What Big Data Analytics Could Tell You About Your Workforce

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What if you could predict how many years an employee was likely to stay at your company based solely on their Facebook page? It sounds like science fiction, but in a few short years it may be an integral part of hiring. Big data analytics is the newest technology which is being used to predict employee’s workplace performance and work style. At its core, big data works by exploring the statistical relationships in vast data sets which are far too unwieldly to be explored via traditional means, such as the vast amount of content which social media users produce.

Every day, nearly 500 million tweets are sent, and more than 300 million photos are uploaded to Facebook. And this data is being used to great effect to discover some pretty interesting correlations. For example, income can be predicted relatively accurately based on the number of swearwords a person uses on Twitter. Further, by looking at the type of language used in Facebook posts it’s possible to predict personality traits like openness and extraversion.

Some recruiters are already using social media to screen candidates. Fifty-five percent have reconsidered a candidate based on their social media profile, with 61% of those evaluations being negative. But social media red flags aren’t simply limited to candidates doing overtly unwise things like badmouthing their boss or posting pictures of themselves using drugs. Things as small as spelling and grammar mistakes or voicing political opinions are enough to turn some recruiters off.

But employees have become savvy to these techniques as well, with it not being unheard of for candidates to carefully screen the content which they allow on their Facebook wall, or even set up dummy Facebook accounts in an attempt to fool their prospective employers into thinking they work 80 hours a week and never observe public holidays.

While these social media scans are only occurring on a small scale for now, and are largely limited to simply looking at a candidate’s profile, it likely won’t be long before organizations start to employ large scale data-mining operations and specialized software in an attempt to find the best candidates. It might not be too far in the future when one can simply take a list of CV’s, search for ‘extraversion,’ and have each and every candidate ranked according to the things they’ve said and done on Facebook.

Big data analytics is still a burgeoning technology, but we’ll likely see its commercial use blossoming and becoming ubiquitous over the next couple of years. And while it’s unlikely we’ll see a future where interviews no longer exist at all and all employees are hired by data trawling their Facebook page, big data is certainly set to make a big impact on the way which we do recruiting.

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How You Could Have Avoided that One Hire You Regret

sleep2You know the one I’m talking about. The candidate who had a resume which was the recruitment equivalent of Mona Lisa. But as soon as they started, you realised they couldn’t even spell team – let alone participate in one.

These are the hires who avoid work like the plague, are rude to their colleagues and managers, and have emotional outbursts whenever you confront them about it. In short, they’re a black hole of productivity and end up wasting immeasurable management hours simply through trying to prevent them from negatively influencing others’ work.

It’s not an easy situation to deal with, and while it might be too late to avoid those bad hires who are already in your company, there is a way to avoid them in the future: screen candidates using a personality assessment.

Personality is of utmost importance in the workplace, and we now know enough about it to have a pretty good idea of how it influences behavior. Here are just a few of the maladaptive behaviors that crop up time and again in those regrettable hires, and how you could have weeded them out before they had a chance to take root in your company:

* Poor planning: Have you ever had to get a file from a bad hire, have them spend half an hour trawling through windows to find it, only for them to realise that they’d printed it out and deleted the soft copy? Then you’re probably dealing with someone who is low on conscientiousness. Conscientiousness predicts the tendency to plan and have self-discipline, and is absolutely critical. In fact, the research shows that conscientiousness is the number one predictor of job performance.

  • Arrogance: There are an abundance of personality traits which predict arrogance, and key among them is narcissism. Narcissists are out for glory, and they’ll step on anyone who stands in their way to get it. But personality tests have long been able to predict narcissistic tendencies. Ever seen a question which asks ‘Do you always excel at what you do?’ That’s not testing for ability, it’s looking for narcissism. And it stands out from a mile away in a personality test.
  • Poor company fit: Admittedly, the candidates who are simply unequivocally terrible at their job are relatively uncommon. Far more likely to appear are candidates who are adequate at their job – but never quite manage to excel because they don’t fit in with the company or their workmates. Personality testing is able to help you design a team who you can be sure will work well with one another to achieve success.
  • Hostility to others: Some people are better team players than others, and the degree to which the ability to work in teams is important will vary from role to role. However, employees who are overtly hostile to their peers are going to cause irreparable damage to your productivity and brand. A particularly terrible employee may even be abrasive enough that they cause other excellent employees to seek a new job. Fortunately, these maladaptive personality behaviors can be predicted, and traits such as agreeableness can detect how well a candidate will work in a team.

Many of these behaviors will not become apparent until after the interview, or even appear a few weeks or months into the job. While a thorough interview process can weed out some of these personality traits, themost scientifically objective and proven way to detect them is via personality tests. Applicants can exaggerate or outright fabricate their achievements, work ethic, and behavioral

tendencies on their CV and in an interview, but they can’t do it on a test which is specifically designed to detect mistruths. By measuring personality, you can get a good idea of how candidates are going to behave before they even step through your door.

