In making hiring decisions, companies look at a lot of data to try and predict who would be the most productive employees. The problem, according to business consultant Daniel Enthoven, is that they look at the wrong data, information that has little if any relevance or predictive capacity regarding jobs.

Many companies, for example, look at credit checks to screen job applicants. About 60 percent of all employers do a credit check. But, Enthoven says, there is no evidence at all of a connection between a good credit report and how a person will perform on the job or how honest he or she will be. There is no statistical correlation between the two, and this is a prime example of the misuse of data.

Another piece of data that many employers look at is job history, how often an applicant has moved between jobs. The thinking is that a person who has jumped around a lot between jobs is undesirable. But again, there is no statistical correlation between how often a person has switched jobs and his or her performance, and so this data is really useless as a predictor of job performance.

Enthoven also found no correlation between periods of unemployment and job performance. In other words, someone who was unemployed for several years performed just as well as someone who had not been unemployed.

Also, employers are now more frequently looking at job applicants’ Facebook pages to try and glean some information about what kind of employee they would be. But here again, Enthoven says, there appears to be no correlation between what is on a person’s Facebook page and how they perform on a job.

What kind of data, then, should employers be looking at? Enthoven says the best predictors of performance are a candidate’s personality, aptitudes, work style, and technical skills. Companies need to focus on the quality of the hire.

To find the right candidate for a position, the company must first determine what the skills, aptitudes and work styles are of the best employees in that particular job.

Sometimes the data to look at is right in front of your nose. For example, for a job at a call center it was found that the results of a typing test were a key indicator of performance. All of the candidates took the typing test, but the company had been ignoring it when evaluating job applicants.

If you’d like to perform employee evaluations before hiring, but don’t have the resources or the time, contact Winston Resources. We can screen and test potential employees and send along for interviews only those who meet your requirements. If your company is in or near New York City, contact us today!

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