4 New Ways to Help Analyze Talent PoolsComments Off


If you’ve watched TV shows like “Criminal Minds,” you’ve seen FBI agents analyzing crime scenes, searching numerous government databases and interviewing both suspects and witnesses to solve a case.

With advances in technology and new streams of data available to employers on an almost daily basis, it doesn’t take an FBI profiler to figure out who would make the best candidate for a specific job opening. As we spend more and more time online and on our smart phones, we’re generating unprecedented amounts of data, leaving behind digital breadcrumbs that can be mined for talent identification purposes.

New analytics technologies are empowering HR leaders with the data and insights needed to help attract, hire, manage and retain the talent they need to drive business success. By combining internal data with behavioral analytics and other technologies, employers can better predict who would be the best fit for a particular role, and even gain insight into how to elicit that candidate’s best performance.

I recently attended a Harvard Business Review webinar that touched on some of the fascinating ways our digital footprints are being translated into talent scores that can help employers compare large pools of candidates worldwide.

These are some of the interesting points I took away on new methods used in identifying talent:

Mining Facebook “Likes” – According to research conducted jointly by Stanford University and the University of Cambridge, mining Facebook “Likes” using computer-generated algorithms may predict a person’s personality better than most of their friends and family. After analyzing the videos, articles, artists and other items a person “Liked”, the computer was more accurate in identifying psychological traits such as agreeableness and conscientiousness than in-person interactions. While social media analytics can be used to identify traits that may predict a candidate’s suitability for a job, it’s important to note that there are laws and regulations which may govern who should analyze an applicant’s social media profile and who should not.

Tapping internal Big Data – Another interesting concept is that critical benchmarks for talent and performance can be derived from existing organizational data. The premise is that by measuring everything people do at work you can infer how they will perform in the future. For example, an employer can map how groups interact and how ideas spread throughout the organization. The data collected can help identify the most suitable teams for certain projects, and which individuals are essential resources based on their strong connections with colleagues.

Applying gamification – When taking assessment tests, the user experience can be shortened or jazzed up by applying techniques from the video game industry. For example, companies like VisualDNA profile people using visual personality quizzes which reveal psychological traits such as openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. The quizzes couple questions with images of people doing things to trigger a rapid emotional reaction from a participants’ subconscious to reveal their personality makeup. Keep in mind that it is a best practice for employers to ensure that any tests/assessments applied within their workforce are job-related and do not expose protected characteristic data.

Employing digital profiling – Digital interview providers such as HireVue mine around 80 million data points from a 20-minute interview. The data is then linked to personality and performance analytics to infer relevant talent signals derived from the interview.

While some of these methods may sound a bit futuristic to HR professionals, the employment world is moving toward an environment where intuition and references are but starting points to profile job candidates. One day hiring talent may be as easy as finding the person in the closest proximity with the right skills for the job similar to Google Maps showing what businesses are nearby. In the meantime, employers should continue expanding their evaluation methods in their recruiting activities and, to stay competitive, they should embrace analytics to help better inform their talent management decisions.

This article was written by Amit Jain, Division Vice President, Strategy & Business Development of Major Account Services at ADP.


About Jason Buss

Talent HQ’s creator and editor is Recruiting & Diversity Leader, Jason Buss. Talent HQ is a premier online news and information channel for the Recruiting and Human Resources community.

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  • Posted on: Tuesday, December 15th, 2015