The folks at Harvard Business School recently released a report on untapped workers (or, as they refer to this segment of the working population – hidden workers). The report is incredibly timely, as it comes out during a time when the following headlines are dominating the media:

All signs point to a dearth of qualified workers. But is that really the case?

Are Automated Recruitment Systems to Blame?

Let’s take a look at the typical process for talent acquisition:

  1. Recruitment planning
  2. Strategy development
  3. Searching
  4. Screening
  5. Evaluation and control

Step three is where a lot of the hidden workers get stuck, thanks in part to automation filters in applicant tracking systems.

Consider the following scenario touched on in the Harvard report: a hospital is in dire need of registered nurses, so they post a job ad on one of the widely used recruitment systems (Indeed, Monster, and Glassdoor being popular ones). One minor (and easily trainable) element of the role is the inputting of patient data into a computer. The recruitment system, picking up on this component of the role as listed in the job ad or job description, begins filtering out applicants who don’t have ‘computer programming’ listed on their resume anywhere. In effect, disqualifying dozens (maybe even hundreds) of highly qualified registered nurses, while letting through those who may not have the necessary nursing experience needed for the role, but who may be skilled in computer programming. And then, being dissatisfied with these remaining candidates and their lack of relevant expertise, the hospital chalks it up to a labor shortage.

Another unnecessary roadblock that these systems present is arbitrarily eliminating someone with a gap on their resume, despite the many varied and valid reasons as to why such a gap might exist (e.g., a complicated pregnancy, child or parent caregiver responsibilities, a medical condition, an unavoidable layoff). By removing someone from the candidate pool simply due to a (potentially perfectly reasonable and warranted) gap on their resume, organizations can be missing out on star employees.

The global Harvard study surveyed over 2,250 executives from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany, and 88% reported that qualified high-skill candidates are being vetted out of their recruitment processes due to mismatched criteria.

What is the Better Approach to Recruitment?

There is a better way to work through that all-so-important third step in the talent acquisition process. Here are three facts to keep top of mind recruitment-wise.

#1 – Resumes are Marketing Documents

The concept of the resume is somewhat flawed. Resumes are designed to be a marketing piece for the candidate, where they can simply parrot back to the hiring manager what they think they want to hear. Resumes can be easily tailored based on the listed requirements of the role. Like with any marketing document, resumes can be embellished, they can be disingenuous, they can be feeding the reader what they want to read as opposed to what the actual reality is. What is required, instead, is a process that is candidate-centric as opposed to resume-centric. That’s where HRMC Acclaim, and its flexible and sophisticated candidate analysis process, comes in.

#2 – Consider that Someone with a Non-Linear Career Path Just May Be the Best Fit

Most automated recruitment systems look backwards. They rely solely on unsubstantiated assertions documented in a resume, as opposed to considering more pertinent elements, like cultural fit, attitude, aptitude, and core competencies. The candidate who has taken the less traditional road traveled may just be a game changer for your organization. Unfortunately, typical processes don’t do a good job of screening this kind of candidate in, instead of out.

#3 – Direct Questioning is the Best Way to Gauge Role and Organizational Alignment

HRMC Acclaim is an intelligent hiring process, one that starts with defining benchmarks for your organization as well as for the role you are looking to fill. By leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), HRMC Acclaim is able to look beyond the padded resume to curate a selection of high-quality talent who would have potentially slipped through the cracks in your traditional recruitment system setting. Direct job and company specific questioning of candidates, job samples, mini-simulations… these are just a few of the tools in the HRMC Acclaim toolkit. The insights gained from having candidates respond to potential on-the-job behavioral scenarios are far more valuable than what they have opted to self-report in their resume.

So, what does the Harvard Business School recommend as far as finding these hidden workers? The adoption of a more customized approach to hiring. HRMC Acclaim can deliver this customized approach. Over 64 million candidates have been processed with HRMC Acclaim. To learn more about HRMC Acclaim, and how your organization can benefit from a more robust talent acquisition process, schedule your free demo today.

Ron Selewach

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