Finding the right people a business will need in the future may seem an impossible task.
But assessing recruits for their future potential is vital to ensure companies have the human capital they need to thrive.
Research from Thomas points to predictive hiring as a significant component of HR’s duties over the next few years.
The Thomas report, Mind the Trust Gap, makes for sobering reading. It reveals that 85% of UK businesses must critically improve recruitment processes, with 77% saying they need to improve how they assess the value and skills people bring to their enterprises.
With current recruitment methods clearly broken, the vast majority (88%) of hiring managers and recruiters believe predictive hiring and engaging for potential will be essential to their organization by 2023.
Sabby Gill, CEO of Thomson, comments on the findings: “Businesses need to make a step change in how they recruit if they’re to hire the right candidates first time, every time.
“Otherwise, they risk falling behind. Predictive hiring can help identify traits in individuals and teams that can be harnessed and acted upon, so companies can function properly and innovate successfully in this new world of work.”
That phrase is apt, as businesses have been re-drawing their processes and how they manage their workforces to mitigate the fallout from COVID-19.
It’s unlikely the vast majority of workers will return to their offices full time.
To support their organization’s strategic development planning, HR professionals who have rapidly adapted to remote hiring processes will once again need to understand and locate recruits who can effectively work remotely.
Businesses will also need to locate the staff they need that have longevity. Interestingly, HRs are now using personality, emotional intelligence and adaptability as key indicators that an applicant will fit into the business today, and also have potential as the enterprise evolves.
A psychometric future
Qualifications and CVs are no longer being used as critical indicators. Indeed, HRs are increasingly turning to psychometric testing as the cornerstone of their assessment process.
He believes: “The right HR tech stack is paramount to a successful predictive hiring system. Raw data is great, but having comparable data is even better.
“When you have the right tech stack starting from an ATS into an employee management system, and even including a learning management system, you can feed enough data into your system that it can recognize trends in applicants that lead to internal promotion and a strong desire and capability to learn new processes.”
The shift that HRs would have to make from retrospective hiring to predictive recruitment is profound, but one that would place the businesses that adopt this approach ahead of their competitors.
As enterprises update their digital transformation roadmaps for a post-COVID future, predictive hiring should be a part of their evolving tech stack.
Every business would like to predict the markets where it will be successful. What customers will want to buy in the future and how they should develop their product or service development roadmaps is information all enterprises strive to uncover.
To a degree, this has been possible with predictive analytics. But what if HRs could apply these systems to hiring processes?
According to WCN Solutions, more than half (52%) of the surveyed businesses say that finding suitable candidates from a large applicant pool is the most challenging part of their job.
The rise of AI has touched many business processes. However, experts feel firms should be wary of the complete automation of recruitment.
Brian Mullins, CEO of Mind Foundry, warns about the unilateral and unchecked use of AI in recruitment: “Predictive hiring is complex and can have serious and long-lasting consequences – for individuals and at population scale – if not implemented responsibly.
“AI learns from existing data sets, which are informed by human behaviour. For example, when it comes to recruitment, the AI system may identify that many successful candidates have a certain educational background or socioeconomic status – and it will therefore learn to prioritise similar applicants.
“This behaviour is deeply concerning because it enables the AI to unintentionally perpetuate discriminatory hiring practices.”
However, predictive and prescriptive analytics are tools that can guide a talent acquisition team to focus on a pool of potential recruits who have already met specific criteria. In addition, this approach will lead to more inclusive and diverse applicant pools.
Lynda Fairly, co-founder, Numlooker, comments: “Predictive hiring helps companies focus on the right skills, knowledge and experience for their openings so they can move faster than their competitors.
“This way, they can deliver the best possible service to their customers because staff will handle all aspects of the job – from making cold calls to selling – instead of just one or two tasks.”
This multi-skilled approach is also what Scott Hirsch, CTO and co-founder of TalentMarketplace, believes is the power of predictive hiring: “When you hire someone for an immediate need, you lose precious time with onboarding and training processes until the employee is ready to put their skills to work.
“When you use predictive hiring, the worker will already be trained and familiar with the company by the time they are most needed.”
Building in advanced skills and potential for future use is how innovative companies must operate to ensure they gain the human capital they need to innovate.
As a result, HR teams have been expanding their use of IT for the past decade. For example, predictive hiring tools offer advanced services that could unlock the talent they have been searching for.
A proactive approach to HR
The rich data sets that predictive hiring is based upon have become easier to generate as enterprises generally embrace data analytics when seeking to differentiate within their markets. However, a brute force application of data analytics to recruitment won’t deliver the outcomes needed.
Predictive hiring leverages data and testing results, but HR should use that candidate information as just one component of their assessment.
Thomas found the benefits of predictive hiring were improved quality of talent (70%), improved employee engagement (86%), greater ability to discover areas for an individual’s personal development (80%) and showcasing skills shortages within the business (79%).
Daniel Callaghan, CEO, and co-founder of global background checking and applicant screening platform Veremark, concludes: “HRs are generally aware of predictive hiring although it can appear in a variety of guises, from psychometric tests to sophisticated algorithms that use big data to make strategic predictions.
“We are only recently seeing a shift towards predictive hiring being used earlier in the sourcing process, with scores being allocated based on publicly available information and profiles as candidates are shortlisted.
“It is still, however, mostly confined to the domain of large-scale volume hiring, and has certainly not been adopted by every HR team.”
It is possible to make strong predictions about a hire and how they will perform in the future.
Identifying traits and personality components that lend themselves to future engagement and performance are new tools all HR professionals can use today to enhance their recruitment processes, and simultaneously expand their HR tech stack.