5 Ways Public Web Data Can Assist HR Process Improvement

Companies rely on data to achieve various marketing and operational goals. It’s become a critical tool that helps organizations prepare for future growth. Data is also valuable for businesses focused on human resources (HR) process improvement.

More efficient use of public data helps HR departments with talent acquisition and management issues. With more employees taking advantage of flexible work arrangements, public web data helps HR professionals deal with a dispersed workforce.


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Why Is Continuous Improvement in HR Important?

Why Is Continuous Improvement in HR Important?

Your company’s workers are its most important asset. Regardless of the level of technology implemented, nothing comes close to the ingenuity and knowledge of high-value employees. Efficient HR processes help you harness the full potential of every team member. Businesses also improve their ability to keep up with the flow of employees and ensure they have enough people available to handle critical business workflows.

HR process improvement is needed for the same reasons you might review your current technology stack. A company’s needs often shift because of changes in the current business environment. Everything from how you recruit employees to the benefits you offer probably looks different from ten years ago. You should remove, update, or create new policies to replace ineffective work procedures.

Businesses should remain open to new HR process improvement ideas, especially regarding software used to gather information needed for HR management. Technology like proxies and web scraping robots make it easier to pull in data required to support HR process improvement and decision-making. With the right data at your fingertips, you enact HR policies that help your company:

  • Find the right people to fill roles within your organization
  • Retain valuable employees
  • Improve the performance of your workers
  • Increase productivity among the workforce

Access to the proper public data supports your business’s ability to reduce costs. By leveraging specialized systems, you can implement technology that helps workers conduct business more efficiently. That can eliminate the need to hire more workers while relieving the burden on your current workforce.

What Is Public Data?

What Is Public Data?

Public data is any information made available to the public. Government, nonprofit, and research entities are great resources for public data. These organizations make information available without restrictions, though there may be limitations around information that could violate someone’s privacy.

Open data vs. public data

Remember that public data is distinct from open data, though they are related concepts. Open data is freely available for redistribution and modification to anyone without restrictions. An example would be code uploaded to a public repository like GitHub. Developers are free to download the code and make any changes they want.

Open data is typically organized in a machine-readable format, making it easier to analyze and integrate with other data sets. The goal of open data is to promote transparency and collaboration. It focuses primarily on non-personalized information that reveals nothing about individuals.

Public data can have usage restrictions placed by the institution that makes it available. How those limitations apply varies based on location and jurisdiction. The reasons include security considerations, legal requirements, or privacy concerns. Public data is typically unformatted, meaning the companies must put in some effort to transform the raw information into something usable for HR process improvement.

How Can Public Data Impact HR Department Improvement Plans?

How Can Public Data Impact HR Department Improvement Plans?

The best way for a company to enact HR process improvement and become more strategic is by increasing its analytics capabilities. Public data is an excellent resource for developing models to analyze HR functions. When you connect everything digitally, it’s easier to see the impact of each action.

Businesses can leverage public data to determine where to implement HR process improvements and assess the effectiveness of new initiatives. HR professionals can look at how those programs hold up compared to old processes and can also examine the success of talent programs and develop new performance metrics.

Increase business impacts

Previously, HR could be content with merely aligning with corporate goals. Things have changed, and every area is expected to help devise innovative ways to increase revenue, productivity, and market share. Public data helps digitize and manage information in ways that show how HR process improvement impacts business strategies.

Allow for agility

HR process improvements help businesses rapidly adapt to change by using data to hire individuals with the crucial skill sets needed at any time. From there, HR can put together compensation packages in line with those other companies offer. With the correct information, HR can fill critical roles quickly.

Improve recruitment processes

HR professionals can need help getting management to understand the importance of following specific protocols when conducting a new hire search. Tapping into public data can help provide executives with hard numbers around how they could improve the quality of new hires by taking HR’s advice. Showing company leaders how they can increase revenue can lead to the approval of better recruitment efforts.

5 Ways To Improve HR Processes With Public Data

5 Ways To Improve HR Processes With Public Data

Any business can use web scraping robots supported by proxies to help collect large amounts of data to boost their HR process improvement plans. But you’ll need to determine how to use this information for HR process improvement.

Let’s look at some HR process improvement examples of leveraging public data.

1. Streamlining recruitment and hiring

Public data can help you create standardized recruiting and hiring processes for rating candidates. Use the information you’ve collected to help with applicant screening to bypass any unconscious bias impacting hiring decisions, increasing your chances of finding the right person.

Data-driven recruiting can increase the chances of you finding the right person to fill a job. Bad hires can cost you. One survey shows that businesses lost an average of $14,900 because they chose the wrong candidate.

