Friday, June 6, 2014

Primer on Big Data and Hiring: Chapter 5

This is the fifth chapter of a primer on big data and hiring. The structure of the primer is based on the following graphic created by Evolv, a company that provides "workforce optimization" services. Evolv was selected not because it is sui generis; rather, it is emblematic of numerous companies, from start-ups to well-established companies that market "workforce science" services to employers.

The Evolv graphic below is intended to illustrate the process of workforce science.

Chapter 5: Big Data Networking
Results Are Benchmarked Against Big Data Network

According to Evolv, its network
extracts learnings and insight from the millions of real time talent data points – from across the Evolv client base, or Network – streaming in and out of the Evolv platform every single day, week and month.  
Some of the real time data points streaming in and out of the Evolv Network are data from the use of pre-employment personality tests administered to applicants and employees. As set out in the posts What Are The Issues?ADA, FFM and DSM and Employment Assessment Are Designed to Reveal An Impairment, tests utilizing the Five-Factor Model of personality may be considered illegal medical examinations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Consequently, information obtained from those tests is confidential medical information, the use of which is subject to strict limits. Regulations require that confidential information be kept on separate forms and in separate files and it may not be intermingled with other information - i.e., shared with third parties on the Evolv network.

Not only are employers subject to claims by applicants and employees alleging breach of the confidentiality provisions of the ADA, the use of confidential medical information in assessment, hiring and other human resource function may have created a virus that has "infected" a variety of databases, applications and software solutions utilized by the employer.

Costs to employers from the illegal use of confidential medical information include damages payable to applicants and employees, defense transaction costs (i.e., legal fees), and costs to "sanitize" infected databases, applications and software solutions. As set out in the Damages and Indemnification Challenges for Employers post, even if companies like Evolv are willing to provide indemnification to all customers, those customers will have to determine whether the company and its insurers have adequate resources to indemnify all customers.

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