How Big Data Is Playing Recruiter for Specialized Workers by MATT RICHTEL

Posted: November 7, 2013 in All Posts, Articles / Discussion

Jim Wilson/The New York Times
“The traditional markers people use for hiring can be wrong, profoundly wrong,” says Vivienne Ming, the chief scientist at Gild since late last year.
That someone was Luca Bonmassar. He had discovered Mr. Dominguez by using a technology that raises important questions about how people are recruited and hired, and whether great talent is being overlooked along the way. The concept is to focus less than recruiters might on traditional talent markers — a degree from M.I.T., a previous job at Google, a recommendation from a friend or colleague — and more on simple notions: How well does the person perform? What can the person do? And can it be quantified?

The technology is the product of Gild, the 18-month-old start-up company of which Mr. Bonmassar is a co-founder. His is one of a handful of young businesses aiming to automate the discovery of talented programmers — a group that is in enormous demand. These efforts fall in the category of Big Data, using computers to gather and crunch all kinds of information to perform many tasks, whether recommending books, putting targeted ads onto Web sites or predicting health care outcomes or stock prices.

Of late, growing numbers of academics and entrepreneurs are applying Big Data to human resources and the search for talent, creating a field called work-force science. Gild is trying to see whether these technologies can also be used to predict how well a programmer will perform in a job. The company scours the Internet for clues: Is his or her code well-regarded by other programmers? Does it get reused? How does the programmer communicate ideas? How does he or she relate on social media sites?

Gild’s method is very much in its infancy, an unproven twinkle of an idea. There is healthy skepticism about this idea, but also excitement, especially in industries where good talent can be hard to find.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/28/technology/how-big-data-is-playing-recruiter-for-specialized-workers.html?_r=2&

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