How To Use Public Web Data For HR Process Improvement

Scraping Robot
September 27, 2023

In today’s business landscape, human resources (HR) operations’ priorities have shifted to accommodate new workplace structures, including remote work models and hybrid ones that allow employees to choose which work model suits them best. Whether your office has completely returned to in-person work, is remote, or has shifted to a hybrid model, you need new HR process improvement ideas to remain competitive.

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One of the best ways to improve your HR processes is to leverage public web data and public data check websites. What is public data, though, and how does it relate to your HR team? Public web data is information that is available to everyone on the internet, such as background information on public social media profiles and competitor trends on private sector pages. You can perform a public data check on websites to learn more about potential candidates, improve your workplace culture, and more.

Here are some ideas on how to use public web data to benefit your team, including some HR process improvement examples to help you get started.

HR Process Improvement Tip 1: Streamline Candidate Screening

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Hiring the right team members is a key facet of HR process improvement. If hiring is too costly and time-consuming, you may lose the motivation and the ability to hire talent who can give your company a competitive edge.

Luckily, web scraping bots or web scraping application programming interfaces (APIs) can gather data on potential candidates from various social media platforms, job boards, and professional networking sites.

Web scraping bots are software programs that automatically extract data from websites. They mimic human user actions by going to web pages, spotting the required information, and removing and arranging the data in a structured manner, such as in a database or spreadsheet.

Like web scraping bots, web scraping APIs empower users to pull data from web pages. However, users can only use them to extract the data from certain parts of a site or database, such as a database containing stock market data. For example, many social media and finance websites provide APIs, which you can use to gather information for analysis.

Both of these technologies empower you to reduce time-to-hire. To get started, just create a list of education, skills, interests, requirements, and other traits for ideal hires. Your web scraping API or robot will use these keywords to locate suitable leads. Your HR process improvement team can then start reaching out to people online.

Ways To Improve HR Processes 2: Establish Competitive Salary and Benefits Benchmarks

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The best talent isn’t willing to settle for the bare minimum — they want to work for companies with world-class salaries and benefits. As such, you must establish competitive salary and benefits benchmarks to attract cutting-edge talent.

You can do this by using web scraping robots and APIs to gather salary data from public web data sources, such as competitor websites and job listings. That way, your HR process improvement team can create more accurate salary benchmarks for different industries and roles.

To illustrate, suppose you discover your competitors offer salaries in the $65,000 to $70,000 range for mid-level Python programmers. 70% of your competitors also offer tuition reimbursement and a hybrid work model as benefits. To remain competitive, you may want to provide similar salaries and benefits for your mid-level Python programmer positions.

How To Improve HR Processes 3: Ensure Compliance with Intellectual Property and Data Privacy Concerns

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You may be wondering, “Is a public data check legit or ethical?” Not always. Intellectual property and data privacy concerns can arise when scraping for HR process improvements.

To respect others’ rights and maintain your company’s reputation, inspect sites’ robots.txt file before scraping. Robots.txt is a text file created by webmasters to tell web scraping robots which webpages they can access or not and how they can scrape or access information on each webpage. To access a site’s robots.txt, type in the site’s root domain and add /robots.txt to the end of the URL. For example, Scraping Robot’s robots.txt file is located at You can then read and follow the webmaster’s rules for scraping.

Consider hiring a data privacy lawyer to learn more about the dos and don’ts of web scraping.

HR Department Improvement Plan Tip 4: Write Better Job Descriptions

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Job postings’ writing style and content can significantly affect your ability to attract candidates. If you don’t include certain keywords or industry lingo, your post may not show up on prospective candidates’ radars as they search for work.

For example, if you’re hiring a Java software developer with a deep understanding of the back-end but don’t specify what back-end frameworks hires should know, your job post may fail to attract the candidates you want. Similarly, if you’re hiring a developer who is familiar with the Scrum project development methodology, you should use Scrum keywords and terms in your job description, such as “Scrum master” and “daily standup.”

To better understand how to write job descriptions in your industry for HR process improvement, you can use web scraping robots and APIs to scrape and analyze public data such as other job postings from companies in your industry. You can then use the insights from your analysis to optimize or write job descriptions that attract candidates with the required skills and qualifications.

