To say most HR departments face unprecedented challenges when it comes to identifying, recruiting, and retaining talent, is perhaps an understatement.
Human capital has never been more important for company performance, but competition for talent is more intense than it has been in years while how and where employees work has changed for good. But that’s why it’s obvious to me, that these are all strong reasons why companies need to scrap traditional hiring and retention strategies for good and instead favor a more robust, evidence-based approach.
Let me explain why. Contemporary talent pools and workplaces have undergone a radical transformation. Employees are hyper-mobile; they expect greater opportunities for development and advancement; plus they want transparency, fairness, and equity from their employers. That’s why companies must build hiring platforms capable of reducing bias and discrimination. HRD must cut through the noise. They must identify talent signals, and hire for potential rather than relying on resumes and other antiquated resources that often misrepresent a candidate’s true abilities.
It’s worth taking a look at these in more detail:
1) The need for data-driven hiring
Companies need to start making objective, data-driven hiring decisions – and at scale. In theory digital tools will make these processes more rigorous and effective than ever before. But using them will require HRDs to move beyond outmoded decision-making processes. Hiring managers will have to rethink some of their basic assumptions about talent acquisition and retention.
2) Talent is more mobile
Employees have never been more mobile. Switching jobs has become increasingly frictionless; remote work is here to stay; while many employees now regard work as something they do rather than somewhere they go. At the same time workers’ expectations have shifted dramatically – they’re carefully assessing potential employers on issues such as workplace culture, diversity, and employee engagement. These changes have sweeping implications for companies in just about every industry and sector. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of quits rose to 4.5 million in November 2021, the highest level since the agency started recording these data in December 2000. The quit rate has risen consistently for almost two years, which is powerful evidence that a huge number of employees are no longer satisfied with the status quo at their companies and are eager to pursue better opportunities. This means companies don’t just have to be concerned about hyper-turnover. They also face surging competition for qualified applicants. The companies that adapt to these new realities will be the ones capable of attracting top-tier talent and building a healthy and productive workforce.
3) Traditional hiring impedes DEI efforts
Too many companies are falling short on diversity. A 2021 survey conducted by CNBC and SurveyMonkey found that 82% of employees say it’s important for their workplace to prioritize diversity, but just 61% of C-suite executives agree. Meanwhile, only a third of employees say their companies are doing “a lot” to facilitate diversity and inclusion. One of the most effective ways to secure greater diversity is to replace old-fashioned hiring methods – such as an over reliance on experience, education, and local talent pools – with objective assessments that simultaneously allow companies to explore deeper talent pools and identify candidates who meet their needs.
Too many companies rely on doing what they’ve always done
Despite all the change that’s happening, the vast majority of companies still rely on resumes to evaluate candidates. This can inflict a serious blow on efforts to build strong, healthy, resilient, and diverse workforces. It’s still sadly the case that minority candidates who “whiten” their resumes receive more interviews than peers who fail to do so – a disturbing reminder that bias is built into many hiring platforms. When Health Data Research UK removed the resume requirement from its assessment process and replaced it with a questionnaire designed to demonstrate knowledge relevant to the position, a disproportionate number of female candidates applied. Considering the well-established prejudice against female candidates (especially in STEM fields), this was a significant outcome.
It’s time to think differently
Just as evidence-based hiring methods can increase diversity (and subsequently improve business outcomes), they can also help companies become more proactive and data-driven about their hiring processes. This enables hiring managers to reliably find the right candidates for the job, which will improve engagement, turnover rates, and company performance.
The simple fact is hiring managers can no longer afford to assume labor is plentiful and that managing “people risk” is straightforward. Nor should they assume that robust, outcome-based hiring platforms are more expensive and time-consuming than traditional methods. The old way of hiring isn’t effective or efficient. It delivers inconsistent talent signals and uneven results. It’s too slow and cumbersome for a hiring environment that requires companies to identify and onboard promising candidates extremely quickly. And it’s distorted by biases that filter out high-quality hires and ultimately lead to increased turnover and lower productivity.
There’s a better way. Companies can now assess candidates on an array of skills and attributes that are directly relevant to the job, which will help them improve productivity, retention, time-to-hire, diversity, acceptance rates, and overall success with their hiring platforms.
Assessments provide all key stakeholders and decision-makers with access to the same reliable data to make informed judgments. The data will itself create synergy between departments and help leaders develop a more holistic hiring strategy. Shared information will also make the onboarding process more streamlined, as the relevant departments and teams will have a better idea of how to leverage the skills of a new hire.
At a time when competition for talent is becoming more ferocious by the day HRDs’ hiring platforms have to evolve to keep pace with these developments. Assessment-based hiring platforms identify more top talent, more quickly, and more effectively than anything else.