Updated: Aug 7
Evaluating candidates according to their skills and not their CVs is the new consensus. Everyone agrees that skill based assessments are the best way to guarantee a qualified and skilled candidate, that is more likely to have better retention rate, suitability for the work environment and that will ultimately become a valuable asset for the company. This type of approach guarantees long-term success for both parties - the employer and the employee, and results in tremendous time and cost savings that are translated into a beneficial relationship with the concept of recruiting. Therefore, those processes should be performed in a well thought out and clever manner.
Nowadays, with the enormous progress in innovation, how can we move forward from asking people about their needs, to actually assessing them even before they are applying for the job?
In today’s recruiting platform - where can a candidate actually display their skills and show what they truly are worth? Appropriate job seeking these days is limited to social media and networking, and there is not really any other way to find a job.
So what are those illusive skills that we fail to identify through hundreds of thousands of CVs? How are we able to differentiate between the candidates that seem good on paper and the ones that can actually do the job?
In a world that is used to seeing new hires through their CVs and cover letters alone, constantly mounting with irrelevant information, inevitably building discriminative stereotypes and misconceptions, it is just so easy to missout on the right person. The existing sourcing tools are becoming old school and accordingly HR teams are realizing that skills based screening is the way to go.
The high-tech world learned that asking about skills is not enough and have developed performance evaluations tests to help them find the right person for the job. They have much higher salaries and greater resources when sorting through new candidates, and they can afford performance based evaluations in various areas. While it sounds promising, they do it only after the candidate sends over their CVs and comes for an interview, which means they didn’t really rectify the current sourcing method. They use the old ways and add more tests along the road, eventually selecting from the same tall pile of candidates.
Another platform that we recently started seeing a lot of skills questionnaires appearing on is the various social media channels. It might seem like a way to address larger audiences, but it doesn't reflect any qualifications as people can just say anything they want about themselves. It makes those questionnaires a test about people's judgment, rather than their abilities. They think about what their potential employers want to hear and act the part. To get that specific job, there is still a long way to go.
While this is very important to shift the perspective from CVs to skills, when an employer looks at a list of a candidate’s skills, they still learn very little.
Let’s say my Excel skills are amazing, but if the room is loud I simply cannot function. I might be an excellent sales guy, but only if I am talking to a particular type of person. Skills could only be measured in its relevant context, and are really unmeasurable when taking them out of an actual work environment. Consequently, what counts is performance. A candidate's list of skills could be phenomenal, but it must come in a certain context in order to be evaluated.
It goes without saying that a candidate’s background and advantages will help them in doing their job, but those attributes can really shine during an interview.
The bottom line is that all of those skills sourcing solutions are just too little too late. HR teams know that the current process is not enough, but they don’t have the proper solution yet. And the issues begin from the get go. When the initial screening process is far from being objective or efficient, all those add-ons will never be good enough.
Rethinking the whole process makes you realize one vital thing - altering the current funnel is inevitable.
If you want to hire someone for a job, let them try and do the job first. There is no clearer picture than the full picture - a candidate tries out the job, feels the environment, and can function and perform their skills in the most objective manner. Both the candidate and employer will know, very quickly, if the job is theirs to have or not. And of course, the candidate’s chances of sticking with the company are increasing significantly.
One of the main reasons no one has done it so far, is that it is super expensive to execute. These performance assessments take a lot of time and manpower to produce and the employer is always a major part of the process. This is why including special AI tech in the package will solve a lot of those issues - it will create a cheaper transparent process that does not require working closely with the employer and will be much more time efficient.
When introducing cutting edge AI tools to the process, the advantages of skills sourcing will not get lost into another pile. AI, incorporated with accumulated HR knowledge and advanced technology are giving us the chance to deliver a performance based evaluation for a specific job. And that is what matters. Since every job requires a different set of various skills, the crucial thing to know before hiring someone is how they performed within desired skills. It is not only if they hold those particular skills, but realizing how those skills are manifested. And that is the latest message in sourcing - instead of being only skills based, it is about being performance based.
Think of the countless opportunities that can be created when combining years of professional experience in the HR industry with AI technology. The novel solution that is being born out of this combination takes skills and performance assessment to the next level. Tailoring performance evaluations for specific jobs using the technology is made easier, faster and more fitting to each company’s needs. The skills evaluated with AI can give an immediate result on a candidate's performance and abilities, reflecting multiple virtues of their expertise.
An AI solution as such is a huge problem-solver for companies who are mass hiring for entry level positions, who can obtain a large quantity of qualified candidates without ever dealing with thousands of CVs in the process.
Another huge advantage for AI based skills assessment is its objectivity. When the technology is structured to look for particular features, it is blind to others - it ignores color, race, gender, age, experience and any disability or irrelevant limitation. This blindness ultimately creates a much more diverse and inclusive workplace, opening the evident opportunity to work for people who may have never received the chance to do that.
It can also help in one of the most common phenomena of Covid-19, job mobility. Using an intelligent skills-based test, candidates can realize that they could fit into positions they think they are not capable of doing because of lack of experience. A performance assessment could open a window in new hiring options for those individuals according to their vetted qualifications.
The story of screening is the story of hiring. The approach towards screening is shifting from the information a candidate testifies about themselves to their actual performance. New approach calls for new solutions that will help HR move forward to the next step, creating an efficient win-win platform where candidates and employers take control over the process. Harnessing AI technology brings the advantages of performance testing to the front seat with every single candidate, every position and every company out there.