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The evolution of candidate assessment tools and what it means for 2018

Day-long auditions, job tryouts and even competing for cash during interviews could all become part of the recruitment sector landscape in 2018 as the industry look to fine-tune their toolbox of candidate assessment tools.

LinkedIn’s Talent Solution’s Global Recruiting Trends 2018 report, released in January collating the responses of some 9,000 hiring managers and recruiters internationally, revealed the sector expects four trends to dominate hiring solutions during the upcoming year.

And more than half of those working in the Australian sector interviewed for the survey said new interview tools would be the most significant change facing the Australian sector in 2018 and would impact the way they hire.

The four key trends for 2018, as identified in the survey, were:

- Increased awareness of the need for diversity in the workplace

- New tools to assess top performers among candidates

- More incorporated use of data in hiring and employment trends

- The extended reach of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

“Traditional interviews are not going anywhere any time soon, but they have been proven to be an ineffective way to read candidates,” the Global Recruiting Trends 208 report states.

“They can even undercut the impact of more useful information and introduce more bias. For example, attractive and charismatic interviewees aren’t necessarily more capable, but we unconsciously assume they are.ias problem in traditional interviews as well as their limited ability to assess soft skills and weaknesses. It’s hard to evaluate grit in a candidate or spot disorganisation simply by having a chat.”

Jason Laufer, senior director of learning and talent solutions with LinkedIn Asia Pacific, said the survey revealed recruiters believed the traditional interview process inadequately:

- Assesses soft skills (65% of respondents agreed)

- Allows recruiters/employers to understand candidate weaknesses (57%)

- Eliminates bias (42%)

- Is inefficient in terms of time (36%)

- Ensures the right questions are asked of candidates (18%)

“To improve the old interview model, recruitment and hiring managers should explore techniques such as online soft skills assessments, video interviews, casual setting interviews, peer interviews and ‘job tryouts’,” Laufer said.

“It is key that companies invest and ensure that the candidate journey aligns to the culture of their organisation.”

Laufer said some examples of the more creative “interview” techniques he had heard about included financial institution Citadel holding day-long job auditions where candidates are offered financial incentives to compete to solve actual business problems.

He added that “auditions” are now being used by employers to assess all manner of skills from their ability to write code to how they think and the ways they operate when working with peers to identify leaders in the group.

Of those surveyed by LinkedIn about the trends expected within the recruitment sector in the coming year, 78 per cent said diversity was extremely important with new interviewing tools the second most important (56 per cent).

The move to incorporate data intelligence and analysis was seen as less critical by respondents (50 per cent) and increased artificial intelligence while the fourth more pressing theme for the year, would only impact the hiring practices of 35 per cent of respondents.

LinkedIn said there are five new tools available to improve the old interview model:

- Video interviews which allow interviews with a broader candidate base

- Online soft skill assessments to ensure candidates have the required skills

- Having candidates perform duties of the position in the interview to check ability

- Holding casual job interviews over a meal to allow recruiters to assess character

- Using virtual reality to assess candidates in 3D environments.

LinkedIn cited the example of Charles Schwab CEO, Walt Bettinger, who takes candidates to breakfast to see their responses when their order is incorrectly filled. Professional services firm KPMG Australia uses video interviews to improve hiring efficiency.

There is no doubt that as the industry continues to refine their processes to identify candidates with the hard skills and qualifications needed for roles, the need to assess soft skills and a candidate’s cultural fit with an organisation will become more important.

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