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Using big data for hiring in the workplace ...

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Recruiting is about to get moneyball'd.  According to the article, these are the new metrics.

What employers are looking for today Adaptability "Every HR person I talk to says that your passion and drive overcomes educational background and ability except for one thing," Bersin told Business Insider.

The one innate quality that is absolutely necessary for every job is "learning agility." That's the ability to pick things up quickly, to learn on the job, and to take initiative.

Over and over again, the people who perform best are the ones who don't need to be told what to do, the ones that love challenges, seek information on their own, and quickly adapt.

People who follow instructions are mostly substitutable. Those who can be thrown into a new situation and thrive are truly valuable. 

Resilience Stereotypes about certain jobs are often proved false when you look at the data.

"Most people believe that a good salesperson has to be an outgoing personality, has to be really friendly and good with relationships," Kenexa CMO Tim Geisert says. "Part of that's true, but what we've found in our data is that there's actually a trait that's hidden that predicts more success than any of those other more overt traits and that's called emotional courage."

It's being resilient, being able to hear "no" again and again and keep going.

Social and emotional intelligence Raw analytic power isn't everything. And the need to work well with others isn't just needed for those in customer service.

Knack has found that one of the major things that correlates with success across just about any job is social intelligence.

"One way to think about it is that everything we do, and try to achieve inside organizations, requires interactions with others," CEO Guy Halfteck says. "Whether you're an innovator, a physician, a teacher, a retailer, or a salesperson, your social abilities, being able to intelligently manage the social landscape, intelligently respond to other people, read the social situation and reason with social savviness — this turns out to differentiate between people who do better and people who don't do as well."

If you come up with an innovative idea, it likely won't go anywhere if you can't convince anybody. It's not just about creativity.

Knack measures aspects of social intelligence, with, among other things, a game called "Wasabi Waiter" where job applicants play as a server and are measured on how well they read social and emotional signals.

A diverse background One of the most difficult jobs to fill for oil companies are production roles — the ones where people spend years out in the field, often living in the desert.

When one oil company looked at the data for who stuck these jobs out and succeeded, they found surprising results, Josh Bersin says.

The company started out the traditional way, looking for people with petroleum degrees, good academic credentials, and so on. But when they looked at the data, that didn't predict success.

"The head of recruiting found out that the people who were surviving in these jobs — and these are jobs where the turnover rate was very very high — were mostly people who had come from families that had multicultural parents, parents that had international experience," Bersin says. "They grew up in a climate with lots of different types of people around, which wouldn't necessarily be true depending on your college."

Another interesting find? The most successful people had played sports in college too.

Friendliness One theater chain that Josh Bersin worked with found a surprising amount of variation in concession sales from theater to theater. When they tried to track down the cause, they found that employees were happier at the high-grossing theaters, and that customers were more satisfied.

Naturally, they tried to boost that in all of their stores by training everybody in better service, but six to nine months of training didn't produce results. It wasn't the training, it was the people, the head of HR discovered.

"There are people who are wired to be in customers service; they like it, they like people. There are others who aren't," Bersin says.

The company's hiring practices were based on the usual: grades and credentials and degrees. They tweaked their screening criteria and pre-hire assessment to focus on whether people had happy personalities, enjoyed being around people, and liked serving others. The return on that investment was in the millions of dollars.

Raw processing power At the end of the day, how sharp you are still matters. And so does how fundamentally diligent and careful you are — whether you always want to do a thing well.

Through the many games Guy Halfteck and his team have put together, those have been two of the constants.

"We know certain things about the world. We know that across the entire set of jobs that people can engage in, it's general intelligence that's your processing power and conscientiousness. That you do the right thing and care and plan ahead — those things — and to do the right thing," Halfteck says. "These are independent of motivation. Those two aspects of a person are very predictive of performance across any type of job."

Increasingly, a high score in baseline attributes like these will mean more and more as companies look for raw potential.

A professional presence With more data and more tools available, more employers are looking for what's known as "passive" candidates, people that aren't actively job hunting, but might be perfect fits. There's an increasing possibility of getting approached for a better job, even if you aren't looking. 

But they have a harder time finding you if your professional presence online is sparse. Recruiters are increasingly interested in finding the best candidate based on data, skills, and qualification . That means the bar is higher, says LinkedIn's Dan Shapero.

"Since recruiters can now proactively find relevant candidates, they have more choices and can be more selective," Shapero says. "Rather than sifting through hundreds of irrelevant resumes, recruiter can selectively choose who to target and find best candidate for a job."

"As a result, recruiters now expect candidates to have a professional presence online that showcases their professional brand," Shapero adds. "It’s in candidates’ best interest to showcase their professional brands online because the majority of recruiters no longer post requesitions on job boards and pray that relevant candidates will apply. They’re using recruiting products to proactively search professional sites, like LinkedIn, to find the best and brightest."

In addition to third parties keeping an eye out, according to Shapero, companies like Cisco are using LinkedIn's platform for internal mobility, to identify high performers, identify what they're interested in, and helping advance their careers, which is helpful in retaining top talent. 

How LinkedIn inserted itself into everyone's candidate search is nothing short of brilliant.

So are we in an era of simultaneous high unemployment AND companies can't find enough people to hire? Sure does feel like that.

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