Almost 75% of employers are, or will be, experiencing hiring challenges in 2023. This isn’t news.
Forbes[i], Benefits Canada[ii], LinkedIn[iii], The Guardian[iv] and others offer articles full of disturbing survey statistics and trends and itemize the problems that employers will face. They include warnings about managing your corporate reputation, not to ghost unsuccessful candidates, providing remote working opportunities, ensuring diversity, and adopting automated Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). The solutions they offer are somewhat pat and easy to say but harder to implement.
Although these are all valid things to be thinking about, none of them do much to address the bigger problem of “How do I identify qualified, reliable, high-quality, employees?”
Many of the experts’ suggestions target large organizations but aren’t really feasible for smaller companies who hire only a handful of people a year. Small firms don’t need the ability to electronically screen an unlimited number of candidates with an ATS. They need practical solutions to help them make good hiring decisions, just like the big guys.
The one thing that everyone agrees upon is the apparent, sudden, lack of qualified candidates. According to our clients, their biggest challenge is finding people with a decent work ethic.
Regardless of what anyone says (including me!), there are no silver bullets for any of the recruiting problems that employers are facing. Although it’s good to be aware of trends, successful hiring still boils down to onboarding the right people, and that means that you have to be able to identify who they are.
Finding the right employee is about much more than their ability to sell, count, lead or provide good customer service. In our experience, employers focus most often (and sometimes too much) on just the hard skills while overlooking other critical factors.
HR professionals already know that things like education, certifications, and experience can be gleaned from resumes, and confirmed by using skill or role-specific assessments. While it’s certainly important to ensure that candidates for a Financial Management role have the right training, certifications, financial and numeracy skills for the job, there’s more to success than just that. If they don’t show up on time, take bogus sick days, aren’t detail-oriented, can’t meet deadlines, are difficult to get along with, or have a lousy work ethic then who cares how good their accounting skills are?
Resumes and interviews won’t tell you anything about people’s attitudes, tenure risk, integrity, interpersonal communication skills, personal style, soft skills, workstyle, corporate fit, or work ethic.
What most employers really need is a reliable way to differentiate between similarly qualified individuals and determine which person brings more than just those capabilities to the job.
For example, will this person be working remotely some or most of the time? If so, then you’d better know if they are hard-working, trustworthy, dependable, able to multi-task, learn on their own and work independently, with minimal supervision. No resume is going to tell you that, but tools like the Work From Home/Telecommuting Test certainly will!
Are you hiring someone who will have to work with others in a team setting? How do you know if they’re even suited for team work? Assessments like the Team vs Individual Orientation Test, Team Member Career Battery or True-to-Life™ Team Member will tell you.
If you’re hiring for roles where the skills are easy to check for but you still need to ensure that people are reliable, will show up on time, and that they don’t have disadvantageous traits that could affect the work atmosphere and morale of others, then tools like the Dependability & Safety Instrument, Employee Dependability Profile, Employee Reliability Inventory, or Work Integrity Test will identify them.
You might be hiring for a professional role and need a way to gauge their core abilities regardless of whether they’ll be in Engineering, HR, IT, Healthcare or Management. Non-role-specific tools like the Professional 7.0, Professional +7.0, Professional Individual Contributor, Professional Career Battery, or Clinical Professional Career Battery will provide you with deep insights into your candidates’ professionalism.
Employers can also assess their incumbents for:
- Overall work ethic (Business Ethics Awareness),
- Soft skills (Soft Skills Inventory),
- Trainability, initiative, abrasiveness, analytical thinking, and emotional stability (Employee Attitude & Personality Test),
- Whether there are any potential psychological obstacles that could limit an individual’s likelihood for success (Success Likelihood Profile),
- Their diversity skills (Diversity Awareness and Diversity and Cultural Awareness Profile), and even their readiness to be sent to work where they’ll be immersed in another culture (Cross-Cultural Adaptability Inventory).
There are even tools that will help you to assess an individual’s overall workstyle competencies like rule following, attention to detail, ambition, social confidence, problem solving, analytical skills and pressure tolerance. Tests like the Work Style Lens, Work Personality Index or Occupational Personality Questionnaire can help you accurately predict what you’ll get from people on the job.
One of the most effective and reliable things that employers can do is to adopt the use of assessments to help separate the wheat from the chaff and provide the information that they need to make informed and wise hiring and promotion decisions.
Hiring trends and challenges will always be with us, but at the end of the day we’re still dealing with people, and the aptitudes, attitudes, and skills that make them successful.
Using reliable and validated tests to reveal these traits should be common sense.
David Towler is President of Creative Organizational Design, a firm offering nearly 40 years of expertise specializing in employee assessments and which has over 2000 different product titles available. Creative Organizational Design has 100s of assessment tools designed to help employers screen out other people’s rejects, assess skills, aptitude, attitude and ‘fit’ within an organization. For more information about the options available and help selecting the best tools for your needs please contact us. Please send comments about this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.
[i] Hiring Challenges In 2023: Are You Prepared? – https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbooksauthors/2023/01/18/hiring-challenges-in-2023-are-you-prepared/?sh=3d176e9f3777
[ii] 75% of employers expecting hiring challenges in 2023: survey – https://www.benefitscanada.com/news/bencan/75-of-employers-expecting-hiring-challenges-in-2023-survey/
[iii] 5 Biggest Recruitment Challenges In 2023 And How To Overcome Them – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/5-biggest-recruitment-challenges-2023-how-overcome-them-/?trk=organization_guest_main-feed-card_feed-article-content
[iv] Recruitment challenges 2023: six ways to smarter hiring – https://recruiters.theguardian.com/advice/recruitment-challenges-2023