Data, Futurecasting Social Data, Reviews, Social Data API, Talent Acquisition | Leave a Comment

    by Alex Putman
    Director of People & Engagement at Case-Mate
    Chief T-Rex at Social T-Rex
    The Future of Recruiting: Futurecasting with Dave Mendoza
    April 30, 2013

    Remember the good ole days of recruiting? If drinking and smoking at your desk with a rotary dial phone popped into your head, you are on the wrong site! What I am trying to say is remember how much recruiting has evolved?

      30 years ago it was a phone, phone book and paper resumes mailed to the Personal Department
      15 years ago, the internet was starting (thanks Al Gore) and job boards were catching wildfire
      5 years ago LinkedIn and other social networks were popping up along with tons of Applicant Tracking Systems
      1 year ago, all about social – cultural changes in how and how much data people share

    What is the purpose of all this data sharing if you are not doing anything with it?

    The methods listed above are different in many ways, but share many commonalities – mainly they all involve data. In each scenario recruiters gathered data on people. Today we gather lots of data or “Big Data”. Again I ask, what are you doing with all this data? Dave Mendoza, a thought leader in recruiting, not only asked this question, he is doing phenomenal work in the field of Big Data to make our future more productive. Welcome to the future, welcome to Futurecasting.


    About Alex Putman

    Director of Talent Attraction & Recruitment Branding
    • Building and leading the global talent acquisition efforts for one of the most exciting companies in the world with global locations in North and South America, Europe and Asia.
    • Create digital strategies for promoting the recruitment brand.
    • Developed social media strategy for the Vaja luxury retail line.
    • Built social platforms including; Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Polyvore

    Alex’s 2013 Speaking Engagements:

    “Social Recruiting: Brand, Engage & Hire” |SHRM-Atlanta @ DeVry| Atlanta, GA | 1/8
    “Strategic Recruitment Summit“ | Miami, FL | 2/11-2/12
    “Finding a Job Via Social Media” | Georgia State | Atlanta, GA | 3/5
    “Managing your Social Media Presence” | WIT on Campus | Atlanta, GA | 3/6
    “Finding a Job Via Social Media” | UGA | Athens, GA | 3/19
    “Social Strategy Design” | Professional Entertainment & Sports Association | Athens, GA | 4/22
    “Social Strategy Design” | Georgia Society of Association Executives | Atlanta, GA | 4/23
    “Brand, Engage & Hire” | Annual SHRM-Atlanta Conference | Atlanta, GA | 4/29

    Alex’s 2012 Speaking Engagements:

    HR Panel – HR Horror Stories | Crossroads Career Network Meeting | Atlanta, GA | 2/13/2012
    “Social Recruiting: Talent Acquisition in 2015 ” | Jobvite Social Recruiting Road Show | Atlanta, GA | 2/28/2012
    “Future of Talent Acquisition” | 22nd Annual SHRM-Atlanta Conference | Atlanta, GA | 3/14 (1:45-2:45)
    Use Social Media in Your Job Search | University of Georgia | Athens, GA | 3/20/2012
    Webinar: Connecting the HR Community One Click at a Time | 4/19/2012 – SHRM-Atlanta
    Webinar: Social Recruiting Best Practices| 5/22/2012 – w/Ascendify
    Presentation: Life @ Case-Mate | Right Management | 11/14/2012

    Futurecasting White Paper Review Series: John Bersentes, VP Business Development at TMP

    Posted on May 5, 2013
    Filed Under Futurecasting Social Data, Reviews | Leave a Comment

    John Bersentes
    McLean, Virginia, United States
    Vice President of Business Development
    TMP Government LLC, a division of
    TMP Worldwide Advertising & Communications, LLC
    Twitter Profile

    In reading Dave’s whitepaper on the topic of Big Data and the evolving landscape of talent management tools related to CRM. If you are keenly interested in “ disruptive technologies” and how to leverage emerging tools to better address STEM pipeline development, multi-generational knowledge transfer, Community of Practice portals, as well as recruitment marketing and metrics related to engagement and attraction I encourage you to read this report. The forward by our mutual friend Gerry Crispin will make you want to take the time to learn more about the concept of Futurecasting.

    Given our work with government agencies in human capital as well as web development on projects like and this piece speaks to us at TMP as the next step for clients looking to leverage data visualizations and cloud based solutions as well as the urgency to make the move to responsive web design. I certainly think it warrants your attention and should be something that you consider as well for your reputation management and social integration efforts for talent management across the digital landscape.

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