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AI Uncovers Potential ‘Job-Hoppers’

BY Barbara Hyman

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The language candidates use in conversation can reliably indicate their propensity to ‘job hop’, new research shows.

PredictiveHire, which uses text-based communication to interview candidates, has uncovered a correlation between candidate language and job churn that is “stronger than what you would find normally in traditional psychometric testing of job-hopping”, says CEO Barbara Hyman.

HEXACO Personality Model & Job Hopping

Similar to its recent study measuring candidate personality traits, researchers used data from 46,000 job applicants who completed an online chat interview and used the six-factor HEXACO personality model to analyse responses.

The HEXACO traits are honesty-humility, emotionality, extraversion, agreeableness (versus anger), conscientiousness, and openness to experience.

The ‘openness to experience’ trait has long been considered in organisational psychology circles as an indicator of job-hopping, and this has been reinforced by PredictiveHire’s research, says Hyman

“Low agreeableness also correlates with people who may move and look for better opportunities,” she adds.

Analysing candidates’ responses to determine their job-hopping likelihood is especially useful for many entry-level roles, where people do not have prior experience on their CV.

“We know ‘flight risk’ or staff churn is a really big problem for our customers, particularly those who hire at volume into low-skilled roles. For them to be able to identify this upfront and avoid or minimise it was really valuable,” Hyman says.

And, from the candidate’s point of view, “we’re seeing a real craving and an appetite for understanding yourself and understanding where your strengths are best placed”, she adds.

The researchers also note further work is required to assess the true predictive validity of the outcome – that is, establishing the correlation between inferred job-hopping likelihood and actual job-hopping behaviour.

Addressing bias

PredictiveHire has now incorporated the job-hopping measurement into its algorithms to provide this additional information to recruiters, says Hyman.

Importantly, however, “we don’t automatically discount someone who has a high job-hopping likelihood; it’s just another data point you get to look at”.

For some employers and roles, the ‘openness to experience’ trait is generally desirable, Hyman says.

“In investment banking, you want people who are comfortable with looking outside of the box and being really curious and questioning,” she says by way of example.

She stresses the intention is to allow recruitment decision-makers to use the technology as a “co-pilot, not an autopilot”.

Read more here: When used properly, data amplifies inclusive hiring.

Barbara Hyman, Shortlist, Thursday 27 August 2020 2:20 pm


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