Article: Decoding talent: Using data to unlock human potential


Decoding talent: Using data to unlock human potential

Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, CEO of Hogan Assessment Systems provides insights into using data for decoding talent at People Matters TechHR 2017 conference

Majorly for all organizations today problems in particular concern ‘people’. Applied psychology to the sides of the people should be helpful in providing a solution to the current problem. But clearly, in the last 10-15 years, we have seen the exploration of technological advancement that can accelerate and scale up our ability to understand people. Presently, we are at the beginning of this revolution. 

One of the clichés saying is ‘people’ are organization’s biggest asset. But when we look at reality it is far from positive. It is truly beneficial for the organization when employees are increasingly productive and engaged at work. So, clearly to begin with it is important to get our basics right.  

What is talent?

Talent is best explained by ‘law of the vital few’ – which highlights that in any organization it is only 20% who are responsible for 80% of profit, revenue or productivity. In the world of talent, it is very important to measure performance. So what do we mean by talent? It is important to understand the prominent characteristics of talent. 

Some of the generic attributes or components of talents are: 

Ability – It is not just domain specific capability but also potential, curiosity, and judgment

Drive – It is an important element because if people are self –driven the organization doesn't need to spend time and money motivating them. 

Likability – Most people would disagree but likeability does matter. It is beneficial if your immediate manager likes you. So, EQ does matter. 

Above three attributes when observed highlights that talent and potential is a rare combination. People who generally have all the three characteristics should be HIPOs of the organization. Those who have just two qualities are offered the job. One out of three highlights that state of being unemployed.

How can we measure talent? 

Old school methods which were prevalent in measuring talent include – interviews, bio data supervisory, IQ, self-reports, resumes, references etc.  Today, we have an altered view of these old methods which comprise of new tools such as –digital interviews, voice profiling, Big data, gamification, social media analytics etc. Currently,   the market of the digital interview is booming. Gamification is the technologically enhanced version of simulation which helps in recruitment. Still, intuition remains number one judgment factor, research shows.

What is interesting about the new world of machine learning and algorithms is that it can be a good predictor of performance though it cannot replace human judgment totally, by learning human nature it can greatly help. So the revolution has just begun and lot awaits in the future.

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Topics: Technology, Talent Acquisition, #TechHR2017

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