HR Process Improvement Idea 5: Gain Insights Into Competitor Company Culture

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Establishing a well-defined company culture — the set of beliefs, values, and behaviors that define an organization — is vital to HR process improvement. It’s key to your company’s public image, employee morale, and ability to attract new talent. It unites people in shared purpose and beliefs, reinforces positive behaviors, and motivates performance.

Using web scraping bots and APIs to extract public HR data about industry values and expectations can help you understand your competitors’ cultures. You can then benchmark your own organization’s approaches against the results.

For example, suppose you own a software development company and you’re extracting public web data insights about your competitors and industry. Through web scraping bots and APIs, you discover that your top competitors use certain keywords like collaboration, customer-centric, innovation, work-life balance, and diversity. After comparing your company’s culture against these results, you discover that your company barely mentions “work-life balance” in its documents, sites, and policies. You can then take steps to improve your company’s commitment to a work-life balance, such as encouraging staff to take time off or starting a company culture committee.

HR Data Tip 6: Perform Talent Market Research

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You can also scrape public web data, such as competitors’ websites and company reviews, to familiarize yourself with the current HR talent landscape. Then, you can spot trends in the labor market, such as skill surpluses or shortages, changes in candidate preferences, and new job roles. HR process improvement teams can use this information to tailor their recruitment strategies and, ultimately, attract suitable talent more effectively and efficiently.

Familiarity with the talent landscape enables companies to stay ahead of competitors by adopting the best hiring processes and offering competitive compensation packages. For example, if scraping public web data reveals that your top competitors are using a new award-winning human resources software, you may consider adopting the same system or another software solution with similar features.

HR Data Scraping Tip 7: Identify Relevant Certifications and Courses for Employee Development

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HR teams have found it increasingly challenging to quickly locate and develop talent with in-demand skills due to rapidly evolving industry and company needs. According to Gartner TalentNeuron data, the total number of skills needed for a single job has increased by 10% every year since 2017. Additionally, a third of all skills mentioned within IT, sales, and finance job postings have become obsolete over the last six years.

Accordingly, you should scrape data from sources such as competitors’ job postings and staff member bios. Then, you can identify relevant certifications and courses for employee development and continuous improvement in HR. This allows you to bridge talent gaps and save costs. Instead of hiring new talent, you can just reskill your existing employees to take on new roles. You can also enroll employees in upskilling courses or boot camps.

HR Improvement Tip 8: Discover New Ways To Improve the Employee Experience

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The employee experience encapsulates workers’ interactions with and feelings about your company’s policies, team members, physical and virtual workspaces, and systems. Positive employee experiences can bolster a company’s reputation and performance. Specifically, you’re likely to see higher staff engagement and retention, happier and more efficient employees, lower turnover costs, higher quality products, and increased customer satisfaction.

Analyzing feedback forums and reviews of competitor companies can give you ideas for improving the employee experience. For example, suppose your competitors with high ratings on job sites use employee self-service platforms for payroll and benefits. To stay competitive, you may also want to consider integrating an employee self-service solution into your systems.

You may discover many other HR department improvement plans to improve the employee experience. For example, you might see that other companies have designed interactive and empathetic onboarding experiences to make a great first impression on employees. This might inspire you to implement a user-friendly peer recognition platform to build team spirit. Or, you might add attractive employee wellness initiatives to boost employees’ mental and physical health, such as free gym subscriptions and spa days.

Final Thoughts

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Scraping and analyzing public web data can inspire a number of HR process improvements, such as streamlining candidate screening and establishing competitive salary and benefits benchmarks. However, the scraping process can be time-consuming and frustrating, especially if you’re not a coder.

Fortunately, Scraping Robot is here to help. We provide code-free web scraping robots and APIs that remove all the barriers that come with scraping, such as looking for new anti-scraping updates, server management, and CAPTCHA solving. As a result, you’ll have more time and energy to focus on getting valuable metadata for your company.

Interested in trying Scraping Robot for your HR process improvement needs? Join Scraping Robot today to get 5,000 free scrapes.

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