If you've been having trouble landing a job lately, talent management software may partially be to blame. Corporate human resources departments are increasingly asking applicants to complete questionnaires or do pre-interview screening sessions that are then graded by a computer algorithm. Can such software really predict a good hire better than humans?
Theoretically, yes. Research indicates that companies using talent management software have experienced a rise in performance and a drop in disability claims and attrition rates. The market has responded as well: global spending on such software rose 15 percent between 2010 and 2010, from $3.3 billion to $3.8 billion.
But these programs' insight is only good when they're programmed properly to avoid bias. Take Vicky Sandy, for example, who has filed a complaint of disability discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after she didn't get a cashier position at a Kroger supermarket. Sandy is speech and hearing impaired; one of the 50 questions on her test was, "Describe the hardest time you've had understanding what someone was talking about." According to court documents, the software's assessment of Sandy indicated that she was less likely than other candidates to "listen carefully, understand and remember."
Have you ever had to take a questionnaire or personality test as a part of the hiring process?
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