Organizations often look for the latest and greatest tool for their hiring and development processes—often chasing every shiny object with sexy marketing designed to solve all problems with a flick of a switch. Too often, those organizations then pay the price in poor hiring decisions and succession planning, weak leadership and lawsuits.
Enter the latest and greatest super shiny object: artificial intelligence. Everywhere you look, there is discussion and opinion about AI. For now, however, AI is still based on mathematical modeling that’s solely reliant on the input of users or web scraping. CHROs cannot give up on critical assessments that have been proven for over 100 years, nor can they give up on tried-and-true analysis of data.
This article highlights how to use the other kind of AI—actual intelligence—to implement a hiring assessment process that reduces turnover and improves the candidate experience. Plus, it addresses how to align your leadership development approach with your hiring process to create effective succession planning and talent management.
Middle School Math > AI
A key part of the CHRO role in any organization is to mitigate risk—and AI carries a lot of risk, as well as muddied ROI for hiring and development. In fact, AI use in hiring and development could lead to penalties. AI has been around long enough and triggered enough negative outcomes that 17 states have introduced AI bills or resolutions to heavily regulate or even ban its use in certain instances.
Before accepting AI into their hiring and employee development processes, CHROs should understand that there are more proven techniques available that, if executed correctly with human expertise leading the way, can maximize retention and performance while avoiding the other AI—adverse impact.
In middle school, do you remember learning about “rise over run” in algebra? You probably thought it was useless knowledge that you would never call on again. Wrong.
Covariance modeling is the foundation of analytical techniques that are proven winners when it comes to selecting employees, whether this be correlational, multiple regression or structural equation modeling.
SHRM and the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology (SIOP) publish guidelines on using these techniques in hiring, and the EEOC has endorsed such guidelines. You should too. Artificial intelligence, on the other hand, takes the data you feed it—or mines “similar” data from the cloud—and then twists and turns it in thousands of iterations to maximize prediction.
Don’t get us wrong—maximizing prediction is important. But not at the expense of dehumanizing hiring and development and risking discrimination. The candidate experience during hiring cannot be underestimated. It is critical not only to landing the best candidates, but to building loyalty by embracing our common humanity.
Improving the Candidate Experience
Another issue with shiny HR objects is the underlying assumption that the candidate experience means assessments should be more “gamelike.” What candidates really want is not to be ghosted during the process and for the organization to be transparent about the assessments they are required to take.
In the typical candidate experience, candidates never hear a peep from the hiring firm—they’re completely ghosted. Many other applicants, if not ghosted, receive a generic rejection letter. This lack of authentic communication exasperates candidates. LinkedIn is filled with stories of post-interview ghosting and how frustrating it can be.
As a CHRO, you can be more strategic in your hiring process by not only communicating with candidates when they don’t get the position but providing developmental reports and follow-up emails with developmental coaching. If the candidate was unsuccessful in advancing in the hiring process, a follow-up developmental report is designed to keep them focused on reapplying to your organization for a different role, even if they weren’t a great fit for the position they originally applied for. The follow-up emails with developmental coaching tips will keep the candidate “warm” for your recruiters for potential roles in the future—and this process can be automated so as not to add even more to recruiters’ workload.
Developmental reports turn the ghosting narrative on its head, providing valuable feedback and making sure the candidate knows how to improve. This means the recruitment and hiring experience can be both empowering and useful, even when the candidate isn’t successful. Since most organizations don’t provide this kind of feedback, your company, when it does, can stand out and provide a boost for your employer brand.