Hiring In Uncertain Times Written by John Russell, Organizational Psychologist In 2019 and early 2020, North America was reporting historical levels of talent shortages. Many organizations were struggling to close the skills gap and fill positions effectively. One of the questions that we asked in our recently released 2020 People Trends Survey was about the pressures and challenges organizations are facing in their recruiting and selection efforts, and the talent shortage pressure was quite clear. 54% of respondents said talent shortages were a major pressure they were facing. Other common pressures were related to speeding up recruiting processes, high turnover, identifying success markers, incorporating new methods and tools, and finding the best job candidates. Well, things sure have changed for everyone this year, and we can assume that if we asked this question today we may get an entirely different picture. The recruiting and hiring processes in organizations have dramatically shifted in recent months, and along with the existing recruiting pressures listed above, new challenges have arisen. From speaking and working with our clients throughout the pandemic, here are some additional challenges that organizations are facing. Alternative Work Arrangements A major challenge this year has been the mobilization of many people into working from home, or having flexible and alternative work shifts. Some organizations are looking into giving employees a choice of whether to return to the office or continue to work from home. A key challenge here is being able to identify job candidates who will succeed and thrive in flexible work environments. New Technologies & Trends The past few years have seen an increase in technology promising to solve all sorts of recruiting and hiring challenges. Things like social media scraping, body language algorithms, gamification, artificial intelligence, arbitrary brain teasers, hiring for culture fit… The list can go on, and it’s no wonder some organizations are so confused that they become reluctant to hire. Some of these new technologies do hold some promise in the future, but these technologies have not proven themselves effective at predicting social outcomes such as job performance. When considering new technologies and trends in this area, be sure to speak to a knowledgeable expert to ensure a complete understanding of the science as well as the limitations. Candidate Experience Engaging with job candidates through various platforms, effectively communicating employer branding and culture from a distance, and providing a smooth, seamless candidate experience are also challenging right now. For us at Psychometrics, we constantly strive to make our part of the candidate experience as smooth as possible, for our clients and their candidates. Renewed focus on Diversity & Inclusion Organizations are finally realizing the competitive advantage that a diverse work force can provide. One way of ensuring that you choose the best candidates from a diverse population is by putting processes into place that help reduce bias in the selection decision making process. Processes like removing or hiding candidate personal information, reviewing potentially biased wording in job descriptions, using structured interviews, and using objective data gathering tools like assessments to ensure evidence-based decision making. Any assessment tool used should not only be reliable and valid, but also equitable. Finding the best job candidates This is still a major challenge for organizations, even despite some industries currently having rich talent pools available. It’s a matter of identifying and defining the applicable criteria that determine success in the role, and using the best tools available to measure candidates against the established criteria. A guiding light in uncertain times And finally, what Psychometrics can offer to organizations facing all these challenges is help. Whether it’s for hiring a new manager or executive, a sales person, a work-from-home role, a succession planning initiative, or staffing up a major project, our measurement experts want to help you through the uncertainty. With a wide array of tools for measuring what matters most, such as personality, leadership potential, judgement, reliability, abilities, and safety, we’re here to help you navigate hiring in uncertain times.