Nobody loves traditional hiring processes.
Writing job descriptions, attracting qualified applicants, sorting through resumes and cover letters, scheduling interviews, asking the right questions, and assembling offer letters is painstaking and rife with inefficiencies.
Moreover, there are plenty of opportunities for unconscious biases to cloud employers’ evaluations of candidates. We hear all the time, “Oh, I like that guy. I’d go grab a beer with him.” People decide in the first five minutes of an interview if they like a person, and they can ignore the rest of the conversation.
Give companies credit for recognizing the flaws in their current hiring processes, because many of them are now using standardized personality and behavioral tests, as well as skills assessments and artificial intelligence (AI), to improve.
With regard to AI, is this a step in the right direction? Naysayers argue that whoever creates the tests inherently passes on their biases, so it’s impossible to remove completely. More on this topic later.
Assessments That Complement And Replace Job Interviews
In terms of AI, Utah-based HireVue offers a wide range of hiring products, and Ideal is another major player in the AI-based candidate screening market. Also, there’s an AI-powered bot called Mya that companies can use to make hiring more efficient.
Recode reporter Rebecca Heilweil wrote a fascinating report on the state of hiring given the rise of AI.
What’s interesting to us is the rapid rate of improvement in the assessments, let alone the AI. Five years ago, an assessment took 60-90 minutes to finish, and candidates could easily game the tests. If you interviewed for a sales role, you could manage to come out looking like a rock star sales person without much effort.
Now, assessments like the Predictive Index are 20 minutes long, and they will identify test-takers who attempt to game the system. There is barely enough time to be manipulative, and the same questions are asked different ways to reveal inconsistencies in candidates’ answers.
Ultimately, these tests spit out accuracy reports that include the percent confidence level that a test-taker was truthful in their responses. We’ve seen companies ask candidates to repeat tests because of this.
Testing For How Well You Get Along With Someone
How valuable is it to work with a colleague who is also your friend?
Eliminating subjective judgments of a candidates’ ability to “fit in” would likely lessen age, gender, and racial discrimination. On the flip side, though, we spend so much time with our coworkers, so it’s fair to ask, “Shouldn’t it be OK to assign some weight in the interview process to how well you get along with a person?”
While there are tests attempting to solve for this – like the aforementioned Culture Index – the broken part of the interview process that most assessments replace is the skills discussion. Often times, hiring managers will glaze over whether someone can do the actual job because the conversation is going so well.
Eventually, more tests will arise, and I believe the entire hiring process will be automated. This is the evolution that we’re witnessing in the recruiting industry. Human capital is such a valuable asset that companies are relentless about gaining an edge, and it’s natural for them to look to technology for the solution.
Imagine The Future Of Hiring And Employee Retention
Major tech companies like LinkedIn and Indeed are on the front end of this movement. Indeed’s assessments platform is intuitive, and LinkedIn has more data points on candidates than anyone else.
Imagine a world where you don’t even apply for a job to get hired. You take tests that are tied to your LinkedIn or Indeed profile and then set parameters for jobs and companies that you are interested in. Then employers match with you algorithmically based on a variety of factors, such as your assessments and test scores, and use that data + machine learning to present you an offer letter sight unseen.
For hyper-growth companies that must hire 50-100 people in a quarter, this could be a practical solution. The value of time savings could outweigh the cost of bad hires.
Aside from hiring, there is just as much value (if not more) in retaining talent. IBM claims that their predictive attrition program using AI can predict with 95 percent accuracy which workers are about to quit their jobs. Intervening to prevent key employees from leaving is hugely valuable.
A few of the key things to remember relative to using technology in hiring are:
- Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good: Finding faults in AI doesn’t mean the technology isn’t superior to traditional hiring and retention practices, which carry their own risks and problems.
- It’s not all or nothing: Using assessments and AI in parts of your hiring process is a good first step to introduce efficiencies without sacrificing nuance.
- Garbage in, garbage out: If you use advanced modeling to assist in your hiring process, make sure the inputs are valid. If the data is incomplete or inaccurate, then your model won’t be useful and you could draw incorrect conclusions.
To figure out how your business can improve its hiring and retention practices, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.