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Northwestern, U Toronto Tapping Evolv Data to Understand Workplace Trends

Both Northwestern University and the University of Toronto will be doing research using data from a company that produces a workforce performance application. Evolv Selection is a cloud-based program that performs assessment and predictive hiring in order to improve an employer's job applicant success rate.

Northwestern's Searle Center on Law Regulation and Economic Growth will be working with data related to "toxic" employees and the impact they have on the workplace and the company. In this latter project, researcher Dylon Minor, an assistant professor of managerial economics & decision sciences, will specifically study why people were terminated — based on "termination reason codes," such as sexual harassment or drug and alcohol policy violations — in order to determine whether "opaque questions" at the point of application could deliver a more accurate portrayal of an applicant's honesty and integrity.

"Our team...is excited to partner with Evolv. Their unique data, paired with Northwestern faculty's expertise, is already producing new academic findings and delivering actionable insight for business," said Nicola Persico from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management.

Toronto's Rotman School of Management will use Evolv data to explore the factors that make someone a good or poor supervisor.

Evolv already supplies research data to other universities, including the Yale School of Management and Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

"We live in an age where big data is so powerful that it's sometimes feared; we're trying to change that perception by opening our large dataset to academia to ensure our findings are validated against the highest academic standards and can be used to further research how to hire and retain people for jobs that fit them best," said the company's Chief Analytics Officer Michael Housman. "Especially as we move to a more service and information-driven economy, a thriving and satisfied workforce is paramount. Our projects with these respected research institutions, like Northwestern, seek to uncover new insights about how businesses and employees can work together to benefit both the bottom line and employees' careers."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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