CEO Chat hosts, Al Cini and Joe Asumendi, talk with their guest Ira S Wolfe, Chief Googlization Officer at Success Performance Solutions. Topics include recruitment, hiring, talent acquisition, Millennials, Gen Z, and pre-employment testing. The interview was recorded at RVN Television.
When Ira S Wolfe wrote his first book in 2004, things like “the cloud” and iPads were nothing more than a “geeks” fantasy. Instead, he predicted a “Perfect Labor Storm,” an accelerating convergence of demographics, technology, education, and globalization. Many people missed the complexity of this convergence and more so, how fast the world was changing and the intensifying pace of disruption. Essentially, he suggested “the SHIFT would hit everyone’s plans.”
For employers, this SHIFT would create a labor shortage and hiring problem. Companies would need to change recruitment, retention, and hiring processes significantly Then 2020 hit the world like a wrecking ball.
As predicted, companies found themselves in the troubling position of having more job openings than qualified candidates to fill them. One reason, Wolfe suggests, is that companies still hire much in the same way they did 50 years ago – they post classified ads and wait for job seekers to apply. That is just the tip of the iceberg.
In this interview, recorded in June 2021 at RVN Television, Wolfe talks with hosts Al Cini and Joe Asumendi about:
- The misalignment of recruitment and how people search for jobs.
- Why the candidate experience is essential.
- Why recruitment is marketing.
- The modern candidate wants to be inspired, not just hired.
- Do you really want to go back?
- The role and importance of pre-employment testing.
There is a Misalignment of Recruitment and How People Search for Jobs
Many managers still believe that an employee needs to show their loyalty to the employer before they invest time and money into the skilling and development of that worker. But by the time a company is ready to take the leap, many months or years often pass. Often, that worker has moved on to greener pastures to find an organization that will mentor, coach, and upskill them.
During this interview on CEO Chat with Al Cini and Joe Asumendi, Ira S Wolfe points out that career paths aren’t vertical anymore. Quitting a job doesn’t mean the worker is disloyal. It could mean he is just more ambitious than the opportunities available at this particular time. He moves on, learns new skills and more experiences, then works his way back “home” when the opportunity arises – better prepared and possibly more mature. He might even be a better fit now than the first time.
There is also a significant misalignment of how companies recruit and how people search for jobs. In the past, employees were focused on the job itself and the rate of pay. To apply, job seekers had to be intentional – they had to complete and submit individual applications and often physically mail or deliver them. Today, you can submit hundreds of prospective employers with the click of a key. Having a bad day at work? Just upload and submit, testing the waters for other employers to boost your employee’s spirits. This ease of applying creates an army of passive, impulsive, but uncommitted job seekers.
The Candidate Experience is Essential
In the not-so-distant past, many employers used a long and arduous application as an endurance test; they only wanted candidates who were “serious” about getting the job. With top talent and skilled workers now in short supply, that is not working out so well.
There is a company called The Talent Board, and they study and research the candidate experience. Their research is based upon how candidates feel they are treated during the hiring process. One measure they use is the “candidate resentment rate.” Resentment is a very strong emotion and sadly, the rate rose 40 percent between the years of 2016 and 2019 in spite of massive investments in HR technology. Combined with social media, a poor candidate experience spreads like wildfires or what some organizations call their “Glassdoor” problem. A rating of 3 or lower might discourage a jobseeker to just swipe left without ever clicking to apply. It’s no longer just former employees organizations need to monitor but job seekers who apply but feel they are mistreated or ignored. These disgruntled job seekers have the power to become “influencers, damaging the employment brand one candidate at a time. Because many more candidates are rejected than hired, ignoring the candidates’ experience is a dangerous game to play.
Recruiting is Marketing
This point is easy to make: recruitment is marketing. It is equally important to market your company to employees, just like you do customers. That is a radical change from earlier days when dangling a paycheck and 2 weeks’ vacation was enough to create a backlog in HR.
The Modern Candidate Wants to Be Inspired, Not Just Hired
Today’s workers, and especially younger ones, want to be part of a bigger purpose, to buy into your mission. If your company doesn’t have one, they will not have interest. Jobseekers want to hear your company’s story and understand how they might fit into it and how your company might fit into their lives. Posting a job description hardly qualifies as inspiring! No one wants to read a job description. Candidates want to know what it will be like if I work for you. Who is my boss? What is he or she like? Will I have opportunities to grow and advance? They don’t need the instructional manual for the job (aka job description) but a short story about what “value” that job might offer them.
Do We Really Want to Go Back to Normal?
With vaccinations and falling infection rates, life is finally returning to a sense of normalcy. Many people are echoing the destination of “back to normal.” But normal is a personal perception. For many people (people of color, women, low-skilled workers, poor), normal wasn’t so good. To attract and recruit top talent going forward, organizations must create a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable culture. But even more than that, it will be important for organizations to prepare themselves and their workers to thrive in an era of never-normal.
More Than Just a Test
Success Performance Solutions specializes in pre-employment testing and leadership competencies. Pre-employment assessments have become a crucial ingredient in ensuring that every new hire fits the job, team, and culture. Some of the human dimensions assessed by Success Performance Solutions testing include:
- What motivates someone?
- What are their leadership skills?
- How do people make decisions?
- How curious are they?
- How do they evaluate their choices?
- How open-minded are they?
- How tolerant or averse are they to risk?
- How resilient, gritty, and adaptive are they?
- How quickly can they learn and apply new information?
Pre-Employment assessment tests also help managers conduct better interviews. They don’t just reveal strengths but expose vulnerabilities and potential. By using the interview questions generated with the report, the interview can now focus on specific traits, abilities, or competencies that might be exposed by the assessment.