IT Industry Today

The Art of Science

Keith Jackson of Infor looks at the diminishing role of instinct in recruiting the best candidates for the job 
Published 27 June 2018

The reason we consistently recruit the wrong people is simple: we rarely have the information we need to make an informed decision.  We have the candidate’s CV resume, ask a few behavioural interview questions like “Tell me about a time when you had to …” and then we sit down and ask ourselves an interesting question.  How do I feel about this candidate? 
Frequently the answer to this question depends on how much the individual reminds us of ourselves.  The subjective decision of hiring a “Mini Me” is common according to Business Insider, which found that “…when we don't have a rigorous, replicable set of criteria from which to evaluate a potential hire's merit, we fall back on our most immediate instrument: ourselves.”1 The result is a lack of diversity that can negatively impact outcomes, including financial returns.  In fact, a recent McKinsey report found that companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.2
To address the seemingly inherent subjectivity involved in the hiring process, organisations are turning to data-driven hiring solutions that help them interview for behaviours instead of stereotypes.  When you rely on data—like behavioural measures, cognitive ability, and performance-related metrics—there are no opportunities for subjective bias to creep into the selection of new recruits. It is hard science and Industrial-Organisational Psychology that delivers to management a “best fit” determination that highlights those candidates most likely to excel in a specific position. No one is excluded based on any subjective criteria; candidates are simply listed with their fit scores for sorting by the hiring manager. This methodology makes the largest possible candidate pool available for interview selection.  By better understanding the behavioural, cultural and cognitive “fit” of an individual, the organisation not only understands if certain candidates should be selected, but where in the organisation they will be the most successful.  The results can be astounding.
According to recent research, the use of Infor Talent Science helped create an average increase of 26.61% in minorities recruited.  And the downstream impact is even more dramatic, with these same organisations seeing a reduction in attrition by as much as 50%. 
This “objective-over-subjective” approach has proven effective in multiple industries.  And while all of this is the result of an evidence-based, scientific approach… it really isn’t rocket science.  Traditional recruitment strategies that rely on intuition and inconsistent evaluations will inevitably lead to frequent mistakes.  Understanding the insights provided by actual data will enable you to systematically increase the diversity of your new recruits and, in doing so, impact the bottom line. 

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