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The future of recruitment

How to harmonize candidate and employer needs in 2019

Two seemingly conflicting trends are shaping recruitment today: candidates expect a more personalised  application experience that respects their privacy, while companies are needing to make faster, higher quality HR decisions. Surprisingly, but not paradoxically, the rise of big data analytics and the automatisation of HR process both carry the potential to meet these needs.

Change is inevitable in the world of human resources and the trend towards digitalization means disruption is coming fast and furious. Savvy recruiters must navigate new waves of advancing technology, corporate change and applicant demands to keep up. Since a company is only as good as its employees, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

A recent gathering of research scientists from global talent consulting firms identified the biggest disruptors in the talent management space over the next five years. These disruptors included digitalization and technology, artificial intelligence, increased competition and volume of candidates.

As we head into 2019, here are the current trends, both new and continuing, influencing the use of assessments for selection and development:

Unravelling the mystery of big data

We now have the ability to gather almost unimaginable amounts of data, but it’s useless if there aren’t clear takeaways from the numbers. Hiring managers want a clear plan of action, not something that requires an advanced degree to interpret. Traditional interviews have all too often failed in providing a clear picture: 63% of HR managers claim they can’t assess candidate soft skills, and 57% say they are worthless in understanding candidate weaknesses. So rather, Expect staffing professionals to start demanding big data solutions that go beyond the buzzword toward actually making sense of people.

Turning candidates into brand ambassadors

In the age of social media, and online reviews, companies are increasingly aware of the impact the candidate experience can have on their brands. Since assessments should lead to an improved experience for employees, they shouldn’t begin as a headache. A frustrating and confusing assessment process will lead to candidates giving up on the assessment and a negative impression of the employer that required it. Instead, gamification of the application procedure, personalised offers with the help of big data and 24/7 service to the candidates through chatbots provides an experience resembling a service rather than a torture. 

Finding and identifying future leaders

Most organizations hire new employees to address pressing needs. However, short-term staffing fixes are not enough. Growing numbers of companies now hope to plan for the future before a position is even filled, and as a result, they’re seeking out talent they can easily identify as future leaders.

Building a diverse workforce

Both corporations and employees now want to ensure the hiring process emphasizes diversity and inclusivity to prevent discrimination, reduce conflict and produce a stronger work atmosphere – with a stronger ROI to match. Sometimes unconscious biases can slip into the most careful of traditional employee screening methods, making assessments a tempting method to keep things fair.

However, not all new assessment methods are able to effectively address these emerging needs, and some new technologies aren’t proven or are fundamentally flawed. For example, Amazon, known for innovative big data initiatives, tried to create an AI to spot the best candidates based on resume content. Unfortunately, since a majority of roles considered by the AI were filled by men in the past, the AI learned to reject resumes submitted by women. If the developers of AI algorithms are themselves biased, then bias will dominate their results. 

Fortunately, a well-structured assessment can provide HR professionals with accurate, impactful information that blends the latest technological developments with methods that have been tested and proven.

Staffing trends continue to evolve, but new problems don’t always need new solutions. Certainly, organisations can benefit from new innovations if they fully understand their abilities to enhance human potential.


Ashleigh Smith
Article by Ashleigh Smith
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