Just a month ago, large companies in competitive industries were seeing a high rate of job turnover. Conversely, if recruitment had stopped a few months ago, the result would have been an almost immediate labor shortage.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy faces serious challenges. But there are also possibilities — this new situation will result in a larger talent pool available for hiring in the near future. Organizations already know the key for success is to hire the best people available. Whoever is ready for that will be the winner of the labor market and remain competitive in the coming months and years. Right now, job search engines in Europe report a dramatic drop in new job advertisements, but employers who persist can take advantage.
As epidemiologists recommend social distancing, a relevant response is to replace in-person interviews with online workforce selection methods. Aside from helping to control the spread of COVID-19, using digital methods can offer many additional benefits to improve efficiency.
In the case of large companies, a skilled labor shortage will lead to a reduction of production capacity, increased logistical challenges, and stunted growth, resulting in future revenue loss and sustainability issues. All workplaces face serious redesign tasks in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, but organizations must make good workforce decisions in order to survive long-term. In the short term, recruiting new employees or facilitating telecommuting might seem like problems, but this is also an opportunity for employers to introduce newer, more effective methods.
The vast majority of employers worldwide use a dual CV and recruitment interview process when selecting employees. The relationship between the CV and actual job performance is very low, with only a 0.1 correlation on a scale of 0 to 1. Likewise, a well-structured personal interview shows only a 0.18 correlation with the candidate’s expected effectiveness.
In contrast, proper use of assessment tools, such as critical reasoning tests and personality tests, provide a significantly higher correlation — of up to 0.4 to 0.6 — for predicting workplace performance. These tools can be of enormous benefit to companies by making selection more efficient, even in online environments.
Personality tests and applications for measuring critical reasoning abilities have been available online for a very long time, but not every company uses them on a large scale. These are used mainly for filling managerial or office positions. Assessment centers are also available online, and video interviewing (as a final round for prescreened, qualified candidates) is an established solution for large companies.
Personality tests and critical reasoning tests will produce more effective hiring decisions than people can make on their own. A resume or CV, as a personal document crafted by the candidate, does not necessarily provide real information. Recruitment interviews are not very effective because unconscious bias can lead to a much higher rate of inefficiency in employee selection.
The technical solutions for remote work have been in place for years, and most large companies employing office workers are already familiar with them. By applying valid and reliable personality tests, employers can identify candidates who will perform well with less interaction and candidates who will face engagement issues without direct contact with colleagues. This knowledge is beneficial for supervisors who have greater responsibility when employees are working remotely.
It is in the fundamental interest of the economy that every business recognizes that the technological evolution of HR over the last 20 years has provided us with all the tools needed to make our human decisions, even while maintaining social distance. While facing the COVID-19 pandemic, we should use more of the tools that are available to us, recognizing their efficacy and their ability to add value to our hiring decisions.
Continuing workforce selection and improving decision-making are in the best interest of all businesses, especially during this global crisis.