Big Data Renders College Diplomas Worthless; Billionaires Nonplussed

Human Resource | Sectors   |   
Published April 1, 2014   |   
John Lawrence

It used to be accepted without question that a college degree was necessary to get a good job, and over the course of a lifetime, you would make more money with a college degree than without one. But not so fast. Despite the propaganda put out by colleges who hope to profit off your matriculation, it turns out that the latest thing in hiring practices is to disregard the college degree altogether.

Companies like Xerox are hiring not based on your resume, which includes your degrees and work experience, but on a test they’ve devised which they claim is a better predictor of job performance. Xerox runs 175 call centers around the world. In all, the centers employ more than 50,000 customer service agents who deal with questions about everything from cellphone bills to health insurance.

Xerox was having a problem hiring the right people for the jobs and reducing turnover. So they hired a company to help them do a better job of finding the right people. This company studied the characteristics of those people already at Xerox who were successful at their jobs and came up with a test whose aim was to find new applicants with exactly those same characteristics.

The company, whose name is Evolv, tested prospective employees based on the data collected from employees already on the job and doing well. With these new techniques, Xerox says it has been able to improve its hiring and significantly reduce turnover at its call centers.

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