These days, there is rarely a technology that can’t be mimicked, a service that can’t be purchased, or a system that isn’t for rent. Big organizations mostly use essentially the same services from Microsoft Office to ATS databases. With so much homogeny, what separates successful companies from the rest? The people are the secret sauce. Even with proprietary software or patent-protected techniques, no company can truly thrive without one extremely important element: effective and creative teams.
Despite all our technological advancements, it’s humans who truly make the difference at an organization. In our 21s t century reality – where technology is ubiquitous – talent acquisition professionals become one of the most important departments at a company, because they are responsible for the most important competitive asset: new hires.
Unfortunately, we don’t always realize how important our talent acquisition processes are. In fact, many companies remain focused on the wrong metrics, concentrating on hiring quickly, rather than zeroing in on finding the right candidate.
Some organizations are already making the shift. Where most recruiters are encouraged to fill roles as quickly as possible, forward-thinking organizations are focused on quality, tasking their recruiters to fill the roles with the best possible candidate.
What caused this shift? That’s easy – organizations are realizing that emphasizing speed in hiring sacrifices quality. And filling a role quickly with the wrong person is extremely costly to an organization.
For the organizations not yet making the shift and slower to realize they are doing it wrong, it’s not all bad news. The fact is, best practices around making hiring decisions have been understood by academics for years. And they are not that difficult to implement. There are new and exciting talent-acquisition tools that are enabling companies to reform their practices and overhaul processes to create something much better.
With artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, technology can play an important role from the get go . For example, it can help someone write a better job description. This first step in the hiring process would then invite a diverse pool of candidates with capabilities that match companies’ needs. Cloud and mobile computing solutions facilitate better communication between recruiters and hiring managers. Nudge technology and access to data allows decision-makers to move away from hiring based purely on gut-decisions and shift to data-driven choices.
Research has identified five hiring best practices that span the talent acquisition process – from writing targeted job descriptions that invite the best candidates to blind resume reviews to conducting structured interviews. These best practices make hiring more effective and yield stronger teams, happier employees, and improve the candidate experience, which reflects on the company at every step. The talent acquisition industry has technology that can facilitate all of these strategies and transform hiring systems to be both more effective and more equitable. What we need now is a change of mindset.
As an industry, let’s forget the incomplete idea that talent acquisition is only about filling an open position. It’s about strategically finding creative and effective team members that fit the company culture and will drive the business forward. As new markets emerge, and old sectors are rapidly transformed, it’s the employees, the human element, who contribute to a company’s success and it’s competitive differentiation.
Instead of pressuring talent acquisition professionals to be faster, or to collect more resumes, true improvement will come from creating processes that prioritize hiring best practices and finding the right hire. This change in focus from the fast hire to the right hire will succeed only if it is organization-wide and reinforced at every level, from senior leadership team and executive suite to the hiring manager and recruiters.
The data is there: the hiring process is broken. We have the tools and the strategies to change. It’s time to start changing our priorities and focusing on the metrics that really matter. It’s time to hire better.
About the Author:
Laura Mather, CEO and Founder of Talent Sonar, is an expert on hiring, AI, and the future of work. Her innovative technology, Talent Sonar, is the only comprehensive hiring platform to improve hiring at every step from incorporating values into the hiring process to conducting blind resume review and structured interviewing. She was honored as one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business and as one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs. She is a featured speaker at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Generation Summit, HR West, and Ad Week, among others.