Predictive Analytics With Gabe Larsen: Why HR is Picked Last on the Playground

IdealCandidateHRrecessRemember the days of recess in elementary school? I would rush from the classroom to make sure I was first to the basketball court. Whoever arrived first got to be a captain, and the captains got to pick the teams.

All the boys and girls would line up, and the two captains would shout out who they wanted. If you were picked last, it was pretty embarrassing— even though the selection process was far from scientific.

Recently, Deloitte Consulting completed a study on the use of predictive analytics (using data to strategically guide your decisions) in the business world. Like the days of elementary school basketball, Deloitte lined up the different business functions and listed who was first and who was last.

Here’s how they stacked up:

  1. Finance
  2. Operations
  3. Sales
  4. Marketing
  5. HR

Not surprisingly, HR was dead last. If HR departments are not using predictive analytics, what are they using? Nothing, and that’s the problem.

Maybe companies don’t want to adopt a data-driven approach to hiring. Maybe they want to stick with gut feelings and intuition.

Actually, that’s not the case, and the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) proved it. A recently released study reported that 82 percent of organizations do not use personality assessments in the hiring process, but 71 percent of companies believe they would be useful.

To all HR leaders within the sound of my voice, here is my advice: Start with a pre-hire assessment to begin your predictive analytics journey and watch it raise the talent level of your entire organization.

If you don’t want to take my word for it, listen to Google, who has abandoned outdated hiring practices. GPA and test scores mean nothing to Google because it has statistically proven those measures have no correlation with top performance.

What does Google do now? The company has begun asking applicants to fill out a particularly detailed online survey that explores their attitudes, behavior, personality and biographical details going back to high school. Why? Because this information correlates more strongly with top performers at Google.

HR has always wanted a seat at the table, but that seat has to be earned. Predictive analytics and pre-hire talent assessments are valuable tools HR can use to produce better business outcomes.

If you don’t want to be picked last anymore, join the data-driven revolution by making predictive analytics a part of your hiring process.


Gabe Larsen has consulted global clients on generating revenue for 10 years. He is currently an Inside Sales Consultant and Coach at The data-driven sales guru specializes in lead generation, hiring and engaging stars, sales team audits and optimizations. Read his influential piece on Moneyball hiring on’s Blog (one of our favorites). Gabe first caught our eye when he presented at the 2014 Sales Acceleration Summit. After his presentation on Moneyball Hiring we knew he was speaking our language, you can watch the whole thing here.

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Kayla Kozan

Kayla Kozan

Director of Marketing at Ideal
Kayla spent the last few years studying Marketing and Entrepreneurship on 3 different continents. Now covering the latest in predictive analytics, workplace diversity and big data. She has a keen interest in tech and discovering underrated brunch spots.
Kayla Kozan