Voluntary employee turnover can have a direct financial impact on organisations. And, at the time of this pandemic outbreak where the majority of the organisations are looking to cut down their employee costs, voluntary employee turnover can create a big concern for companies. And thus, the ability to predict this turnover rate of employees can not only help in making informed hiring decisions but can also help in saving a substantial financial crisis in this uncertain time.
Acknowledging that, researchers and data scientists from PredictiveHire, a AI recruiting startup, built a language model that can analyse the open-ended interview questions of the candidate to infer the likelihood of a candidate’s job-hopping. The study — led by Madhura Jayaratne, Buddhi Jayatilleke — was done on the responses of 45,000 job applicants, who used a chatbot to give an interview and also self-rated themselves on their possibility of hopping jobs.
The researchers evaluated five different methods of text representations — short for term frequency-inverse document frequency (TF-IDF), LDS, GloVe Vectors for word representations, Doc2Vec document embeddings, and Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC). However, the GloVe embeddings provided the best results highlighting the positive correlation between sequences of words and the likelihood of employees leaving the job.
Researchers have also further noted that there is also a positive correlation of employee job-hopping with their “openness to experience.” With companies able to predict the same for freshers and the ones changing their career can provide significant financial benefits for the company.
Apart from a financial impact of on-boarding new employees, or outsourcing the work, increased employee turnover rate can also decrease productivity as well as can dampen employee morale. In fact, the trend of leaving jobs in order to search for a better one has gained massive traction amid this competitive landscape. And thus, it has become critical for companies to assess the likelihood of the candidate to hop jobs prior to selections.
Traditionally this assessment was done by surfing through candidates’ resume; however, the manual intervention makes the process tiring as well as inaccurate. Plus, this method only was eligible for professionals with work experience but was not fruitful for freshers and amateurs. And thus, researchers decided to leverage the interview answers to analyse the candidates’ personality traits as well as their chances of voluntary turnover.
To test the correlation of the interview answers and likelihood of hopping jobs, the researchers built a regression model that uses the textual answers given by the candidate to infer the result. The chosen candidates used the chatbot — FirstInterview by PredictiveHire for responding to 5-7 open-ended interview questions on past experience, situational judgement and values, rated themselves on a 5-point scale on their motives of changing jobs. Further, the length of the textual response along with the distribution of job-hopping likelihood score among all participants formed the ground truth for building the predictive model.
To initiate the process, the researchers leveraged the LDA-based topic modelling to understand the correlation between the words and phrases used by the candidate and the chances of them leaving the company. Post that, the researchers evaluated four open-vocabulary approaches that analyse all words for understanding the textual information.
Open vocabulary approaches are always going to be preferred over closed ones like LIWC, as it doesn’t rely on category judgement of words. These approaches are further used to build the regression model with the Random Forest algorithm using the scores of the participants. Researchers used 80% of the data to train the model, and the rest of the 20% was used to validate the accuracy of the model.
Additionally, researchers also experiment with various text response lengths, especially with the shorter ones, which becomes challenging as there is not much textual context to predict. However, they found a balance between the short text responses along with the data available and trained the model predicts for even those.
To test the accuracy, the models are evaluated based on the actual likelihood of the turnover with relation to the score produced by the model. To which, the GloVe word embedding approach with the minimum text of 150 words achieved the highest correlation. This result demonstrated that the language used in responding to typical open-ended interview questions could predict the chances of candidates’ turnover rate.
Leveraging data from over 45,000 individuals researchers built a regression model in order to infer the likelihood of the candidates leaving the job. It will not only remove the dependency of companies on candidate resumes and job histories but also enhances the process of hiring into a multi-measure assessment process that can be conducted digitally for recruiting.
By Sejuti Das, Analytics India Magazine, 02/08/2020
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