When considering recruitment or any other business decision, many of us can feel inclined to rely on tried and tested methods.  ‘Things are fine as they are’, ‘It’s working ok for us at the moment’.  Sound familiar?

Whilst tried and tested methods may work, the question is, are there better options available that can reduce the b**s and simplify things for everyone?

Tried and tested hiring methods

People are at the heart of every business. Attracting and retaining talent is key for any organisation.  Particularly in the current climate.  Despite record vacancies there is still a shortage of talent which could be largely based on the evolving skills required in the face of emerging aspects of digitalisation meandering their way into increasingly more core business functions hence the ‘Digital Skills Gap’.  It could also be in part due to the increased savviness of job seekers who now look beyond purely the financial benefits on offer but the work location, flexibility of work hours, holiday entitlement and other peripheral benefits, notwithstanding the ESG (Environmental and Social Governance) of an organisation.

Conversely, it could also be due to the traditional recruitment practices still applied by many organisations.  Whilst hiring managers and Talent Acquisition teams are confronted by an array of sourcing methods, are they searching broadly enough or still tapping into the same talent pools?

With emerging training camps, particularly in the tech sector, many job seekers are finding new ways to up skill and diversify their talent set.  As a result of the pandemic some individuals grasped the opportunity to learn new skills or bolster their existing capabilities.  Finding new ways to achieve their career aspirations.

Talent Acquisition teams are probably dealing with between 20 – 30 vacancies at any one time so understandably there may be a tendency to rely of traditional, most common hiring methods.  Depending on an organisations attraction strategy this most likely includes a combination of sourcing methods, including job boards, social media platforms, company job site (depending on the strength of their EVP Employer Value Proposition) as well as an agency, either at the start of the hiring process or later depending on success of their ‘direct’ methods.

Are new Talent pools hindered by traditional mindsets?

Hiring managers and teams need to broaden the talent pools to reach previously untapped talent but how far will this take them if they are still stuck in a traditional mindset? 

So how do they do this?

Firstly, it may sound obvious, identify what you are looking for i.e., skills, knowledge and motivations.

Then secondly, how you will assess these core capabilities through your selection process and thirdly your company values and hiring objectives.

Overarching all of this should be the overall goals and ambitions of the organisation and a clear and robust pathway to determine a fair and equitable hiring process. With specific plans to reach a broad range of talent.  A strategy that innovates and can be measured.  With new ways to reach talent and some initial consideration at the start of each hire, there is no need to rely on a reactive, ineffective scattergun approach.   

Are assessments aligned to hiring goals?

Have you considered the criteria for assessment at each stage of the selection process? Critically evaluate how subjective the criteria you are using to select against is.  How are decisions being formed?  It is important that the content within the attraction activities is matched with the assessment stages built into the campaign.  Considering whether each stage offers candidates a fair opportunity to present their skills and attributes.  CV review is the very first stage of assessment for most hiring processes but are they fit for purpose?  They are certainly not objective assessments of a candidate’s suitability at the early stage of selection, so the question is whether there a better way?

Unconscious bias

Implicit, social cognition bias refers to the associations that generalise personal attributes about specific groups of people, based on assumptions we make either knowingly or unknowingly.   Varying forms of bias can be applied to candidates throughout the selection process, perhaps most obviously decisions made at the initial stage of selection can be subject to the ‘halo effect’, a cognitive bias whereby [1] our perception of someone is positively influenced by our opinions of that person’s other related traits.  These may include assumptions surrounding a candidates age or socio-economic groups and subsequent motivations.  This may include for example whether or not the candidate will stay in the role or have periods of absence.  Whether they have followed what is deemed to be the most appropriate career trajectory or whether their personal circumstances will hinder their ability to be fully committed to the role. 

CV assessments are extremely subjective but to what extent is this being considered as part of an organisation DE&I strategy?  Surely the most important question at the initial stage of selection should be whether the candidate has the right skills to do the job.

Investing in each stage of the hiring process, not only enables companies to reach the right talent but creates pathways for long term engagement and trust of the employment relationship and ultimately productivity of any business.

It is time to improve our standards of assessment to support more inclusive hiring and ensure great talent isn’t overlooked due to b**s.

Talent Toute reaches talent directly and includes only ‘active’ candidates within the IT sector and uses anonymous candidate profiles that focus on only the important stuff at the initial selection stage, thus removing the opportunity for the assessor to make unnecessary inferences.  All of which means companies can make the right decision and reach a broad array of talent faster.  A new way to hire and get hired.

Mandy Colledge

Co-founder & Director

Talent Toute