This year, the Labor Department reported that there are 6.6 million job openings in the U.S., a record high affecting 50% of U.S. employers. As the job market continues to grow, recruiting top talent is more competitive than ever, causing HR professionals to reexamine their hiring processes and technologies.
"Assessment tools work best when they’re an ongoing part of the employee’s journey rather than a “one and done” approach"
Studies show that organizations that invest in a strong candidate experience improve the quality of their new hires by 70 percent. These positive candidate experiences are created through quick communication, a smooth application process, an engaging interview, and prompt feedback--all of which can become easier and more efficient by using technology.
The right HR technology not only streamlines the hiring process for candidates; it also frees up HR department resources. The time HR professionals can save by not scanning offer letters and shuffling around new employee documents is extensive. Time spent manually tracking paperwork can now be reallocated to finding the right people for the new hire pipeline, evaluating applicants for culture fit and engaging with current employees.
While HR professionals understand the value of integrating technology from the interview all the way to onboarding, it is often difficult to find the right technological fit. To ensure new technology solutions are effective, HR professionals can utilize three strategies:
1. Run a pilot test
In the past, in order to find out if a candidate is the right fit, HR professional would invite the candidate to the office for interviews and assessments. Now, online assessment technology helps make this process far less labor-intensive and time-consuming. But before any online tool can be deemed effective, a baseline must be set.
Piloting any new technology is critical, and piloting it with current talent is an easy and effective approach. A pilot test allows HR professionals to assess current employees, and use that information to set the standard for potential candidates. It also allows HR teams to uncover any quirks or inefficiencies in advance, eliminating any potential disruption of the candidate experience. It is important to note that while current high-performing employees can provide the baseline for incoming candidates, they will of course score higher on job performance assessments than most prospects, due to experience.
It is also important to ensure that cultural assessments have built-in flexibility. No one wants an army of robot employees who all think the same way. Assessments that balance strengths and skills make every company better.
2. Be selective and ease in
It may be tempting to adopt many new technologies at once, but this can be stressful for both current and potential employees. One study found workers experiencing recent or current change (such as a new IT system) were more than twice as likely to report chronic work stress than those not experiencing change.
With this in mind, HR professionals should be highly selective when it comes to integrating new technologies into the hiring, onboarding and employee management processes. Allow ample time to evaluate options and don’t settle for solutions that do not support testing the program with current employees.
Even once the right technology is in place, don’t throw out the company’s old procedures immediately, especially if the new solution has yet to prove its effectiveness. Adopting and abandoning technology multiple times is tough on everyone. Ease into the tech transition to make the switch as seamless as possible.
3. Don’t abandon the human element
HR technology exists to refine the hiring and onboarding process, making it more efficient and effective – but it should not replace the human component. Online assessments can measure a candidate’s current performance capabilities to an extent, but they aren’t capable of measuring a candidate’s potential, drive to improve, real-time communication skills and other soft skills.
At Quantum Health, we employ an empathy-driven business model that drives how we interact with our employees as well as with our clients. In our business, it is vitally important to balance the human aspect of decision-making and empathy measurement with technology-driven evaluation. No matter the industry, an organization should never make a single point assessment the reason for hiring or not hiring someone.
Bonus: Think about the long term
Technology can transform the hiring process, but it shouldn’t stop there. From the interview process to onboarding to ongoing reviews, look for technology that grows and adapts with employees, helping foster and maintain a long-lasting employee relationship.
Periodic competency and culture assessments should be used to measure professional development and can be a tool for recognizing and rewarding growth. The right technology should house and streamline this information, giving a company a comprehensive and trackable record of its employees.
Assessment tools work best when they’re an ongoing part of the employee’s journey rather than a “one and done” approach. After thoroughly researching, piloting, and merging technology into their current processes, HR professionals will reap the benefits in the long-term.