Data-driven metrics are being used to attract and retain top talent in today’s workplace.
This is supposed to make employers’ jobs easier. They’re better able to identify top talent based on performance data or potentially know when an employee is thinking about jumping ship based on algorithms.
But there’s an even more important reason why data is crucial: it keeps employers honest, according to Edith Cooper, global head of human capital management at Goldman Sachs.
If companies use performance data more, Cooper says promotions will likely be more fair because they’ll be based on how well employees have performed rather than solely on the strength of their connections. Employers will also be able to track how many women and minorities they promote into senior leadership positions.
Goldman Sachs tracks how people have performed in different stages of their careers and uses that data when making senior leadership promotion decisions, says Cooper, at the
Human Potential Forum hosted by The Economist on Wednesday.
This better ensures promotions are based on achievement, drive, and whether you’re right for the job rather than how popular you are with your colleagues. This process may be especially helpful in the finance sector where there is a heavy emphasis on networking, she says.
While Cooper believes that data is crucial in today’s recruitment and employee-retention process, she says that at the end of the day, hiring managers also need to trust their instincts.
“Data will inform your decisions, but human capital decisions always comes down to a judgement call,” she says. “Corporate America is all about how human beings interact with other human beings.”
Cooper was named one of the most powerful women in New York this year by Crains New York. She is currently one of four women in the firm’s executive committee.
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