May 02, 2014

Asleep at computer

Stay on your toes...the hiring process is evolving. Credit: marsmettn tallahassee / Flickr Creative Commons


Employers are starting to use technology to hire, track, and promote employees - in unprecedented and vaguely Orwellian ways.

Picture this: you apply for a job and are told that an online game is part of the application process. You go home, play the game, and submit your results.

But what you don’t know is that the game isn’t the real test - not all of it, at least. The real test is which Internet browser you used to take the test.

“The notion here is that people who’ve actually taken the time to download browsers other than Internet Explorer, browsers that don’t come with the computer typically, and which many people would say are more functional…that shows more initiative and it shows at least a certain level of tech savvy,” says Don Peck, deputy editor of The Atlantic.

And the data analysis doesn’t stop once you’re hired. Employers may soon start using badges that monitor employees' daily interactions.

According to Peck, the team creating these badges, “claim that merely through the signals that these things send off, they can tell the data signature of a natural leader according to things like how many interactions the person has each day, how long [the interactions] are, how long the person spends listening versus talking.”

So what will keep employers from turning workplaces into 1984?

“Companies are very cognizant of backlash,” says Peck. So as Google, Facebook, and others introduce new analytic techniques, “they’re very honest about what they’re tracking, they often ask permission.”

If you want to know more about how companies are using data to analyze potential hires and current employees, listen to Don Peck’s full interview, above.

technology, hiring, Business, Don Peck, Culture, jobs

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