It’s Time to Hire Better: Lessons from My Conversation with Elaine Orler

I was fortunate to participate in a fascinating conversation with talent acquisition thought leader Elaine Orler at our recent webinar, entitled: “Find the Right Fit: How to Use Technology to Optimize Hiring Results.”

One of the key takeaways from Elaine was that despite the myriad of hiring technologies out there, companies’ talent acquisition strategies have not noticeably progressed from the first transition years to the technological information age. Unfortunately, the majority of companies transitioned to digital file keeping and then got stuck.

While technology has exploded since those early days, mindset hasn’t. Technology allowed talent acquisition teams to open the floodgates, reaching incredible numbers of candidates across the country and the globe in record time. Recruiting teams are inundated with far more applications than they can ever hope to fully review, yet the industry continues to focus on hiring metrics based on resume volume instead of on the quality of those candidates.

Now that there exists more sophisticated technology, why not move away from problematic legacy systems and focus instead on creating a system that yields better, more customized results that serve every company’s unique needs?

With artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, technology can play an important role from the get go. For example, it can help someone write a better job description. This first step in the hiring process would then invite a diverse pool of candidates with capabilities that match companies’ needs. Cloud and mobile computing solutions facilitate better communication between recruiters and hiring managers. Nudge technology and access to data allows decision-makers to move away from hiring based purely on gut-decisions and shifting towards choices supported and guided by data

Research has identified five hiring best practices that span the talent acquisition process – from writing targeted job descriptions that invite the best candidates to blind resume reviews to conducting structured interviews. These best practices make hiring more effective and yield stronger teams, happier employees, and improve the candidate experience, which reflects on the company at every step. We have technology that can facilitate all of these strategies and transform hiring systems to be both more effective and more equitable. What we need now is to change our mindset.

During the webinar, Elaine shared an idea about the value of people that has continued to resonate with me. She said:

“Every talent acquisition professional at every level should wake up every morning and remind themselves of the one truth: that they are responsible for the only competitive differentiator to their business.”

Talent acquisition is about so much more than filling an open position. It’s about strategically finding creative and effective team members that fit in with the company culture and will drive the business forward. As new markets emerge, and old sectors are rapidly transformed, it’s the employees, the human element, who really make the difference and can make one company stand out from its competitors.

Instead of pressuring talent acquisition professionals to be faster, or to collect more resumes, let’s create processes that prioritize hiring best practices and finding the right hire. This change in focus from the fast hire to the right hire needs to be organization-wide and reinforced at every level from the hiring manager, to the recruiter, from HR technology to the senior leadership team and executive suite.

The data is there: the hiring process is broken. We have the tools and the strategies to change. It’s time to start changing our priorities and focusing on the metrics that really matter. It’s time to hire better.

A recording of the webinar is available here.

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