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Humans Hiring Humans

Who is making the hiring decision: People or computers?

by Sharon Boslet

Head of Selection, Americas 23rd Jul 2018

Is this the hiring process of the future?
Step 1: Click a button to request a hire. 
Step 2: Receive a text within moments with your new hire’s start date. 
Actually, we aren’t that far away from this now: the technology to enable this is getting quite close, especially for high volume roles.

Compare this to the “classic” hiring process, which follows something along the lines of: A hiring manager requisition form, recruiter searches, a long candidate application, a phone screen (or two, or three), a pre-screen test, a battery of tests (sometimes), five or more in-person interviews, a long wait, and an offer.

Hiring goals haven’t really changed: find, assess, and select high quality people, and do so fast.  Technology can help with all of these components, and the lure to let computers do all the work is tempting indeed! And they should be – as long as they are used wisely by us, the humble human.

However, it begs the question: How much technology is too much when assessing and selecting candidates? Of course, it depends. Here is what to take into account:

1) Available technology and its fit: Recent developments in assessment and selection technology are astounding. Regardless of whether one wants an automatic video analyses of interviewees’ responses, understand highly specialized skills and compare them to current industry standards and the local market, or provide customized and fully branded blended assessments that measure just want you need and nothing you don’t, there is quite literally an app for that.

The technology is out there, so it is more whether these developments are a fit for a given organization’s needs. Read on...

2) Current technology: When one paints a picture of the mind-boggling technology that is available to make the hiring process easy, high quality and efficient, many hiring managers’ and recruiters’ eyes will sparkle with the possibility of delegating some of their more tedious tasks, allowing them to be a more strategic business partner.

But soon after that, they picture the enormity of truly changing to that future process and the sparkle fades. This shouldn’t stall all progress though! Minor tweaks that aren’t necessarily “cutting edge technology” in the world of possibilities – such as scoring a solid interview and capturing that score in a database – may still represent a big change for an organization’s process.

3) Volume: In general, the higher the volume of applicants, the earlier one should ideally use technology. The idea is to let computers sift out the hundreds or thousands of candidates – who are themselves often applying with just one click – and allow recruiters and hiring managers to spend their valuable time on only the most qualified candidates.

4) Efficiency Requirements: Everyone wants to hire the right person fast, but in some roles it is absolutely essential or the top candidates will move on to the next opportunity. Appropriately using technology for tasks such as scheduling candidate interviews, pre-screen assessments, etc. will speed up the process.

5) What You Are Assessing: Depending on the role, some elements of assessment and selection lend themselves much better to a high-tech solution. For example, when testing whether an IT expert can program some tricky code, it is fantastic to utilize a test that actually measures, times, and scores each keystroke. When determining an individual’s management capabilities, there could be a combination of testing and classic interviews to truly understand the candidate. 

6) Candidate Experience: Every interaction with your company, from the first click on the “Careers” page to the offer letter and every call, click, or face-to-face interaction in-between sends a message. How do you want your organization to be portrayed to candidates? Do you want to appear funky with the most cutting-edge technology? Do you want them to feel personally welcomed into the team of people they’ll work with? Or some combination?

The candidate is also interviewing the organization. Much of the time, he or she needs the opportunity to ask questions, experience the culture and environment, and use this information to make an informed decision. The most efficient hiring process in the world crumbles if the new hire leaves because they didn’t understand what they were getting into.

Utilization of current assessment and selection technology puts organizations at an enormous competitive advantage. It allows them to select the best talent in the most efficient manner and to give candidates an excellent experience. It is absolutely essential that organizations use the right tools at the right times to maximize this potential. We are still humans hiring humans.

How Alexander Mann Solutions Can Help
Assessment and selection technology is always evolving. Alexander Mann Solutions is uniquely poised to help you understand the global assessment and selection technology landscape and to incorporate it into your organization in the optimal way. As a vendor-neutral consulting practice, we have the ability to combine our world-class selection and assessment strategy consulting services with the best fit tools to meet your needs. Please drop me a message if you’d like explore how we can support your assessment strategy!

Learn more about the author, Sharon Boslet, Head of Selection, at Talent Collective in the Americas Region, by clicking her image


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