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Why Criminals Might Make Better Employees

December 4, 2012
1 min read

Here's a good reason to give people with criminal records a second chance:

Evolv, a data provider that uses analytics to study employee retention, recently found workers with criminal convictions were actually 1.1 percent more productive than those without a criminal record.

In this research, Evolv examined how quickly thousands of hourly employees at call centers handled their calls, which is how the research measured productivity.

Out of the participants, around 1,000 had criminal convictions — misdemeanors and felonies — and 7,000 had no criminal record.

"Typically, what we’ll do is exploratory work," Michael Housman, managing director of analytics at Evolv, told us. "We need a large enough sample size, then we analyze the data to see what it means."

Currently, the company is still in the process of analyzing the results and "exploring what this means for other industries."

"We're still gathering data," Housman said. "At the end of the day, what makes someone more productive or allows someone to stay longer with the job ... well, we issue what the data yields to our clients."

When researching for a specific company, Evolv takes available data from its client — employment history — and combines it with certain econometrics, such as gas prices and nationwide unemployment rates — typically from the BLS — and a machine platform is used to determine a connection between the variables.

Evolv typically focuses on the hourly market, and their clients are generally international companies with thousands of hourly employees.

Other research from the company has concluded:

An individual employee’s success is directly affected by their manager's performance.

High performance employees are those with exactly two social media accounts — any more or less will make employees "less likely to succeed."

The most loyal employees are those with personality traits like reliability and curiosity.

Evolv is currently collaborating with The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania for further research on employee retention.

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