If algorithms are used for everything from finding missing pets to battling drought, why shouldn't they also be used to determine someone's character? That's the question posed by several startups leaning on data analytics to develop formulas that effectively judge people in various capacities in ways that are - theoretically at least - less biased than a human.
"We all have biases about how we hire and promote," Dan Beck, head of technology strategy at Workday told The New York Times in a story on the trend. “If you can leverage data to overcome that, great.”
As the Times describes, Workday, creator of cloud-based personnel software, has a new product that "looks at 45 employee performance factors, including how long a person has held a position and how well the person has done. It predicts whether a person is likely to quit and suggests appropriate things, like a new job or a transfer, that could make this kind of person stay."
The idea is that by looking at data surrounding a large sector of the existing workforce and analyzing it for trends, employers can isolate the qualities in potential employees that determine their success. It offers a full spectrum view as opposed to examining only the traits of the most successful employees, resulting in information that is as preventative as it is predictive.