Smart Hiring for the Information Revolution

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Smart Hiring for the Information Revolution

As of July 2019, there were roughly 2 million more American job openings than available candidates. 

Many of these jobs involve new industries, business models, and technologies for which it’s unclear what the ideal candidate might “look like.”  Furthermore, there is a real and growing skills-gap outside the traditional professions; as the Trends Editors have warned since the 90s, universities, community colleges, and high schools are not providing the vocational and soft skills required in the modern workplace.  Moreover, companies are finding that, on average, Millennial and Gen-Z workers are less psychologically prepared for the workplace than prior generations.  All this combines to make difficult-to-assess qualities such as curiosity, creativity, flexibility and an ability-to-learn, equally or more relevant than function-specific-skills and experience.

Web-based services have enhanced the ability to access a larger pool of job candidates.  But this higher volume of resumes may simply make the final selection process more difficult. 

Given this context, the challenge of finding the right people and matching them with the right roles has become more complex than ever.  Yet, most organizations still rely on traditional hiring methods such as résumé screenings, job interviews, and psychometric tests.

But that’s all about to change as a new generation of assessment tools is quickly gaining traction, making talent identification more precise and less biased.

To understand the roles technology might play, it’s important to recognize that certain aspects of the talent identification process have remained constant and are unlikely to change anytime soon.  Consider two big factors:

First, when sizing up candidates, managers try to predict job performance while assessing cultural fit and capacity to grow.  Studies show that managers look for three basic traits:

  • ability, which includes technical expertise and learning potential;
  • likability, or people skills; and
  • drive, which amounts to ambition and work ethic.

Second, to assess the effectiveness of talent identification tools and methods, we must look for a strong correlation between candidates’ scores and subsequent job performance...

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