When looking for workers to staff its call centers, Xerox Corp. XRX +0.90% used to pay lots of attention to applicants who had done the job before. Then, a computer program told the printer and outsourcing company that experience doesn’t matter.
The software said that what does matter in a good call-center worker—one who won’t quit before the company recoups its $5,000 investment in training—is personality. Data show that creative types tend to stick around for the necessary six months. Inquisitive people often don’t.