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Why we Think we are the Better Recruiters

Andreas Rogger, HR Director, Nemak [BMV: NEMAKA]

Andreas Rogger, HR Director, Nemak [BMV: NEMAKA]

We as HR experts hear and read regularly about all the great stories from a new industry offering an astonishing array of smart-sounding tools that claim to predict who will be a good hire: voice recognition, body language, clues on social media, and especially machine learning algorithms—everything but tea leaves. Entire publications are devoted to what these new technology tools are doing. (for examplehttps://www.wirtschaftspsychologie-aktuell. de/fachbuch/20180425-klaus-stulle-psychologische-diagnostik-durch-sprachanalyse.html)

We like to look at these sometimes-fancy solutions and we like to discuss about it. However, in the end only a few of us decide consistently to change and give up our current recruitment practices.

We love being recruiters and we love being the ones with the magic formula to “understand” people. We think we are the better recruiters. Don`t we? Better than all these AI, machine or algorithm driven solutions – So why should we change?

Well, first of all to reflect critically and to think continuously about improvement should be part of our DNA and then hiring talent remains the number one concern of CEOs -Survey after survey finds employers complaining about how difficult hiring is. Sowe better stay at the top, when it comes to best hiring practices. But beside that there are some good arguments to build our hiring practices on modern tools and technologies and fora holistic talent acquisition approach. Without any order of importance let me just mention there of them:

1. Unconscious Bias: Research proves that; we’re not immune to implicit bias. We like to think that logical arguments drive our decision making, but in fact there’s unconscious activity going on inside our brains that affects our judgements and decisions. Recruitment is probably the one decision making area in enterprises mostly affected by unconscious bias. We might not be able to get rid of bias completely, but technology and screening instruments can be extremely helpful to reduce unconscious bias.

There are tools that hide applicants’ pictures or tools that automatically post your job ads in multiple places, broadening the outreach and reaching more candidates in the ‘unlikeliest of places’. One of the latest trends is also making parts of the hiring process anonymous. Technology and HR analytics enable workforce diversity and inclusion in sourcing and attracting diverse candidates and give access to wider talent pools.

2. Scarcity of talent & specialists: Organizations need to combat talent & specialist scarcity in a low unemployment economy and today’s approach couldn’t be more different then it was in the past. Census data shows, for example, that the majority of people who took a new job last year were not searching for one. Somebody came and got them. Companies seek to fill their recruiting funnel with as many candidates as possible, especially “passive candidates,” who aren’t looking to move.

Technology, robotics and automation can help to extend the geographical reach, to creating talent communities and to keep in touch with active and passive job candidates, particularly with “silver medalist” candidates who were almost hired but just missed the cut. These instruments are very powerful to nurturing ongoing relationships with talent throughout the hiring process and once a new employee has started. Certain job vacancies can be filled by using robotics only. Technology and analytics play a crucial role in accessing talent and specialists.

3. Cost & efficiencies: One big problem with all these hiring practices is that we don’t know whether they actually produce satisfactory results. Only about a third of western companies report that they monitor whether their hiring practices lead to good employees; few of them do so carefully, and only a minority even track cost per hire and time to hire. Most of what companies ($20 billion in the US only) spend on human resources vendors goes to hiring. Imagine if the CEO asked how an advertising campaign had gone, and the response was “We have a good idea how long it took to roll out and what it cost, but we haven’t looked to see whether we’re selling more.”

The mission is clearly to create a measurable impact on business performance. This is possible only by digitalizing the full recruitment process and together with validated tool and methods have the right data available to place resources and make decisions.

So, plenty of good arguments, and there are many more. But, technology itself is not a panacea. A good recruiter still needs to build relationships, think ahead, play well with hiring managers, empathize, play multiple roles. AI could help build a more objective hiring process, but at the same time, it might also be tied with the human factor. If not used correctly it could actually make things worse. That’s a debate that we’re probably going to be having for many years.

All the analytical arguments are not enough to change our behavior, but the greater expectations organizations will place on HR now that they have advanced talent analytics at their disposal, they will do for sure. HR will need to meet these expectations to become top advisers.

In the end, we as HR are the Experts in Human behavior and being the better recruiters is part of it, but not without fully using the potential that technology gives us to do this well.

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