The Recruiter’s “Oxford Analytica”

When Oxford Analytica meets Talent Acquisition

Oxford Analytica, is likely a group you’ve never heard of. However, it has enormous influence in the world. Here’s the brief story of how I learned what this term means, and how it can have relevance to talent acquisition.


It Started as a Normal Day

Like most days, I begin by rapidly scanning my two main email accounts, instantly deleting the obvious junk, and making split-second decisions ones to read now, and a few to save for later. One of those daily emails is a devotional inspiration that always has a positive spin and is a refreshing departure from the business of business. I opened it and began reading.

There it was, “Oxford Analytica” in the second paragraph. I didn’t recall hearing that term before and was curious to know what it was referring to. Once I learned the meaning, I concluded the idea has useful implications in the world of talent acquisition.

You see, every day at about 6 a.m. the leading scholars of Oxford University gather in a room to get reports from all around the world about what’s happened in the previous 24 hours, from crop prices rising in China to more unrest in the Middle East. Then they make the decision about what needs to be said about it. By 11 a.m. a report has been given to both public and private groups that pay big bucks for this information, such as the CIA and many major corporations and industry groups.

The Foundation of Oxford Analytica

Oxford Analytica is founded on the idea that the best leaders make the best decision when they have the best information. Even if you are a good leader, if you don’t have the best information, you’re more likely to make a bad decision. That’s where the application to talent acquisition begins.

As I thought about my new-found information, I began to consider how the concept has relevance to today’s talent acquisition leaders. I wondered to myself... 

  • 1
    "Where do the top talent acquisition professionals look for and get their best “Oxford Analytica” information?" 
  • 2
    Are the top people in this profession open to new ideas, or are they more close-minded?
  • 3
    How do they evaluate new ideas?
  • 4
    How often do they blindly continue with outdated ideas, methods and processes?
  • 5
    How many are unwilling to proactively connect with sources that offer solutions that might solve some of their thorniest hiring challenges?”

The Basis of My Observations

My thoughts and observations are framed by my long tenure as a talent acquisition professional. It has been my profession for well over 30 years, and I’ve seen a lot in that time. I started as Recruiter, became an HR Director, and then a Consultant, Coach and Trainer in this profession. This includes personally certifying 1000+ talent acquisition practitioners in Lou Adler’s Performance-based Hiring methodology.

This certification experience, involving just about every industry and size of employer that you can imagine, involves reviewing real, active recruiting activity across the complete talent acquisition lifecycle. I’ve worked with some of the best talent acquisition pros and some that should quickly move on to a different profession. When you see this diversity of actual real time work product, you gain invaluable insights.

While these insights are many, I’ll choose one which has a direct connection to the “Oxford Analytica” idea. It has to do with what the best talent acquisition pros do differently from the average.


What the Best Talent Acquisition Pros Do Differently!

  • 1
    The best among the talent acquisition profession are open minded, and they proactively seek out opportunities to listen and evaluate new ideas.
  • 2
    They are on a constant quest to learn more, pilot new ideas and are never satisfied with the status quo.
  • 3
    They never by-pass an opportunity to try something new because there isn’t a formal analytics study available.
  • 4
    They realize that before such as study can become a reality, there must be action by early adopters to produce the study results.
  • 5
    They demonstrate the courage to pilot new ideas and gain competitive advantage by trying and adopting those that produce outstanding results
  • 6
    They plug into sources that challenge their current thinking and ideas.
  • 7
    They actively participate, in sharing new thoughts, ideas and directions in their profession.
  • 8
    They are confident and proud of their accomplishments, yet humble enough to be open to new information.
  • 9
    They would readily adopt principles like the “Oxford Analytica” concept.

How Did You Score on These Nine Concepts?

 So, as you think about the idea of having the best information to make the best decision, where do you see yourself?

For example, take the hot topic in the talent acquisition world: Quality of Hire.

If you were able to discover how to more accurately predict quality of hire – before – making the job offer, would you investigate it? Are you curious enough to look at other ideas, concepts, and/or methods? Would you do it today?

Want to know more about predicting Quality of Hire or other pressing talent acquisition challenges. Contact me and schedule a discussion by viewing my calendar using the orange button below..

How the Talent Acquisition Profession can benefit from Oxford Analyitca's approach to new ideas, in the pursuit for more top talent. #hiring #recruiting #talentacquisition #toptiertalent

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