Finding and recruiting top programmers remains a huge challenge for fast-growth companies like Square, Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Will Big Data come to their rescue? They’re willing to give it a try. These companies—along with other big names like Twitter and Walmart—are all customers of Gild, a startup that leverages information technology to find hidden talent.
Gild was developed to tap self-motivated achievers—a cohort rife with what co-founder Dr. Vivienne Ming calls “wasted talent”—who are largely unknown compared to the smaller pool of much-wooed Ivy League graduates. Gild’s algorithm “crunches thousands of bits of information in calculating around 300 larger variables about an individual: the sites where a person hangs out; the types of language, positive or negative, that he or she uses to describe technology of various kinds; self-reported skills on LinkedIn; the projects the person has worked on, and for how long; and where he or she went to school, in what major, and how that school was ranked,” reports Matt Richtel in the The New York Times.
Other startups such as RemarkableHire, TalentBin, and Entelo have developed similar data-mining methods to fill the talent gap.
The Times article points out that there are limits to what you can find by solely using online information, especially in evaluating intangibles like charisma or a candidate’s ability to work collaboratively. Still, as the demand for highly skilled programming talent grows, so too will the ways technology will be leveraged to fill those gaps.