2. Improving company perception

When businesses post a job, most people look for feedback from current or former employees. What potential candidates see on popular online sites can impact their perception of you as an employer. Bad company reviews can discourage promising recruits from pursuing a job with your company.

Any HR department improvement plan should include staying on top of public feedback. You can use web scraping technology to collect information from online platforms to gain more insight into the perception of your company brand.

Make sure the sites you choose to collect data from provide meaningful value. It doesn’t help if a site only has a few reviews or contains outdated information. Look for places frequented by your employees to understand how they feel about your organization.

Remember that employees are more likely to share positive reviews when they are happy with their work environment. A lack of reviews from current or former employees can indicate your need to find ways to conduct HR process improvement internally. When recruits see upbeat commentary from your workforce, that can encourage them to become part of that environment.

3. Offering fair employee compensation

You can seek out compensation reports, industry salary surveys, and other market benchmarks for insights into matching compensation levels to job roles. HR departments can use the information to compare their organization’s salary offers to industry standards, an essential aspect of HR process improvement.

If your compensation doesn’t measure up, you can determine how to align employee compensation with current market rates. That keeps you competitive when attracting talent and helps retain high-performing employees, an important part of HR process improvement.

Make sure you find salary data relevant to specific roles. If you want to hire a software engineer, find sites containing information pertinent to that position. Assess the credibility of the online forum before deciding to incorporate the information into the data sets you use for HR process improvement.

Inaccurate data can adversely affect the offers made to recruits. Going too low with salary and benefits can affect the quality of individuals willing to take on the job. You can also use public data to ensure you comply with legal requirements for compensation practices, especially regarding pay equity and fairness.

4. Performing background checks

You can find a lot of valuable public information about job candidates on the internet to help with HR process improvement. Many states make their criminal database open to the public. You can also verify applicants’ job history by confirming their employment at specific companies. Sources for information include professional networking platforms or business registries.

Many industries look for people who hold specific professional licenses and certifications. You can access public data that confirms whether job candidates have these titles. Many individuals make information publicly available on their social media profiles about their employment history.

Social media is also valuable for gaining insights into a job candidate’s behavior. You can weed out problematic candidates if you see red flags anywhere in their profile or posting history. It’s an excellent way to gain additional context beyond what someone puts on their job application, which boosts your HR process improvement efforts.

Improving how you gather information about candidates positively impacts the efficiency of your HR process improvement initiatives. Your HR department must perform information checks on job candidates ethically and in compliance with any laws or regulations applicable in your region. Your company should also set policies on leveraging technology like proxies and web scrapers to collect public information that impacts hiring decisions.

5. Staying updated on legal and compliance issues

HR professionals must stay updated on current labor laws, industry guidelines, and employment regulations. A lot of this information is made publicly available on the internet. Once you establish a data collection process, you can keep updated on topics like:

  • Minimum wage
  • Antidiscrimination laws
  • Overtime
  • Employee rights
  • Health and safety regulations

Any mistakes in these areas could cause you to be out of compliance with industry regulations, exposing your organization to legal and financial risks. You can also use public data to look at how your organization measures up regarding Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Compliance in your hiring practices.

Collect public information regarding current workforce demographics, pay compensation, and representation to help recognize gaps within your organization. You can boost HR process improvement by taking proactive measures to ensure you provide everyone in your organization with equal opportunities. It’s also a chance to address current imbalances and ensure you follow EEO regulations.

Privacy regulations can impact how you collect information about employees or job applicants. You should have procedures in place for storing and handling information. Examples of laws you should stay updated on include the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCA).

Where Can You Access Public Web Data for HR Process Improvement?

Where Can You Access Public Web Data for HR Process Improvement?

Below are examples of public data check websites where you can locate information for HR process improvement.

1. Government sites

Many state and federal government agencies have public-facing websites that make a wide array of information and resources available. You can program web scraping robots to pull data from specific sections or go through portals containing:

  • Public records
  • Documents
  • Reports
  • Statistics
  • Laws
  • Regulations

Some government agencies have data sets already established for use in business analysis processes for topics like:

  • Health
  • Education
  • Demographics
  • Transportation

If you use government resources for HR process improvement, select the correct website. You want data from relevant portals and databases, which might require entering specific search phrases or filters.

You can find data from government agencies like the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. It’s an excellent resource for locating the average wage paid for specific job roles. You can use the data from this site to ensure you’re providing an accurate salary for an open company position, a common HR process improvement goal.

