Businesses are hiring more than they have ever done before, and yet they have never done a worse job of finding, hiring, and keeping great candidates. There is no shortage of articles and surveys providing evidence supporting recruiting the right person for the job is hard. Here are some reasons cited;
- The war for talent
- Not enough resources
- Don’t know where the candidates are
- Candidates don’t show for interview
- High drop rate after interview
On the back of these difficulties, the recruitment function has been disenfranchised by greedy corporates overcharging for access to talent pools. Entry level positions are inundated with hundreds of applications and it is next to impossible to compare apples with apples, while other positions receive no applications at all. Additionally, the candidate experience has declined to the point of non-existence, and human bias has plagued the recruitment process. The big problem is many candidates with significant potential to succeed are simply overlooked, ignored, or excluded before they even get to interview.
So-called modern recruitment methods and systems are serving to exclude and filter out potential star-talent. Most processes don’t even look at personality and soft skill profiling until the final stages, if at all. These systems, human or automated tend to favour those with proven or demonstrated skills and experience rather than potential to rapidly learn and adapt to rapidly changing business requirements of the modern workplace. Worse still, candidates are able to circumvent systems, by keyword loading their resume to get to interview. Often the best candidates don’t even get to the table.
Ask yourself this question: What if my competitor hires that star candidate I missed. You know, the one filled with potential
The risk is suddenly repositioned and the loss to your business can be catastrophic. One person can move mountains and disrupt an industry, and when they do, you want them on your team.
It’s time to change our approach and the recruitment industry is ripe for disruption.
People analytics is one of the most exciting, fast-growing domains of business and human resources that I have ever been involved in. The science of people helps us to create deeper insights into the way we operate and approach our work. How we can identify, grow and nurture human potential. By embracing data-driven decision making, we can improve productivity, performance and really make work exciting and engaging for people.
Data is everywhere in organisations even in small businesses, you can and should start small and grow data within your business over time. Beware old data sets, they can be biased and introduce future bias. These biases are an encoded part of the human condition. The old tools that have collected and stored this data may need to be put in the recycling bin or the data normalized and adjusted to remove known bias before being used and applied in new recruitment approaches. Clean and unbias data is essential in forging the new frontier of recruitment.
Human bias generally lives in one of four problem domains;
- Problem: Too much information.
- Problem: Not enough meaning
- Problem: Need to act fast
- Problem: What should we remember
While the problem space of human cognitive bias in recruitment deserves multiple articles, rest to say each of these domains exists in spades in the recruitment space. The unfortunate part of the story is that we are often quite happy to ignore that they exist. To put it in another way often humans are unconsciously-incompetent in this area. To forge new frontiers in recruitment we need to become better humans and that takes work. It’s not going to happen overnight, there is no magic bullet that will change the world of recruitment.
However, there is exciting movement in the people analytics and data science space that can enhance our decision-making processes removing bias helping us on the road to becoming better humans. Applied correctly, the science of people has the power and potential to help us move beyond human conditioning and bias, terraforming our recruitment terrain. Don’t let anyone tell you this requires no human intervention, it absolutely does. The outcomes of embracing this disruptive change could rapidly move our recruitment processes to new horizons developing richer and richer data sets, catapulting us into the realms of prescriptive recruitment analytics that we can really trust. So what’s all the fuss about?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an umbrella term that encapsulates the discipline or domain of creating intelligent machines. Within the domain of AI lives an ecosystem that includes, statistics, machine learning, deep learning, cognitive computing, artificial neural networks, natural language processing, automated speech recognition, and image or vision recognition.
The realm of machine learning in layman’s terms refers to a subset of AI that predicts the future, based on data you already have. This area is teeming with dangers, primarily related to the use of existing human bias-infected data. We have some great evidence of poorly executed application of machine learning in Amazon’s whereby the AI became bias against women. How did this happen you might ask?
It was definitely not the machines fault, trained with 10 years of data that contained human bias. The models simply learned to adopt those bias, based on patterns present in that dataset. In effect, the system taught itself to execute on human-bias. It should be noted that Amazon reported to Reuters that the system was never actually relied upon to make recruitment decisions. However, the scenario makes a great case, illustrating just how broken our human-driven recruitment processes are, and how critical it is for them to change.
Correctly applied, the possibilities AI brings to recruitment are transformative, for every business, irrespective of size.
You don’t have to understand the entire domain to get started and actualize some immediate benefits. Even the smallest business can now employ sophisticated, easy to use, intelligent, tools to assist in the process of taking a pioneer approach to recruiting for potential.
As recruiters, hiring managers, and business leaders, if we keep doing what we have always done, we will just keep getting the results we always have!
It’s impossible to get better at hiring quality candidates who are predisposed to success, if you can’t accurately predict candidate potential within the context of the job and your unique environment.
In summary, the rise of tools empowering the automation of pre-employment testing and candidate ranking have transformational implications. Businesses using them to hire for potential and fit, can realise real strategic advantages over competitors.
Anthony Goodwin is a founder, entrepreneur, consultant, data scientist and coach with 25+ years of experience in business management, recruitment, and human resources. He holds a bachelor of business management – human resource management and postgraduate qualifications in data science.