wee wooden robot

Robots vs Humans: are algorithms going to replace you?

April 6, 2017

Originally posted on Weirdlyhub.com

It seems weird that a company that is about finding the very human idea of cultural fit is looking at algorithms to be the next big thing. You know the role that you’re hiring for, after a few personality quizzes and several interviews, you feel that you know the applicants and you definitely know your company…surely you are the best person to find that ideal candidate.

In fact, research has shown that even simple equations beat human decisions by at least 25%. This holds true across the board, from the trenches all the way to the c-suite.

In last week’s #CIO100 launch, Gartner presented their top 10 Strategic Predictions for 2017 and beyond. In particular, they predict that by 2020, algorithms will positively alter the behaviour of over 1 billion global workers. Gartner believes you can solve ‘talent retention and attraction’ using pervasive algorithms. Or, specifically, by creating algorithms in every aspect of your business.

Unfortunately, the algorithms out there in HR land is all about crunching big data to tick the right boxes. There is no mention of cultural fit at all! (there are a few coming, but the jury is still out till we see it in the wild)

What’s worse is that Gartner also predict that by next year more than 3 million workers globally will be supervised by a ‘roboboss’. Or, in other words, an algorithm that will determine what work you need to do. What will happen to your carefully crafted company values if half of your team are ‘robobosses’?

Weirdly believes in allowing you to hire people based on how well they fit with your weird… not only the culture you have right now, but the culture you NEED, the culture you WANT to have.

Remember that algorithms rely on the data that they are given. The decisions that they make are only as good as the data that you are putting in. If, like us, you believe that great culture comes from connectedness, engagement and relationships… then you feed those data points in, and your algorithms will, in a non-biased, non judgmental way, calculate the best person for the job. What’s even better is that Weirdly will assess your culture and your goals, find the opportunity profile for productive culture evolution, and assess the candidates to fit. We aren’t about just removing human error, we’re about empowering you to make creative and strategic decisions about the direction that you want your culture to go.

We do believe that the next big thing will be machine learning and algorithms. What we need to do as a society is not lose track of the human-ness. Machines don’t get distracted by inconsequential details, they are amazing at crunching through large amounts of data with no bias… but they need to be told what to do exactly.

Weirdly can help with knowing which data is important to track and which data needs to be fed back into the system. While we are working on all sorts of exciting things to automate some of this, all of your team needs to start off in the right mindset. Data should not be an afterthought, or a chore you do after the ‘real work’ is done. Your data strategy needs to be built into your processes right from day one. This way, your company will be at a competitive advantage when you turn the robots on… you will already have all your ducks in a row.