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Recruiting for the candidate’s desire

By Peter Gold, thought leader at Cornerstone OnDemand

For some time now, organisations have been aware of the impact of automation and AI on the workforce. According to the World Economic Forum’s latest Future of Jobs report, almost 50% of companies expect that automation will lead to some reduction in their full-time workforce by 2022, whilst a quarter expect automation to lead to the creation of new roles in their enterprise. But recognising the impact of technology is only the start in preparing for the future and when automation takes over, we also have to be aware of the people and the new generations entering the workforce and how their opinions and view will have an impact too.

In many cases the recruitment industry remains traditional despite big changes going on around us. For decades, organisations have deployed a systematic recruitment process – organisations publish a job description, candidate will apply by submitting their CV, organisations will invite candidates for an interview based on their CV, interview takes place, candidate fills role. This type of system forces recruiters to base their initial judgement on very limited information from the candidate’s CV, often prioritising candidates on certain achievements. This was highlighted in a recent study from Cornerstone which found that British businesses admitted to favouring education over potential when recruiting.

The problem with the current recruitment process is that organisations could be missing candidates that are full of potential because they are only relying on what’s written down on paper and not being exposed to the full picture. Recruiters that have certain criteria in mind can also be subject to unconscious bias, basing their hiring decision on their own experiences, unintendedly shunning some candidates completely.

Giving everyone a chance

Entry-level jobs can be some of the most difficult roles to fill, mostly because candidates lack any work experience and organisations have high expectations. So, when an applicant’s CV bares little quantitative information, is it right that we judge a candidate on their CV alone? If candidates have the availability to work the shifts and are prepared and motivated to do the work, then they should be given the chance the prove themselves rather than being shunned during the CV-sifting process. A candidate that shows curiosity and dedication to the role will also be more willing to learn and grow in the company. So how can we identify the most willing candidates? 

Embracing the bots

Rather than seeing robots as a threat, we should be utilising them to maximise the potential pool of candidates. For example, having a bot pick out a candidate’s application at complete random and interviewing them regardless can remove the bias that humans consciously or unconsciously possess during recruiting. ‘Blind’ recruiting can also eliminate a preliminary opinion or judgement a recruiter might have before interviewing candidates – not knowing who exactly is going to walk into an interview also gives an element of the unexpected. Random selection can be as good as human selection at times if we have the right tools and resources available.

First come first served

Another way to easily identify the most willing candidates is to implement a first come first served system – for example, the first 10 people who can accurately fill out an application with a set of specific questions about their passions, the company they’re applying to and what they want to get out of the role, gets invited for an interview and then the employer picks from that selection. If none of the interviewees are fit for the role, open up the applications again. If in-person interviews are taking up too much time and budget, try organising video interviews instead.

Great change requires great initiative and in the age of automation, desire and soft skills will become more demanding. As organisations face further digitalisation, they must be smart and learn to use technology to their advantage, and for the recruitment industry that means thinking outside the box to make sure they are maximising hiring candidates who have the potential to grow and stay in the business, whilst also keeping it simple for the candidate, the recruiter and the hiring manager. Less is (still) often more.  

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