Hiring As Science, Thanks To Big Data

The extraordinary amounts of information available on individuals has led to a new discipline that one expert says represents the future of human resources management.

What's the Latest Development?

In an era where every digital interaction leaves a mark, companies are better prepared than ever to hire and promote the best people, thanks to a new discipline called work-force science. The massive amounts of worker data gathered annually by recruiting company Kenexa were a big factor in their being acquired by IBM last December, and Google has conducted extensive surveys of its workers since 2007, using that information to improve their workplace in a variety of ways. Vice president Prased Setty says, "Our people decisions are no less important than our product decisions. And we’re trying to apply the same rigor to the people side as to the engineering side."

What's the Big Idea?

Work-force science provides deeper and more varied insights into employee performance through relatively inexpensive mining and analyses, making human resource decisions like hiring "more of a science and less subjective," according to Neil Rae of customer service call-center operator Transcom. Using data analysis technology, his company was able to make a link between certain personality traits -- as measured on a candidate survey -- and rates of attrition. The resulting changes in hiring should translate to better customer service and reduced training costs, says Rae.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

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