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Recruiting in 2021: Are you candidate rich, or candidate poor?


Part 1

After an erratic and confidence-sapping 2020, all signs and activity indicate that recruitment is back on the agenda in many corners. As some conversations with our clients have highlighted, the previous year and the continually evolving pandemonium has created two seemingly opposite, but deceptively similar scenarios: some are overrun with high quality candidates for their roles, while others are experiencing a talent drought.

In both cases, as a busy recruiter or hiring manager you could easily feel like expediting your selection process and skipping some steps in the interests of making a timely decision.

When cutting corners in a section process and skipping steps in the name of efficiency, psychometric assessments can often be the first thing to cut, for a number of seemingly strong reasons.

What if there’s a talent shortage?

Take that first scenario for example. Say you have a shortage of quality talent for a really crucial opening, and you’re simply not getting the number of candidates that you are looking for to be able to compare and contrast, make an informed decision in your own time, and ultimately take the best candidate that fits your team, culture, and technical skills.

In this case, you may worry that spending your budget and time on more selection steps if you have no candidates to compare. You may have only one or two candidates, and you feel as though the choice is a very easy one (or already made for you), and that you have no choice but to lock them away and make an offer without delay, in case you end up with no candidates! You may even feel as though adding multiple difficult selection steps may chase away your only candidates, into the arms of some more lenient recruiters.

Having seen this scenario occur in multiple forms in my time supporting hiring managers and recruiters through this difficult process, it has always been clear that the more you know about your new recruit before you bring them on board, the better.

What is their learning capacity like, and therefore how quickly will they be able to get their feet under the desk properly and scale up in responsibility? Will they hit the ground running?

What about their interpersonal approach, and way with people? Will they arrive out of their shell, or will they take a few months before they begin to develop a firmer rapport with your team? How comfortable are they with detail, and taking a highly meticulous approach with work and delivery when needed? Are they stoic in the face of stress, or is it likely that they will be more firmly rocked by workplace pressure, stress, and deadlines?

These factors are critical to know prior to onboarding, because while you may not be able to hand select the candidate that stands out to you before you see them perform, you can prepare effectively, manage the onboarding process, and ensure the best approach is in place for this candidate, to maximise the chances of their success – critical when you are struggling to source talent.

Ensuring you maintain a consistent selection process, complete with CV, psychometric testing, and ideally multiple rounds of interviews not only maintains a strong brand to the market, which is imperative for when talent stocks bounce back, but you maximise your chances of success in the here and now, turning a candidate that you may have passed up at another time into a potential star performer with the right support early.

Next week, I will look at the other end of spectrum, and using testing on a highly talented group of superstar candidates that would seemingly make it impossible to make a wrong decision.

Join our Webinar

Is your next hire make or break for your organisation?  Learn the true cost of a bad hire, and gain a broader understanding of how the Mapien Radar psychometric testing can enhance decision making for your next critical hire at our Webinar | Wednesday 17th February | 11am (AEST)

Register here

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Written by
Dr Ian Haslam
Ian’s consulting career and experience is backed by his deep interest in the application of science behind human behaviour, and psychology to engage clients and achieve sustainable results.