¬What big data analytics could tell you about your workforce

What if you could predict how many years an employee was likely to stay at your company based solely on their Facebook page? It sounds like science fiction, but in a few short years it may be an integral part of hiring. Big data analytics is the newest technology which is being used to predict employee’s workplace performance and work style. At its core, big data works by exploring the statistical relationships in vast data sets which are far too unwieldly to be explored via traditional means, such as the vast amount of content which social media users produce.

Every day, nearly 500 million tweets are sent, and more than 300 million photos are uploaded to Facebook. And this data is being used to great effect to discover some pretty interesting correlations. For example, income can be predicted relatively accurately based on the number of swearwords a person uses on Twitter. Further, by looking at the type of language used in Facebook posts it’s possible to predict personality traits like openness and extraversion.

Some recruiters are already using social media to screen candidates. Fifty-five percent have reconsidered a candidate based on their social media profile, with 61% of those evaluations being negative. But social media red flags aren’t simply limited to candidates doing overtly unwise things like badmouthing their boss or posting pictures of themselves using drugs. Things as small as spelling and grammar mistakes or voicing political opinions are enough to turn some recruiters off.

But employees have become savvy to these techniques as well, with it not being unheard of for candidates to carefully screen the content which they allow on their Facebook wall, or even set up dummy Facebook accounts in an attempt to fool their prospective employers into thinking they work 80 hours a week and never observe public holidays.

While these social media scans are only occurring on a small scale for now, and are largely limited to simply looking at a candidate’s profile, it likely won’t be long before organizations start to employ large scale data-mining operations and specialized software in an attempt to find the best candidates. It might not be too far in the future when one can simply take a list of CV’s, search for ‘extraversion,’ and have each and every candidate ranked according to the things they’ve said and done on Facebook.

Big data analytics is still a burgeoning technology, but we’ll likely see its commercial use blossoming and becoming ubiquitous over the next couple of years. And while it’s unlikely we’ll see a future where interviews no longer exist at all and all employees are hired by data trawling their Facebook page, big data is certainly set to make a big impact on the way which we do recruiting.

Are You Building Your Employment Brand Through Customised Assessment?

Talegent’s drive to bring the latest recruitment innovations to our clients recently brought us to the Philippines, and we are pleased to bring back some fascinating insights on the direction assessment is going to head in the future. Competency based assessment is an already proven means of predicting employee potential, and is so effective that over 80% of fortune 500 companies are implementing it. But we are increasingly seeing that the companies who are able to truly excel in the employment sphere are those who take competency based assessment one step further.

  1. Role customisation is key: While general mental ability and personality are by far the best predictors of general job performance, it’s possible to achieve unsurpassed levels of accuracy by combining this with other measures. In practice, this means finding the competencies which match the job roles. For example, competencies like business acumen and drive for results can predict graduate workplace performance with an incredible degree of accuracy when combined with mental ability and personality.
  2. Employer branding matters: Marketing and promotion of your brand is no longer simply in the hands of the marketing department, but must become an integrated whole, and this includes assessment branding. The top candidates will remember and gravitate towards the companies who had assessment tools which matched their corporate values and objectives. Recruitment branding is such a powerful tool that 80% of those who were interviewed and rejected at Google would still recommend that a friend apply to work there.
  3. Building your brand by building engagement: The competitive nature of hiring has meant that engaging with candidates has become critical, but this can become a challenge when they have potentially gone through a similar employment process with other companies. They key to overcoming this is by designing your recruitment process to maximise candidate engagement. Branding is one component of this, but introducing engaging assessment tools such as simulation can be the difference between you hiring a star player, and having them work for a competitor.

Excelling in recruitment can sometimes seem like an impossible task, but by implementing innovative new hiring techniques it’s possible to keep ahead of the pack and keep your candidates talking about you – regardless of whether they were hired. Recruitment engagement and customisation are the inevitable future, but will you be there when the future arrives?

What are your bad sales people costing you?

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Good sales representatives bring in revenue. But bad sales people can end up costing you big. The DePaul University’s Sales Effectiveness Survey shows the pervasiveness of the problems of bad hiring, and how much it can cost companies. First of all, employee turnover is a huge issue for sales reps, and the data is showing that it’s a problem that has only been growing in size, with the average rate of turnover across all sectors being 28%. The data shows average cost of turnover for a sales representative is $114,957, if you have a team of 10 sales people, and 3 of them leave the company, you’re going to be footing the bill of $350,000 in wasted training.
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What’s more, each of these bad employees is potentially going to be costing hundreds of thousands in lost sales, not to mention the irreparable damage they could be doing to your reputation.

Why waste your valuable time interviewing, hiring, and training dead-end candidates, when you can spent it developing the best-of-the-best?

So how do the best sales companies ensure that they only hire the best people? By being able to identify the top performers before they hire them. Pre-employment testing is nothing new, but it is only via recent developments in technology that we have been able to leverage data to predict candidate potential with unsurpassed accuracy.

Competency based assessment combines measures of personality and intellect to predict workplace performance, and the data is showing that it works! In one major Australasian insurance company we managed to reduce turnover by 30-40% per year. In the same company we also found that sales representatives who scored highly on customer focus were converting 1.5 times as many calls to sales as those who scored in the low range. And now, Talegent is making talent assessment easier to access than ever, Talegent’s state-of-the-art Empower platform has been built from the ground up to make sure that you only hire the best, and avoid the costs that come from hiring the wrong employee. So why waste your valuable time interviewing, hiring, and training dead-end candidates, when you can spend it developing the best-of-the-best.

