A new year is not necessarily a new beginning, and that is definitely the case moving from 2021 to 2022.
Employers did not get their wish to see the end to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ‘Great Resignation’ in 2022. These issues are going to continue challenge organizations, and specifically HR teams, this year.
While an important solution to a mass exodus of talent – 67.7 million US workers have quit or lost their jobs in 2021 – is retention, there is also an urgent need for companies to replace the staff that have already left.
To do this successfully, employers need to rethink their recruitment strategies and process – and of course, HR tech is on hand to help.
One vendor that wants to help make hiring more efficient is Swedish-headquartered Alva Labs.
Alva Labs was founded in 2017 with the aim of fixing the broken and inefficient job market.
One of the problems the startup aims to address is what competencies and skills companies actually need for their open roles, and how to measure competence.
Co-founder and CEO Malcolm Burenstam Linder tells UNLEASH that “there are many companies that don’t actually know what they are really looking for”, which means they can’t effectively “measure and evaluate candidates”.
As a result, it is very hard for candidates to know what employers want or “the metrics they are being evaluated against” in terms of traits and competencies, according to Linder.
All of this means that employers are struggling to actually find the right candidates for their open roles, which is the worst possible solution for candidates and organizations alike.
But how can companies correct this and actually find top candidates with the right competencies?
Linder and Alva Labs believe they have the solution: psychometric tests.
Linder explains that Alva Labs’ solution relies on two tests: the Big 5 personality test and logic appeal. Both of these are based on data science, machine learning, and statistical modeling methodology item response theory.
“There are two gold standard measurement methods; we have two decades of research that validates these tool sets as being good predictors of job success”.
Prioritizing recruiter and candidate experience
Alva Labs notes that these tests are a real-time saver for candidates. Currently, “candidates are spending tons of time duplication work across hiring process” but, for Alva Labs, candidate experience is a key priority.
“Our tests are as rigid and robust as any of the traditional ones, but they are faster”. While other tests can take up to an hour, Alva Labs’ tests can take 15 mins maximum each. According to Linder, Alva Labs provides one of the fastest test experiences with a best-in-class test quality.
In addition, Linder tells UNLEASH that Alva Labs provides automatic transparent feedback on their results. They are also in control of test result data and can decide who can see the findings.
For instance, “if they apply to another company in the future, they can just share their [Alva Labs] results into the new process”.
This not only reduces the work for the candidate, but further speeds up the process for recruiters who can see if the candidate is right for their role even quicker.
The way that Alva Labs’ presents the results to employers and recruiters is also simpler than traditional tests. Rather than getting a PDF report that can take hours to look through and analyze, Linder explains that Alva automates the interpretation of the results for recruiters and ranks all candidates by suitability.
This means recruiters “can use the tests without support or a lengthy or costly certification training”, thereby removing bottlenecks.
As a result, psychometric tests can cost-effectively be introduced earlier into the recruitment process to the benefit of candidates and employees.
This, therefore, feeds into why Alva Labs claims its tests help to reduce the number of screening interviews by up to 50% and to whittle down the candidate pools to the 10% most relevant and suitable applications.
The company also claims its approach is more than twice as accurate as predicting job success than screening CVs and it can save recruiters 1.5 days a week.
Making hiring more diverse with Alva Labs
Efficiency is not the only element of Alva Labs’ psychometric-focused solution. For Linder and his co-founders, Alva Labs also wants to make recruitment fairer.
“We’re helping companies to build better teams and improve performance, but we are also really [focused] on creating fairness in the job market”, Linder explains.
“These two outcomes are not at odds with each other. There is no conflict in wanting to drive diversity and inclusion and building your business.”
Linder continues that Alva Labs’ tests help to debias recruitment. This is because “everyone has the same ability to do the assessment” as it “measures fundamental traits and capabilities” – or “long-term potential”. This is not the type of test you can study for, or having been to a top University will help you do well in.
Using this method, rather than screening CVs, means companies can find the perfect candidate with data, thereby leveling the playing field, according to Linder.
Having a certain degree or background doesn’t necessarily mean you will be a better employee or better at the job; having certain traits and competencies is a better predictor of success.
The future for Alva
Alva Labs is on a mission to help more and more companies have a fair and efficient recruitment process.
So after a stellar year where the company doubled its revenue and increased its headcount more than twofold, Alva Labs has decided to move beyond its base in the Nordics and launch its product in the UK.
“We’ve achieved good success and a leading position in the Nordics” with 300,000 assessments being completed by candidates applying for jobs at the likes of Deloitte, Daniel Wellington, and Arla, notes Linder.
But he saw Alva Labs as being in demand beyond that region, and specifically in the UK. “I think our solution could really help British companies navigate the ‘Great Resignation’ and mass exodus of talent”.
Linder also adds that the UK was an easy market for Alva Labs because there is no language barrier, and he himself has spent a lot of time in London during his career.
While Linder notes that the whole team is “behind the UK as the core priority” for the company over the next few years, Alva Labs’ CEO also sees the UK as a “big stepping stone into other markets”.
Alva Labs is also going to continue to focus on its own product. “We have built a really great product and we have happy users. But I think we have just scratched the surface. We are keen to evolve and develop the tests and tools” to make them even more simple, as well as help to further eliminate any duplication of work for candidates and recruiters.
Recruitment of the future is going to look very different from the past. The question is do you want to sink by doing things the old way or swim by embracing more efficient and fairer methods from the likes of Alva Labs?