recruitment is changing

Technology can speed up and streamline the selection process. But it’s important for HR teams to strike a balance between technology and the human touch in order to select the best candidate.

Recruitment can be costly and mistakes even costlier: the Harvard Business Review estimates that 80% of employee turnover is due to bad hiring and 45% of bad hires are due to poor screening.

Global management consulting firm Caliper has dug deep into the costs of employee turnover on a business. From a starting point of the daily cost of remuneration of a single employee, it advises using conservative, but wide-ranging, calculations that constitute a company’s annual spend on employees. These encompass advertising and hiring costs, training costs, impact on productivity during hiring and notice periods, as well as potential dismissal fees and agency rates. Caliper suggests a company of 500 employees might see 10% of its workforce leave each year. The learning to take from such calculations is that effective hiring (using a robust selection process) is a money-saver. Retention is a principle to be valued not least because of the costs – potentially into millions of dollars per year – incurred by an attitude that accepts employee turnover as ‘par for the course’.

Using and exploiting ‘big data’ and new approaches such as strength-based interviews – focused on the person – are changing the way recruitment works. As CIPD puts it, we expect employees to be flexible, collaborative and innovative. Why would we recruit them using methods that emerged a century ago and have been consistently derided as outdated ever since?

Organisations are beginning to use employee data to improve their recruiting and selection processes, following the principle that past outcomes are the best predictor of future success. For example, reviewing ten years of CV or résumé data for an organisation’s sales force may show patterns in education, experience or job history that influence employee success in a sales role, which can then be used to improve selection criteria when recruiting new sales professionals.

The use of big data is well-established among marketing professionals and HR is following in its footsteps. A range of candidate matching technologies are becoming available – one such is Crunchr – that allows recruiters to make sense of the data they hold and help them find (and keep) the most talented employees. This analytical approach is one way to overcome the inevitable subjectivity bias in recruitment and is comparable to the data-driven approach that has taken off in sport: it is about finding patterns and information in data you didn’t know existed. 

The first step is to identify any gaps in data collection. Then, start collecting it to produce significant patterns that can be used to inform decision-making, perhaps including a profile of the ideal candidate for a role.

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