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Talent measurement is allowing companies to hire the best sales representatives, and now it’s easier to access than ever – Empower is easy-to-use, has no contracts or minimum usage volume, and you can pay by credit card as you go. Register http://talegent.com/empower/lism1 for Empower today, and you’ll receive 50 points, valued at over $350, so you can start employing the best representatives in the business.

Employee Power! The Changing Face of Recruitment in the Digital Age

asdasdIt’s becoming increasingly obvious to me and my colleagues in the industry of talent recruitment that the traditional human resources process is becoming less relevant – the practices are not keeping pace with the reality in the digital age. Perhaps unsurprisingly, these poor practices extend to the hiring process. In the past, it hasn’t been uncommon for potential candidates to be treated akin to cattle. To illustrate the extent of this phenomenon, I will repeat an oft-quoted statistic – each potential hirees’ CV is looked at for about seven seconds. I don’t think that any person in their right mind would suggest that this is enough time to evaluate a person’s workplace effectiveness.

These attitudes may stem from the industrial revolution, the invention of the assembly line meant the creation of tens of thousands of low skilled jobs. New machines were being invented, and workers were essentially glorified cogs in these machines, performing the same repetitious and inane tasks day in day out. This model of employee treatment has persisted to a greater or lesser degree for more than 150 years. However, the information revolution has seen sweeping changes to this long-standing status quo. There has been a massive increase in the demand for highly skilled (and more importantly talented) workers, and the reality is that there simply aren’t enough workers to meet the demand. This has created a massive shift in power in the HR space. In short, it is now an employee’s market, and organisations will have to actively compete to snatch up the top talent before their competitors do.

So how can you be proactive in your search for the best employees. Of course there are many methods to do this – talent scouting is one traditional way to do this, while in-depth interviews with every candidate are another. But there are two obvious problems here. First – they’re time consuming, and second – they’re prohibitively expensive. While you can’t put a price on good talent, I have spent my career looking for ways to find the best candidates in a way that’s fast and cheap – and I believe I’ve perfected it at Talegent. Talent assessment allows you to screen candidates rapidly, and more importantly accurately, thus saving your HR department time and money. To illustrate, let me quote another statistic (I swear this will be the last). CV’s are about 8% predictive of an employees workplace performance, Talegent’s software on the other hand is 40% predictive – five times better. When you come down to brass tacks, a CV is an excellent tool for seeing how good employees are at writing CV’s, but not much else.

We live in a changing age, we no longer have to rely on vague and unscientific metrics to measure employee ability. It is now possible to quantify everything from a candidates emotional intelligence to their tendency towards workplace safety. So why would you settle for anything less?

I want you!: 3 things you can do to become a great recruiter

asdasdWe all know that old poster of Uncle Sam pointing at the reader, exclaiming how they’re needed for the war effort. In fact, it’s probably one of the most famous recruitment posters of all time. But could you imagine your company using this as its recruitment strategy? Probably not. Today’s organisations need to rely on far more sophisticated methods to attract and retain the best talent. Arguably one of the best ways to do this is to have top minds seek you out, rather than the other way round. Mark Berry recently produced an amazingly in-depth article on what the best recruiters do, so I thought I’d take what he learnt, and use it to show you how talent assessment can make you the recruiter that candidates will be fighting over to get the nod:

  • Coaching: The recruiters who are going to be remembered are the ones who can provide a service to their candidates, and coaching will make candidates feel as if they’re improving themselves throughout the job hunt. Fortunately, talent analytics is one of the most effective means of doing this. Talent assessment allows you to produce bespoke reports on each individual candidate’s personality and abilities, and use this to show candidates exactly where they can improve. Although this occasionally reveals some harsh truths, in my experience most people appreciate the chance to improve themselves and become a more viable candidate in the future, even if they don’t get the job.
  • Knowing your candidates: Berry suggests that the best recruiters make an effort to get to know their candidates. Taking the time to read over their CV or check their Linkedin profile is one way to do this, but this will only give a superficial history. Really, what can two hundred words about a person’s previous employers, hobbies, and school really say about them? Instead, a far more effective means is to use talent assessment to gain a complete personality profile. Knowing how outgoing, conscientious, and driven a candidate is will tell you how they’ll work, and how well they’ll fit into your company culture.
  • Show that you are invested in each candidate: Candidates appreciate you making them feel like they’re not just chaff to be separated from the wheat. One way to do this is simply by making a phone call, but this isn’t by any means the only way to make candidates feel valued. Having an in-depth, enjoyable candidate assessment experience will make them feel as if they’re respected throughout the recruitment process.

By treating your candidates well, you’re going to position yourself to be the best in the business. And even if they don’t become hirees, you can never forget that today’s candidates may just be tomorrow’s clients. With just minor changes to your recruitment structure you might find the top talent lining up outside your doors with posters exclaiming ‘I want you… To be my employer!’