Can an AI predict when you will quit your job? Yes, and that’s how it works

Are you about to quit your job? Chances are your bosses already know this. In a report published in 2019, CNBC commented on new technology that allowed companies to know when their workers were about to jump ship. Indeed, IBM’s artificial intelligence is able to predict with 95% certainty who are the workers considering quitting at your post.

This was confirmed by Ginni Rometty, who served as the company’s President and CEO until early 2020. In the aforementioned report from CNBC Dating back to 2019, Rometty talks about the technology used. In fact, he comments that they used artificial intelligence to retain company talent. “The best time to approach an employee is before he leaves,” commented the former CEO.

This artificial intelligence is so widely used within IBM that even has its own patent. In this way, your HR department can use the “leave prediction program” to control your employee population. Thus, they can act before it happens and organize actions to create a rapprochement between managers and the vulnerable group.

Of course Ginni Rometty did not reveal the secret of this AI. However, the former CEO said that the reliability of this technology was linked to the analysis of a large amount of data within the company. An artificial intelligence almost as impressive as the one that guesses your gender just by looking you in the eye.

A most interesting algorithm

Photo by Florian Olivo on Unsplash

Professor Brooks Holtom of Georgetown University published in the harvard business review a little more information on IBM’s artificial intelligence. As he comments, these predictions may occur when using together machine learning technologies and big data. Thus, the information needed to know if an employee is about to quit can be measured.

Among these types of data, Holtom describes a few. First, we have events that can cause staff to leave. These can be described such as changes in company management or a major purchase by another large company. In addition, other factors such as news related to this type of event, the evolution of the stock market and legal proceedings against the entity were also taken into account.

In addition, we have another factor: the connection of the workers with the company in which they work is essential to this process. Using public data such as number of previous occupations, employment anniversaries, skills, education, gender, and geographic location, certain conclusions can also be drawn.

The benefits of an AI like this

Although many may view this decision as an invasion of privacy a subject that invites debate—; this kind of artificial intelligence could end up being beneficial for employees. In fact, many companies prefer to financially compensate dissatisfied workers, instead of simply replacing them with a new person.

The cost of replacing a highly skilled worker could end up being double your salary. For this reason, instead of wasting time and money selecting, hiring, and training a new professional, some companies focus on making their current employees happy.

Even if you can predict who is going to leave, you still need to respond thoughtfully.

Brooks Holtom, professor at Georgetown University

Holtom describes in his article that “the best organizations develop a culture of listening”. So the managers they can hear from their employees what is going well and what is not. In this way, working conditions within the company can be improved.

With this artificial intelligence technology, managers and workers can create a best map of what everyone really appreciates. They might also be able to develop a more positive environment and a personalized work style. Of course, concern for privacy prevails:

My biggest concerns are about privacy boundaries. At some level, these might even become invasive. Extract information from Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook. Information that people publicly upload, whether password-controlled or not. There is a risk for the employees.

Brooks Holtom, professor at Georgetown University