Optimising HR Innovations: 3 Tips for Finding the Ideal Candidate

Posted on November 4 , 2021. 
By James Egremont

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Finding the right talent is becoming an increasingly urgent problem for businesses around the world, with pressure coming suddenly from two sides. On the demand side, vaccination progress and widespread economic re-openings have shifted business priorities away from mere survival and towards accelerated growth. All growth, however, requires an engine – making qualified personnel particularly valuable at this moment.

At the same time, widespread dissatisfaction with the status quo has resulted in what many are calling ‘the Great Resignation’, as countless employees cut ties with their organisations. Although in theory, this trend expands the available talent pool, the reality is that companies in many industries are now struggling to replace their lost personnel with a new supply of productive candidates.

Yet there is good news as well: Recent advancements in HR innovations provide new solutions for some of the biggest recruiting challenges, helping companies find suitable job candidates more easily and quickly. These tools can significantly improve upon the traditional processes employed by HR teams in the past, to attract the very best applicants on the market.

Here are 3 key uses of HR innovations that can help organisations identify and retain their ideal candidates:

1. Recruitment analytics

Data analysis has now become central to modern hiring processes in order to bring in the right talent. Although the technology may seem overly complex at first glance, investing in this business intelligence tool can be extremely helpful.

Instead of reviewing each application manually, companies can save time and energy by letting the software do the heavy lifting. Well-calibrated algorithms can sort through large amounts of information in no time, allowing companies to draw from the right sections of the talent pool.

A resume parser can scan countless resumes for the required skills and certifications, while also filtering for certain keywords that indicate overlapping cultural and personality-based characteristics. Automating this step also decreases the risk of personal bias from the people evaluating potential employees.

The same AI-based toolset also allows for evidence-based insights on job applicants. For example, predictive analytics uses data to make comparisons and projections based on trends from current employees, including their education, skills, and experience.

At the same time, recruitment analytics can keep tabs on diversity initiatives. In-depth data reviews can reveal whether, for example, female candidates tend to drop out at certain stages of the selection process. These reports can help pinpoint areas for investigation and improvement by recruiters, potentially revealing key obstacles such as an interviewer with an unconscious bias.

Algorithms can also provide guidance on which other areas of the talent acquisition pipeline need improvement or adjustment. Data points like time-to-fill, time-to-hire, and cost-to-hire can help recruiters identify where they are wasting valuable time or money.

2. Candidate personas

A candidate persona is a profile of a hypothetical ‘perfect’ employee that would be a good fit for an open position within the company. This fictional character is similar to a buyer persona, which marketers often use to target their intended customer demographic. When applied to recruitment, the persona concept provides direction for job advertisements and suggests effective hiring tactics.

This fictional employee profile is not meant to serve as a job description. Essentially, a candidate persona is a way to creatively embody the characteristics, motivations, skills, preferred work environment, and other qualities that the organisation wants in an applicant. The persona is usually built around the requirements of the open position, statistics from existing employees who are performing well, and input from people who have an interest in the new hire, including team members who will interact regularly with the candidate.

Having a clear outline of the ideal candidate opens the door to more effective methods of finding and recruiting future employees. By identifying the various traits of the perfect candidate, your team can better predict the type of recruitment strategy that will attract the people you want. Job descriptions can be tailored to reflect the ideal candidate, and advertisements on social media can be targeted to reach the types of people described by the candidate persona.

Personas also help take what might otherwise be a somewhat clinical process, and put the focus back where it belongs – on people. Furthermore, when roles and expectations have been clearly identified from the very beginning of the hiring process, employee retention also improves over time, as team members who are a good fit will perform better, and feel more valued by the company.

3. Psychometric and ability tests

Resumes and reference checks will always be important, but psychometric analysis can provide crucial information that may not be included in a candidate’s recorded work history or educational background.

Psychometric testing measures different capabilities and traits, predicting how someone will behave, manage tasks, perform in team environments, and structure their time. Tests of this type can also measure a person’s emotional intelligence.

Ability tests, meanwhile, measure skills involving numeracy, verbal reasoning, situational judgment, and problem solving. These results are often a better reflection of how well a candidate will perform in the workplace than their GPA or listed work experience.

Tests usually consist of an online questionnaire involving multiple-choice questions for written scenarios, but some psychometric tests are gamified by adding elements normally seen in a computer game – a design choice that can increase engagement and make for a better experience.

These assessments are intended to be objective and unbiased towards each test-taker, having been developed according to scientific methods. Often they will require a psychometric testing expert with training and certification to select the appropriate tests and analyse the data collected from these tests.

Psychometric testing helps provide guidance on future job performance for each candidate, and can ultimately help make better hiring decisions – especially when interviews cannot be carried out in person. Many recruiters will use some type of psychometric test as the final level of candidate screening. However, an evaluation can also be used at the very beginning of the process to identify unsuitable applicants early on. 

Finding the perfect applicant

Implementing these tech-driven, creative hiring practices can help organisations find the right talent that can work in harmony together and serve as catalysts for business growth.

At Connexus Global, we apply each of the above techniques, while consistently looking for new ways to identify candidates that fit perfectly with your team. To find out more, get in touch with us today.

James Egremont

Managing Director

Consumer & Industrial Markets


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