Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

What happens when Big Data meets human resources

The Atlantic has a fascinating cover story (They're Watching You at Work) on the way companies are now applying analytics to the recruiting and hiring process.  Think of it like Moneyball meets talent management.  (And while not mentioned in the article, this is the type of work focused on by Kenexa.  You can learn more about the solutions they are offering here.)

Why is this going to be such a big deal?

The application of predictive analytics to people’s careers—an emerging field sometimes called “people analytics”—is enormously challenging, not to mention ethically fraught. And it can’t help but feel a little creepy. It requires the creation of a vastly larger box score of human performance than one would ever encounter in the sports pages, or that has ever been dreamed up before. To some degree, the endeavor touches on the deepest of human mysteries: how we grow, whether we flourish, what we become. Most companies are just beginning to explore the possibilities. But make no mistake: during the next five to 10 years, new models will be created, and new experiments run, on a very large scale. Will this be a good development or a bad one—for the economy, for the shapes of our careers, for our spirit and self-worth? Earlier this year, I decided to find out.

While I highly recommend reading through the whole article for the way video games can predict who will be successful at a company and for descriptions of businesses that are using this today to recruit and hire everything from call center staffers to coders, for those of you in the tl;dr camp, here's The Atlantic's Don Peck discussing his story on MSNBC's Morning Joe.

Full article:  They're Watching You at Work
Kenexa:  Solutions for a Smarter Workforce