Algorithms: The friends of HR practitioners

The algorithm is the new buzzword in the technology landscape and there are lots of definition about algorithms being bandied around. The algorithm is basically a set of instructions which resolves a recurrent problem and is commonly used in data processing, mathematical calculation, and predictive analysis.

So how does algorithm fit into the realm of hiring and HR practitioners? Come to think of it hiring is all about predicting the right candidate, fit to perform the job as per the requirement. An HR practitioner sifting through the resumes is akin to predicting the best possible hire for the organization, based on a certain job description. In today’s employee-driven market, where the time to hire to fill up the skillset void is of a premium, the role of algorithms is becoming increasingly indispensable.

It’s no secret of the large cost associated with a bad hire and its effect on productivity in the scheme of things. In a dynamic recruitment landscape redolent with niche skillset, traditional information like qualifications, references and interview process might not be enough to indicate the future success of the role. Predictive analysis driven by algorithms are being used to ascertain the qualities and characteristics of the top performers, in turn providing more data points to gauge the job applicants.

Employees are worth in gold for any organization. A disoriented and demotivated staff leaves a gaping hole in the productivity, thus costing the firm its brand image and employee loyalty, leading to attrition and lack of engagement. Rehiring is a very cost centric and a disruptive process, therefore, retention of productive employees has become a major focus of the organizations around the world. Imagine the power of data showcasing the variables and indicators of the impending attrition among the employees, beforehand. This data would enable the HR practitioners to take preemptive decisions to retain the prospective leavers. This would not only mitigate the cost associated with rehiring but also predict the future vacancies that would need to be refilled. It’s no surprise that HR practitioners are now designing retention plans and initiatives based on the predictive analysis of the algorithms.

HR is inundated with repetitive activities like profiling, shortlisting and predefined behavioral test. Recruitment software running on the underlying capabilities of algorithms powered by patterns developed through humungous data ingestion and against performance metrics adds a scientific perspective in the hiring decision.

Learning and Development arm of the HR is also enjoying the benefits of the predictive capabilities of algorithms to customize the training activities in sync with the demand for latest technologies, making the employees relevant and ready for future projects. This forges a long-lasting customer engagement and maximizes the return on investment.

Algorithms are as good as the data provided to them, therefore it’s imperative to understand your key metrics against which an algorithm must find patterns for. The success of any HR department is directly linked to metrics like time to hire, cost of hire and the productivity and competency of the hire. Algorithms are relentless in their pursuit to find the perfect match against the metrics defined only if you keep feeding them with the right data variables.

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