Digital Recruiting’s Future Is in First-Party Data

Employee recruiting began going digital a few years ago. Now that it has all but embraced the digital transformation, it is up to recruiters to figure out how to manipulate this new environment to its advantage. Meanwhile, they also need to deal with the fact that the third-party cookie is going away. That makes first-party data critically important.

Discussing first- and third-party data is not the stuff of interesting conversations in the recruiting world. But such discussions are necessary, especially in highly competitive markets like healthcare. HR departments and recruiting agencies cannot afford to mess around with data that doesn’t improve results. They need to find the best possible data, learn how to use it, and then track their return on investment (ROI).

Loss of the third-party cookie is only going to make things more difficult among recruiters who do not have access to first-party data. Without first-party healthcare datasets, they will be left to glean their information from marketers relying on contextual targeting.

Cookies and Personal Targeting

Third-party cookies are downloaded to devices whenever people visit websites. As small snippets of software code, these cookies follow people around online. They collect data and send it back to third parties – usually companies that sell the data to marketers. With third-party cookies, marketers can target people with an incredible amount of detail.

In marketing and recruiting, this is known as personal targeting. Healthcare recruiters have benefited from this sort of targeting by having access to incredibly detailed information on doctors, nurses, etc. But with the third-party cookie slated to be extinct within the next year or so, that data will no longer be available.

For marketers, it is not the end of the world. They are already developing contextual marketing strategies the target people based on whatever they happen to be doing online at any given moment. If you are vising a site dedicated to cats and dogs, for example, contextual marketing would probably have you looking at ads for pet stores.

Unfortunately, contextual targeting offers very little benefit to recruiters. Knowing that candidate visited a particular healthcare job board doesn’t help the recruiter target them any more effectively. The recruiter already knows the candidate is looking for a healthcare job. So what do recruiters do without the data generated by third-party cookies?

Access First-Party Datasets

The obvious solution is to access first-party data sets. iMedical Data is a company that specializes in gathering and compiling healthcare databases for marketers, recruiters, and providers. They describe first-party datasets as those populated by data provided by subjects themselves.

For example, when a healthcare job seeker signs up for a weekly newsletter from a big job board, they are voluntarily entering vital information including name, email address, phone number, and the like. By requesting that newsletter, the candidate is actively opting in to the database into which their data is going.

iMedical Data says the big advantage here is accuracy. Recruiters do not have to rely on third-party data that may have come from any number of unreliable sources. Their first-party data comes from the subjects themselves.

A Better Way

Making the argument that utilizing first-party data is a better way seems like a no-brainer. Why rely on third-party information when you can get exactly what you need right from the proverbial horse’s mouth? Anyone who would choose third-party data over its first-party counterpart would need to have very good reasons for doing so. At the end of the day, first-party data is superior bit-for-bit. It is also the future of digital recruiting – especially in the healthcare sector.