Future Friday: Using AI to identify employees leaving

by Michael Haberman on May 25, 2018 · 2 comments


Do you, or will you, use AI to monitor employee activity to determine if they are leaving?

There are many uses of artificial intelligence (AI) that are making their way into the HR department. Recruitment was one of the first areas to see the use of AI, but it is being used to analyze employee data, help with program enrollment, removing unconscious biases in decisions and more. One area that is also being impacted is in determining employees who are thinking about departing. A couple of years ago it was announced that Hewlett-Packard had such a tool, but now it appears to be more widespread.

Scanning the data

Veriato, a company concerned about company security, has a number of products that pay attention to human behavior. One of these tools can help companies predict which of their employees is likely to quit their job. According to an article in CMS Wire:

 “It tracks employee computer activity — emails, keystrokes, internet browsing, etc. — and stores it for one month and implements an AI system that analyzes the data to determine a baseline of normal activity patterns in the organization.”

It then flags the outliers, reports them to the employer, detects changes in the tone of communication and then tries to predict when employees might be thinking of leaving.

Useful tool or creepy?

Even though I am a big fan of AI, I was not so sure about this one. I can certainly see how this could be useful in predicting staffing levels but at the same time it comes across as creepy. I had questions about this, such as do the employees know their behavior is being recorded at this level? Is this information being given to the employees’ managers, and if so, how does this alter the behavior of the manager toward those employees?

What do you think?

Is this use of AI a good thing? Would you use it? Do you use it?

Weigh in with a comment below or a comment in a tweet.


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Darcy May 25, 2018 at 8:16 am

This particular use of data creeps me out a bit also. People go through cycles in life, and while I really like my job and don’t want to leave, I’ve had 6 big projects thrust on me at once with some tight deadlines, and I’m feeling a bit disgruntled these days. I wouldn’t want a bot telling my manager I’m ready to head out the door though. I know these projects will be completed and I’ll get back to a healthier mental state. I don’t need people worried about my comittment in the meantime. If managers only used the information to try to understand and help this could be useful information, but we fallible humans tend to allow our emotions to color our decisions and I could see this type of information being misused by some managers.

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Andrea May 25, 2018 at 8:56 am

I don’t necessarily find it creepy. It’s the wave of the future and it’s going to take some getting used to for some. We’ve made the big decision to switch to Ultimate Software (off of ADP) and I can’t wait to get my hands on Zander! Although, I will use the information with a grain of salt. Just excited to see what it brings to the table.

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