People Analytics vs. Traditional HR

People AnalyticsThe cost of employee turnover may be the greatest unbudgeted expense businesses can incur.  Steven Pearlstein, columnist for The Washington Post writes, “According to a survey conducted by Arlington-based Corporate Executive Board, nearly a quarter of all new hires leave within a year, while Gallup reports that half of those who do stay reported being “not engaged…”

The popular buzz in the world of HR is “people analytics” or the use of sophisticated metrics as predictors of successful hires.  It seems to work for Google.  Hospitals and nursing homes also find that this approach to hiring can reduce employee turnover in the first year by a dramatic 50 percent.

Does this mean that the old tried and tested interview protocols are dead?  We are typically guilty of hiring people to whom we’re attracted, people like ourselves.  Do we no longer trust our “gut” feeling on new hires?  Does this impersonalize the “family” feel of a family business? Interested in learning more?  Check out Wharton’s People Analytics Conference scheduled for next spring.

Meanwhile, be careful not to cultivate a culture of “group think.”  Don’t give up on your instincts.  And think more about diversity of personality and style rather than metrics.  That’s what nurtures creativity.

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