Startup Enlistics hopes to predict driver turnover with social media data

Mobile phone screen shotEnlistics, a University of Chicago startup that matches people to jobs with the help of social media data, announces the launch of Enlistics: Trucking, a hiring system for the trucking industry.

The new company has a product that it hopes will solve a turnover problem for trucking companies.

The Enlistics: Trucking platform collects applications, qualifies candidates and identifies success, it says, and follows the launch of Enlistics: Dealerships, which is a similar product designed to help car dealerships fill sales positions. The annual turnover rate for a sales rep is 72 percent with a three-year retention rate of only 33 percent.

“We’re using technology to help employers improve these rates,” said Enlistics founder and CEO Austen Mance. “Using data, we’ve been able to flag warning signs and help hiring mangers avoid mistakes.”

With car sales, Enlistics scrapes applicants’ social media feeds. The software flags phrases — both good and bad – that correlate with success or failure, based on historical employment data. For instance, one such “bad” phrase known to correlate with employee turnover is “I’m so drunk ….”

“You’d be surprised how many applicants we find who post something somewhere like that, and it’s just a red flag,” Mance said. “Another is ‘I’m sick of …’ Sales professionals always have to be on; whiners need not apply.”

With the trucking platform, the application management software is in use while Enlistics gathers the reams of historical data needed to guarantee the accuracy of the predictive models. Aiding that effort is the fact that federal law requires all applicants for truck driving positions to provide 10 years of work history. 

“It takes full employment histories on at least 1,500 truckers to ensure our predictions are sound, so we’re currently offering application management software at cost to help build our models” Mance said.

Enlistics won the 2014 College New Venture Challenge, a startup competition for University of Chicago undergraduates run by the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Mance graduated from the school in 2016 with degrees in physics and economics.