360 Talent Solutions

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You may have heard about the great resignation. Have you heard about the great rejection?

A damning report recently published by Harvard and Accenture has taken aim at both people and technology related to talent acquisition.  In fact, they concluded that a complete reform of talent acquisition is needed:

  1. Refresh job descriptions.
  2. Shift from negative to affirmative filters in ATS (Automatic Tracking System) and RMS (Recruitment Management System).
  3. Establish new metrics for evaluating talent acquisition.

Such drastic recommendations are in response to their findings:

  • Millions of people are looking for work, yet millions of people are being rejected.
  • Employer hiring practices are the single most significant impediment to talent flow.
  • 88% of employers agree that qualified highly skilled candidates are vetted out of the hiring process because they do not match the exact criteria established by the job description. That number rose to 94% in the case of middle-skills workers.
Rex Roy, helping people get noticed and get hired.

If you look at talent acquisition as a system, the problem starts with the input.

Whilst the report tears apart the entire talent acquisition process, it is obvious to me that the problem starts with the input – the information being fed (by humans) into computers. 

ATS and RMS were introduced to maximise the efficiency of hiring processes and allowed the capability to instantly source through countless applications, which freed up time for talent professionals to concentrate on the candidates with the ‘best fit’.

“The direct cost and time to fill a vacancy could be minimized by eliminating marginally less qualified applicants from consideration by using artificial intelligence to filter the unsuitable and rank the remainder … they combined to create a growing and dangerous dichotomy in the workforce.”

In a sense, 2 groups were created:

  1. Incumbent workers with the desired skills
  2. Everyone else, most notably those no longer in employment.

“Through their reliance on an automated hiring process, companies regularly eliminate all but those candidates who most closely match the job requirements specified. Others are excluded from the process, however marginal their deficiencies.”

This artificial labour shortage has been exasperated by the accelerating development of technology, which is making it increasingly difficult to find and attract candidates with the necessary hard skills.   The traditional learning institutions cannot keep pace with the changing demands of employers and since the pandemic hit, there has also been an exponential rise in demand for social (soft) skills.

In essence, talent teams and stakeholders are inputting unrealistic expectations into their talent systems and requesting skills (soft and hard) and experience, which the labour market simply does not have.

It is obvious there is a massive focus on hiring for skills. What happened to hire for character, train for skills?  Skills can be taught, attitudes cannot.


So it’s the computers fault?


It’s the people writing impractical job descriptions and inputting unrealistic criteria into ATS and RMS.

A majority (72%) of employers surveyed acknowledged that when creating a new job posting for middle-skills workers, they used the existing job posting or slightly modified it. Only 19% of employers significantly modified an existing job description template, and only 8% created a completely new job description for middle-skilled workers.

For high-skilled workers, 38% of employers either used the same template or slightly modified it; 35% of employers significantly modified an existing job description template; and only 25% created a completely new job description.

Did you know that the top 3 reasons that stop people from applying to a job description are:

  1. Years of experience required.
  2. Employment gaps in a resume.
  3. Academic performance.

Hiring managers take note.  You are not getting the talent you need because stakeholders are not taking the start of the recruitment process seriously.  Your future star employee has not applied because they don’t quite have the expected years of experience needed / or they had to take time out to care for a loved one, which meant they are not quite up to speed.


Once again, it starts with the input.

It’s time for talent acquisition professionals and all stakeholders to take ownership of their responsibilities and put some TLC into the most important component of their talent system – THE INPUT.


I recently completed my Predictive Index (PI) Certification recently through Humanostics and had the pleasure of collaborating with some of the smarted talent and HR professionals from around the world.  During one of our case studies we were tasked with discussing the important steps needed to creating an effective job description.  This is what we decided:

  1. Get stakeholder buy-in and input:
    1. It takes a village to raise a child and the same goes for creating a job description … well not a village but a team. It isn’t just the responsibility of HR or the hiring manager to compose a job description, it is the responsibility for all stakeholders. 
    2. Who are the stakeholders?
      1. Hiring manager
      2. Talent professional
      3. Team members
      4. Cross functional team leaders
      5. Anyone else? What about the incumbent serving the role?
  1. Clearly define the company and role:
    1. Succinctly sum up the company:
      1. Values
      2. Ways of working
    2. Focus on clear objectives:
      1. Be specific about responsibilities.
      2. Outline tasks and activities.
  • Focus on behaviour styles.
  1. Create an enticing job advert:
    1. The focus should be on inclusion – it’s a job advert not a scare tactic:
      1. Avoid corporate speak, jargon, and abbreviations.
    2. The advert should reflect the tasks, activities, and behaviour styles outlined in the step before.
    3. Ensure words reflect that of the company’s values.
    4. Remember WIIFM (What’s in it for me):
      1. Include a few of the perks

What was fascinating is as part of the same case study we had the chance to create a job description using Predictive Index’s Hire

What is Hire?

Hire is a four-part talent optimization discipline, which combines powerful recruiting software and 65 years of behavioral science to make the right hires—with confidence.  You use talent optimization insights based on people data to hire top talent and build high-performing teams.

It is simple to use; yet thorough, and on the ball for what the position required.

How does it work?

  1. Identify stakeholders:
    1. Stakeholders have communicated their expectations in the process.
  2. Define the job:
    1. Each stakeholder answers a series of questions related to the job assessment.
  3. Create a compelling job advertisement:
    1. Voilà! Hire creates a compelling job advertisement, which you can use to attract the right talent for your organisation.

Want to learn more about PI?  Let’s connect or try it now

Whatever you do, just remember to address problem first – the input

Good luck with your hiring processes,

Dave Crumby

Founder at 360 Talent Solutions | Associate Partner at Humanostics

P.S. The answer to the riddle is ECHO!  Did you get it right?

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