2. Social media

Automating data collection from social media can benefit your HR improvement processes and company brand while reducing recruitment costs. Social media has become an important element of company recruitment. Most internet users today have at least one online account, and tapping into social media is an excellent way to find candidates who might not be actively looking for a job.

3. Business and professional networking sites

Many workers use professional networking sites to connect with individuals in similar professions. It’s also a way to find those who share common interests. Networking sites open the candidate pool for HR recruiters, increasing the chances of finding an ideal candidate for a job opening.

The nature of business and professional networking sites makes it easier for HR professionals to drill down to a specific audience. They can find people who match a position’s skills, knowledge, and experience requirements, eliminating the need for hiring managers to go through all applications.

4. Public law and industry records

Businesses can find much information about laws and regulations affecting their industry. You can ensure that you follow various statutes regarding labor law, the benefits offered to workers, or how you recruit new employees.

Accessing Public Data for HR Process Improvement

Accessing Public Data for HR Process Improvement

If you want more public data quickly to assist in HR process improvements, web scraping technology is a great place to start. You can program automated scrapers to target proven, trusted, and public-facing websites. Many companies use them as a central resource in their analytic efforts, including for HR process improvement.

Web scraping involves using automation technology to scan websites and simulate how humans would perform a search. The scrapers can look for specific information based on a company’s needs.

You can use web scraping tools to perform data mining of aggregated and unformatted data. Once you collect the data, you can store it in a secure database for further analysis and review. When converted to the right format, it’s invaluable for your HR improvement processes.

How do data collection tools work?

Web scraping involves using automated bots to crawl through internet sites and collect data. The robots read the basic format of the site, typically HyperText Markup Language (HTML), then scan for information based on set parameters. Once the robots find the correct data, they deliver the information in a CSV or Excel format, making it more readable.

Data collection tools typically look for secondary data or publicly available information from external sources. If you’re looking for reviews about your company, you can program your data collection robots to target sites containing mentions of your business from current or former employees.

The sheer volume of information publicly available online makes data scraping tools the best option for many organizations. They’re less time- and labor-intensive than other information-gathering methods like data collection software, surveys, interviews, or case studies. So you get data immediately and can incorporate it into your HR process improvement policies quickly.

Data collection tools can perform the equivalent of multiple surveys at once without needing to talk to anyone. Organizations can pull large volumes of data from any public website and target a single source of information for different types of data. They’ll have full control over the parameters set.

Importance of data collection software

Web scrapers typically rely on proxies, a server that rests between a client and the website the client wants to access. Proxies generate IP addresses these web scraping robots can use to perform anonymous browsing. It’s a good way of accessing information that might be locked geographically, like websites available only in certain countries. You can also use proxies to launch multiple data collection processes using different identities.

Proxies are essential to web data collection in the following ways:

  • Web crawlers and scrapers can access websites reliably with a reduced chance of getting blocked
  • Organizations can make requests to a certain geographic region to access specific content
  • Companies can generate a larger volume of requests to a target site while avoiding a ban
  • Businesses can get around the blanket IP bans imposed by some websites
  • Companies can set up unlimited parallel sessions on one or more websites

Proxy services like those offered by Rayobyte help manage proxies used for web scraping projects that support HR process improvement efforts. You can use a simple setup or employ services that cycle through multiple IP addresses from a proxy pool to avoid bans, depending on:

  • How many requests your organization needs to make per hour
  • The websites you wish to target
  • The type of IPs you’re employing with your proxies

The length of proxy sessions varies depending on the type you employ and whether you’re rotating them regularly.

There are also a few challenges businesses may face when managing a proxy pool to support web scraping processes:

  • Identity bans: Proxy solutions need the ability to detect bans, making it possible to troubleshoot and fix issues like blocks, redirects, or captcha technology.
  • Retry errors: Proxies need the ability to retry a request using a different proxy if they encounter a ban, timeout, or error.
  • Geographical targeting: You need to be able to configure a pool when you want proxies to target specific websites.


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Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Data, particularly public data, has become critical to many business functions, including HR process improvement. You can use public data to help with recruitment and compliance, and it can support your efforts to bring in high-quality candidates for job openings. You can also improve your ability to retain valuable talent by identifying fair market compensation for potential employees.

Rayobyte provides many tools that can help you collect public data ethically and swiftly while avoiding bans and other access issues. Many businesses rely on our web scraping and proxy technology to support their mass data collection efforts. Contact Rayobyte anytime for questions about free trials and more.

The information contained within this article, including information posted by official staff, guest-submitted material, message board postings, or other third-party material is presented solely for the purposes of education and furtherance of the knowledge of the reader. All trademarks used in this publication are hereby acknowledged as the property of their respective owners.

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