Predictive analytics in HR – smarter recruitment (Part 3 of 8)

by Dec 11, 2013Blog0 comments

Predictive analytics in HR – smarter recruitment (Article 3 in this series of 8)

Predictive analytics is often associated with the big trends – looking at what recruits you will need over the whole business. But it can also be helpful at the other end of the scale of recruitment activity, in identifying the single best candidate for an individual job.

Moving beyond past performance

As the warnings say on investment adverts, past performance is no guarantee of future success. Yet past performance is all that we work off when choosing whom to recruit. How did they perform in their exams? How well did they do in their last role? How long did they stay there, and why?

Predictive analytics lets us move beyond that, by first looking at the bigger picture and then zooming back in on the individual.

By analyzing the details of all the staff working in different roles, their performance, past history, qualifications and personality profile, predictive analytics can work out what sort of person will work successfully in which roles, based not just on their CV but on their whole personality. This insight can then be applied to applicants for jobs, comparing them with this profile or running their data through the analytics to predict how they will perform.

This is as valuable for internal promotions as it is for external recruitment. The best performer in middle management may not be the best candidate for senior level. But predictive analytics will pick out traits you can look for instead.

Getting personal

The markers for future success aren’t always what we expect. By taking into account both obvious and less obvious sets of data about candidates, predictive analysis can support recruitment on more rigorous and relevant criteria than is traditionally the case. The analytics will predict future performance, rather than forcing reliance on the past. And it is becoming easier.

We all put growing amounts of data about ourselves and our lives out into the world, whether we mean to or not. It’s the price we pay for living in the information age that we leave an electronic trail wherever we go.

As employers, this can become incredibly useful. The pace of development in data aggregation and integration will soon make it possible to pull together vast amounts of information about potential employees. A company with the resources to carry out data mining activities on applicants will be able to put far more into their predictive analytics, and get real insight into the candidates. Someone’s CV might not tell you that they have a bright future in sales, when their whole personality could.

The value of predictive analytics is highlighted by looking at two cases, at the extreme ends of the recruitment range.

Case one – the new graduate

When recruiting new graduates we face the challenge of a blank slate. They have little experience to judge performance off. Using analytics to predict where they are headed and how well they will fit with your company allows better recruitment of staff in an area previously dominated by luck.

Case two – the CEO

Recruiting an CEO is a costly process with huge repercussions for future success. Yet two out of every five newly recruited CEOs fail within 18 months of taking the job. Clearly current recruitment methods are not working well enough in this area. By predicting future performance, predictive analytics could save on huge and costly recruitment mistakes.

But predictive analytics isn’t just about recruitment. It can also be useful in other areas of HR, and that’s what we’ll look at next.

– Mark Lukens

Links or other articles in this series:

Article 1: Predictive analytics – looking to the future in recruitment
Article 2: Predictive analytics in HR – looking at the big picture
Article 3: Predictive analytics in HR – smarter recruitment
Article 4: Predictive analytics in HR – training and development
Article 5: Predictive analytics in HR – retention
Article 6: Predictive analytics in HR – getting it right
Article 7: Predictive analytics in HR – barriers to deployment
Article 8: Predictive analytics in HR – the future

Mark Lukens, MBA

Mark Lukens, MBA

Founding Partner at Capatus
Mark Lukens is a founding partner at Capatus and located in the New York office. He leads the Capatus’ Global Talent and Advisory practice. He is also an expert in the firm’s research and nonprofit practice. Lukens has more than 20 years of c-level executive and consulting experience delivering strategies and transformational programs to firms ranging from start-up to Fortune 50. He has worked with clients in Europe, North America, South America, and Asia. Lukens worked extensively in various product and service categories including health care, life sciences, government, nonprofit, technology, and professional services. He also advises clients in other industries including commercial and industrial, retail, logistics and transportation, media and more. Lukens serves on several Nonprofit Boards and is a professor at the State University of New York where he teaches in the School of Business and Economics with a focus on marketing, international management, entrepreneurship, HR, and organizational behavior to name a few. Lukens has a technical background as a MCSE and earned an MBA from Eastern University.
Mark Lukens, MBA


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