In recruitment, that is. While I’m reasonably sure that most of my C-suite clients aren’t delighted with this news (if they’ve even heard about it), late Gen Xers and definitely Gen Yers are likely to embrace this trend. What am I talking about? In the May 2014 issue of Human Resource Executive, the special focus feature spotlighted what’s happening in recruitment with respect to screening and assessment. And here’s what I learned:
Companies are tapping metrics-driven methodology and combining gaming and testing with big-data analytics to *try* to transform the recruiting space. Candidates literally play virtual games that theoretically give prospective employers a more strategic way to measure their fit in the workplace. Examples offered include a California company, Knack, and its “Wasabi Waiter” game: “… takes 10 minutes to play and casts players as waiters in a sushi restaurant. They must manage customers, dole out advice, and serve to the best of their ability. In every Knack game, each decision is recorded and transformed into data by special sensors that enable algorithms to process player behavior. Knack is then able to deliver accurate assessments of traits such as creativity, persistence/diligence and other characteristics hard to discern from a resume, college transcript, or interview.” Shell Oil reported that beta-testing did give an edge to 10 percent of new candidates chosen on the basis of innovative ideas. Another company, Stacked (a restaurant group with 400+ employees), used Knack’s pilot program for testing of both managers and hourly workers and found it to be “95% accurate.”
While HR has always been a ‘people profession,’ there’s no question that companies are recognizing the value of making all processes, including recruitment and hiring, as objective as possible, as fair as possible, and - as HRE notes - taps “the benefits of a more rigorous data approach… [embracing] big data and metrics.”
Careers futurist Gerry Crispin (Career XRoads - and one of my fellow speakers at the 2014 Career Thought Leaders conference in Baltimore a few months ago) is quoted as saying, “I don’t think the recruiting-game concept will work for most of the games and simulations that are bubbling up.” He points out, “Whatever data you collect through games… has to predict something downstream and then that prediction has to be tested. If [this methodology is] saying, ‘I can get you better candidates or employees,’ someone has got to prove that to me - showing me exactly how that collected data found a better employee. That is often what’s missing and without it, it’s just entertainment.”
As with all trends, stay tuned… if you saw Brad Pitt’s turn as the Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane in “Moneyball,” maybe we’ll see more mainstream adoption of analytics and metrics in the candidate recruitment process. Still, I contend: “People hire people” (eventually and at the critical stages of the employment process). And that’s not going to change.
– Jan Melnik, M.A., MRW, CCM, CPRW … President, Absolute Advantage
Be inspired. It’s your career. It’s your life.