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How Predictive Hiring Will Help You Weather the Next Disruption

Businesses have evolved considerably over the past half century. Technological factors in virtually every industry under the sun, along with increasing consumer choice and venture capital funding have transformed what it takes for a business to become – and stay – successful.

It has never been easier for an agile startup to bring a successful business to its knees in today’s environment.

To thrive, every business – from Fortune 500 behemoths to three-person operations – must be able to adapt quickly to changes in the marketplace.

The ability to adapt quickly is especially critical in hiring tech talent.

Responsiveness will not be enough

The good news for businesses is that the next generation of talent already knows they need to learn quickly and experiment often. Unfortunately, the bad news is that if organizations are forced to solve old problems instead of attacking new markets, they will have a hard time contributing new blood.

Instead of operating in reaction mode, employers need to develop a strategy that actively seeks out and attracts top talent.

They need to predict where the market is most likely to go tomorrow and identify the skills and talents needed to get them there today. This proactive approach to hiring allows companies to seize opportunities head-on rather than continuing to catch up.

Why predictive hiring is a good deal

The bigger the ship, the harder it is to turn it sharply.

This is a reality that many companies face as their scalability and synergy skills continue to make them uncompetitive. Now the name of the game is speed. From reducing time to market to shortening the window between R&D investment and return on investment, companies that can quickly capitalize on new sales opportunities will come out ahead.

To be one of these organizations, you don’t have to be a small startup or a seasoned entrepreneur – you need to have the right people on your team.

An agile, forward-thinking team will better position your business for the future, increase employee retention, and provide employees with a solid foundation to grow in their careers faster.

Build a hiring strategy that keeps you ready

So how do you identify the right skills?

How to move from a more responsive approach to hiring to one that brings you the people you need both today and tomorrow?

Here are three strategies that can help you build a team that is ready to handle whatever comes next.

1. Don’t dwell on outdated qualifiers.

Effective recruiting is an essential part of predictive hiring. However, you cannot be effective if you get bogged down in largely irrelevant qualifications such as a candidate’s experience or the GPA.

Years of academic research have shown that work experience does not have a causal relationship with job performance. The same is true for GPA. However, these two elements are still widely used to predict the quality of the candidates. If you’re looking to build a predictive talent pool, that just won’t be enough.

Instead, prioritize more practical criteria like passion, drive and aptitude for the job.

Don’t paint everyone with the same brush either. When it comes to recruiting managers, prioritize different traits. An effective manager can create psychological security, solidify structure and give meaning to the work of his subordinates. Looking for more? The study of Google’s Aristotle Project is a wealth of information on team priorities.

2. Make it a team effort.

Predictive hiring cannot be the sole responsibility of HR, it must be a company-wide initiative. To uncover business needs, HR should discuss their strategic goals with business, engineering, and product leaders. Then HR should work with these departments to identify areas of overlap where additional skills can create high value for the business.

From there, hires can work backward to create user personas that match the talents the organization needs. They can also use this information to create course maps for candidate progress. These cards can help identify bottlenecks and develop valuable training programs that will pay dividends down the line.

3. Enter behavioral economics.

There is a great deal of academic research on the criteria for correctly predicting job performance. Most HR departments do not use this search, although 38% of applicants quit their new job (infodot workinstitute dot com) within a year or less. You don’t need to become a subject matter expert yourself, but you do need a team member with a background in behavioral economics or a similar field.

Taking these metrics will help you ensure that predictive research, not hunches, guide your interviews.

HR is in a similar position to marketing five to ten years ago. It’s going to get a lot more mathematical soon, but it won’t all be automated. That said, companies that start building models to predict performance earlier will have a leg up on their competition.

Collect and evaluate your hiring data in relation to previous hires, including pre and post hiring information.

Pre-employment assessment can predict a candidate’s success better than education and experience.

Technology has changed so many other aspects of the business world, and hiring is not immune to these effects. Businesses that want to adapt to a rapidly changing environment need people on the ground who can do just that.

It requires predictive hiring. Without it, you will always find yourself a step back.

Image credit: cytonn photography; unsplash; Thank you!

Lori Eaton

Senior Vice President of Corporate Relations for LaunchCode

Lori Eaton is the Senior Vice President of Corporate Relations for LaunchCode, a non-profit organization focused on filling the technology skills gap by matching companies with trained people. As one of the winners of the MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge 2017, LaunchCode was recognized for expanding “the tech workforce by providing free coding training to disadvantaged job seekers”. In her role, Lori is dedicated to helping individuals access technology careers and upward mobility by partnering with business leaders to deliver workforce recruitment and development initiatives.

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