Moneyball for Employee Selection Has Arrived

The U.S. unemployment rate is down to 3.9% and it looks like it’s going to be a candidate’s market for a long while. Sourcers and recruiters are howling and companies are competing for talent like never before. Enter AI and big data.

A January 2018 survey of 1,000-plus C-suite executives found that attracting and retaining talent is their number-one concern, outranking anxiety over the threat of a global recession, trade war, and even competitive disruption. Yet human resources, Polli complains, is still an “archaic system” that relies on “biased” evaluations of “irrelevant” staples such as résumés and cover letters. Polli spouts off numbers like a lab-coat-wearing scientist in a disaster movie whom the townspeople perilously ignore: Recruiters review each résumé on average for a mere six seconds; three-fourths of candidates are cut at this phase, often arbitrarily; and surviving new hires ultimately fail in their positions 30% to 50% of the time. With the unemployment rate at an 18-year low and a historic scarcity of mission-critical skills plaguing every industry (there are now more open jobs in the U.S. than there are active job seekers to fill them), talent acquisition has reached a breaking point. “This system is fundamentally not working for companies, candidates, or the economy,” Polli says.

Read the whole article over at Fast Company and comment below.


  1. Ben Butina, Ph.D.

    One thing I noticed right off the bat (pun intended) is that all the companies mentioned in the article are big. I wonder if smaller organizations are using this technology yet or if it’s only effective for organizations that hire hundreds of people and have thousands of applicants.

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