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Moving up the Ranks: What Factors Predict Whether Someone Will Be Promoted?

Promotions, Supervisors, Workforce Science,

Citation: Housman M & Kuffel W. Moving up the Ranks: What Factors Predict Whether Someone Will Be Promoted?, San Francisco, CA: Evolv, Inc., 2014.

Abstract: Promotions are obviously positive outcomes for the employee and the employer because they signify that an employee has demonstrated that he or she is capable of more responsibility. When companies make hiring decisions, the obvious goal is to find someone who is going to stay long enough and perform at a level high enough to be promoted. The factors that predict this kind of workplace success, though, are less obvious. With this in mind, we applied big data analytics to answer the question: what factors predict whether someone will end up being promoted?

In order to answer this question we set out to repurpose a model for predicting negative employee outcomes (quitting and termination). Instead, this study used the model and analyzed scores from an online assessment completed by 68,000 job applicants in order to predict which employees were more likely to achieve positive outcomes to leave their initial jobs as a result of promotion. The model proved to be an accurate predictor of promotion behavior. With this in mind, employers can feel confident asking which employees are likely to be successful and move up the ranks rather than which employees will likely leave the company.


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