The need to hire smarter with a novel approach in talent acquisition

Impacting talent acquisition, the October NAB Forward View report cheerily tells us that:

“The labour market is expected to stay exceptionally tight in the near term, with unemployment bottoming out at 3.5% before drifting up to 4.3% over the next two years.”

It looks like spotting superstars for job vacancies will continue to be tough. That is assuming you continue approaching your talent acquisition the same way as you always did!

Rejecting applications

According to Indeed, “when hiring managers review resumes, they often skim to find the most relevant information.” In Australia, the result of this approach is that only 16% of resumes get an interview. Most would agree that statistically, among the 84% discarded, there must be the talent that can do the job. But they are rejected because of various issues with their application. The reasons for rejection range from:

  • unsuitable qualifications
  • not enough experience
  • too much experience
  • a poor cover letter
  • spelling mistakes.

Bias in talent acquisition

Unfortunately, how we humans make decisions to move people forward in the hiring process is also flawed. Science tells us that unconscious bias plays a key role in all our decisions. Our minds make decisions intuitively, even before we are aware of them. In his book “Hire with your Head” Lou Adler puts it quite bluntly:

“Intuition and gut feel don’t predict on-the-job success. All they predict is the likelihood the company will make a wrong decision.”

Another roadblock to successful hiring is that a staggering 5 in 6 applicants – or about 83% – report inflating their resume in some way.

Let’s reflect on this for a moment:

  1. When we review resumes, we are reading a document that is not accurate.
  2. As we read it, we are making decisions based on how we “feel” about what we have read.
  3. The result is three out of four people we hire do not fit.

Imagine a process in your business that delivered the right result – in this case, a top performer – only 25% of the time. Without a doubt, the process would be thrown out and a new one introduced.

Predicting success in a role in recruitment

Recruitment is all about trying to predict if a person you do not know will be a top performer in the job in your organisation. It doesn’t matter whether you work in a trade, as a teacher, salesperson, or CEO. Many psychologists agree that the biggest predictor of job success is cognitive ability. In recent years “soft skills” are also considered significant predictors of top performance in a job.

Soft skills used to be a “nice to have,” but today, emotional intelligence- “the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others”- is recognised as a better predictor of success than exam grades or certifications. Both studies by Accenture and Virginia Commonwealth University support this claim.

Use science to screen applicants as part of talent acquisition

NAB tells us spotting superstars for job vacancies will continue to be tough. On top of this, the current approach to screening applicants may get hijacked by our bias and dodgy resumes. What other approach might be useful to add to our talent acquisition armour? The answer is objective data.

With most significant personal investment decisions, such as buying a car or new HD TV, we support our human decision-making process with data. We research the specs for options to understand the performance of new investments to best meet our criteria.

Unfortunately, human beings do not come with a specifications list. To replicate our investment decision-making process when screening job applications, we need a simple economic tool that will provide us with objective data before we reach the stage of rejecting applications. Traditional fixed validated assessments just don’t offer the flexibility that is needed for this task.

The advancements made by the award-winning Great People Inside (GR8PI) platform allow companies of all sizes from all sectors to screen applicants cost-effectively.

In one short, inexpensive psychometric assessment, you can assess candidates as part of your application process for Emotional Intelligence and Cognitive Ability. And the output is a ranking of applicants matched to your specific criteria, which guides you as to which candidates you need to talk to. Speed is of the essence in a tight market, and using this approach gives you objective insights that you can act upon quickly.

If you’d like to learn more, reach out to us.