Big data tools can help association management hire better

For any business, hiring skilled employees can be a challenge. It is difficult to predict with any accuracy how even the most skilled-looking candidates will turn out, and yet the stakes are high, as is the cost of employee turnover. Associations face these issues as well. They generally have little in the way of extra money, so association management must make sure that they make the right call as often as possible.

Writing for Association News, contributor Steven Hacker argues that associations should make use of new "big data" tools, which are now more accessible than ever thanks to advancements in technology. 

After all, associations can already use big data to analyze their member marketing techniques. For example, when dealing with social media outreach on a large scale, simply tracking information through spreadsheets is not enough—there is too much data.

The same idea applies when considering new candidates. There is now so much more information that we can glean from an applicant to determine whether he or she will be a good fit for the organization. As Hacker notes, there are algorithms that recruiters can offer to determine if an applicant has the skills necessary for a particular position. These algorithms often come in the form of simple video games, and can be customized based on what an association is looking for.

"These kinds of video games are valid tools," Hacker writes. "Neuroscientists, industrial behaviorists and technology engineers have all worked together to create games specifically for HR applications." Given that association employees often end up playing many different roles within an organization, this is one potential way to measure different competencies at once.

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