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Opinion

Seeing more, not screening more: HR tech stacks must go beyond efficiency

Understanding someone’s learning agility, determination, curiosity, and self-discipline will be more important than any other criteria.

Robert Newry

Leader

Photo by Israel Andrade on Unsplash.

Unleash Your People At a time when there is more available talent than ever, we need to sharpen our focus on measuring what actually matters and challenge old-school hiring.

  • Six out of every 10 HR leaders are happy with their current HR tech stack.
  • 25% of people leaders are prioritizing rooting out unconscious bias.
  • A further 25% have decisions based on ‘gut feel’ in their cross-hairs.

The only thing we can be sure of in these uncertain times is just how much things have changed in the talent world. Social justice movements like Black Lives Matter have put inclusion and diversity firmly on the agenda, while the ongoing pandemic still has us wrangling with new ways to uncover exceptional talent in an almost exclusively remote-work environment.

These seismic shifts have got people leaders everywhere scratching their heads and redrawing their processes. But what’s still unclear is just how this transformation will do more than replicate an analog process in a digital way.

As we speed toward a yet-to-be-defined ‘new normal’, how will the tactics, tools, and tech stacks that people leaders depend on change to make a real improvement?

With this in mind, it’s hardly surprising that our research found that three in four people leaders are actively planning to review their hiring practices and policies in 2021. Of those leaders, 25% have prioritized rooting out unconscious bias, while a further 25% have decisions based on ‘gut feel’ in their crosshairs.

[Read more: Can blockchain eliminate unconscious bias in recruitment?]

This is great news for social change. The more objective, fair, and inclusive the hiring process is, the more businesses will favor true potential in candidates over self-reported skills and experience.

This results in an unrestricted talent pipeline and knock-on positive impact when it comes to developing a diverse workforce and all the known benefits that brings.

Watch Morgan Stanley’s managing director Carla Harris and Torin Ellis discuss diversity and inclusion as a commercial imperative.

With applications per job significantly on the rise, the challenge for people leaders in 2021 is whether their systems and practices are really geared to see more in candidates, or merely screen them.

We found that six out of every 10 people leaders are happy with their current HR tech stack, which means they are not looking at their tech stack to solve the challenges we’ve outlined that most businesses in 2021 will share.

There’s a use of technology gap here and this year should be about trying to close it.

beyond covid-19

It is no secret that people leaders truly believe that human potential is worth knowing, whatever it looks like and wherever it comes from. But is their technology stack tuned to discover it and measure it in a post-pandemic world?

Technical skills tests and realistic job previews were the most-selected screening tools used by the respondents in our recent survey (48% and 36% respectively). However, these are just drops in an ocean of available tools, with many designed to favor skills and experience over potential and cultural fit.

The important question every people leader should be asking is: how do you measure someone’s potential and alignment to culture, or values?

Currently, there’s a reliance on ad hoc — and sometimes borderline ridiculous — interview questions over objective data and real behavioral insight.

talent screening methods must change

A way to combat this is by leveraging a behaviour-based approach to screening that combines psychology, neuroscience, and data science.

In a fast-changing world, understanding someone’s learning agility, determination, curiosity, and self-discipline will be more important than understanding how good they are at numerical tests or if they have worked in an equivalent role for five years.

There are technical solutions now to enable companies to identify the behaviors that matter in a scalable and reliable way, such that people leaders need to be bold in challenging their tech stack — has moving a telephone interview to a video interview done more than just digitizing a task?

At a time when there is more available talent than ever, we need to sharpen our focus on measuring what actually matters and challenge the old-school ways of hiring. What better time to redraw the roadmap?

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