Why is Hiring the Right People so Difficult?

October 3, 2019 Nick Martin

When I was interviewed as part of TalentCulture’s WorkTrends podcast series, I outlined five fundamental reasons hiring can be tricky. Although recorded earlier in 2019, these core issues remain as true now as they were then.

We think we are better at decision making than we actually are

Modern neuroscience has shown that humans are not as capable of making decisions as we like to think. This means that we need help making our decisions by getting more information from assessments and technology.

We include assessment in hiring that isn’t relevant

It may seem obvious, but we need to make sure that the candidate assessment we are using is relevant for the role we want to fill. How many times have you seen the same assessment program rolled out to applicants during a hiring campaign, regardless of the skills and behaviors needed for that specific vacancy?

We don’t realize the impact of personality and motivation on success in a role

Personality traits and motivational drives are essential to hiring the right people. They make or break the performance of a candidate once selected for a role. Understand what the role needs, and track down the assessment that will measure it. Make sure your assessment vendor can show you proof that the assessment measures what it says it measures and supports performance improvement.

We don’t use the technologies available to us to give us the best information

Technology has impacted talent management greatly in recent years, from the efficiencies gained due to online assessment and scoring, to the ability to connect and engage with applicants through mobile-first assessment, regardless of geographical location. But we don’t always use the technology to the fullest. Now, we have digital and video interviewing technologies that go beyond simple video recording, by scoring the verbal responses to interview questions. We need to embrace the benefits such technology brings while adhering to the science and best practice methodologies proven over time that underlie successful assessment implementations.

We underestimate the importance of the candidate experience

There has been much talk about the need for a great candidate experience, and technology can improve and strengthen this, but it doesn’t remove the need for human touch. AI can help. It frees up the time of the recruiter, allowing them to take on more of an employer brand custodian role during recruitment. Gamified assessment offers greater insight into capability while simultaneously supporting candidate engagement; some applicants even say they “enjoy” this type of assessment! 

Of course, finding a great vendor for your assessments and investing in that relationship is key to making the hiring process less troublesome. Make sure your assessment vendor has the requisite background, understands your roles, your talent strategy, what you want to achieve, and how you intend to achieve it, you’re on the right track and you’ll get more from them. They’ll help you keep up to date with talent trends, and you can pick their brains about the assessment process and learn about potential pitfalls before you encounter them.

Listen to the full podcast here.


About the Author

Nick Martin

Dr. Nick Martin leads the Global Products & Analytics team, part of Aon’s Assessment Solutions Group and is responsible for the development of next generation assessment solutions and predictive analytics. He leads a team responsible for leveraging the latest science and practical findings to provide Aon’s diverse client base with assessment and analytical solutions that meet their hiring needs, helping to ensure their candidates’ experiences support their overall business mission and goals. Nick has extensive experience developing and implementing assessment-based hiring programs, as well as assessment tools including cognitive ability and personality tests, structured interviews, role-play-based simulations for positions spanning entry-level to C-suite executive roles, and 360-degree and high-potential leadership assessments. Prior to joining Aon, Nick worked as a Federal consultant for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and served as a program manager for the USA Hire selection program and has also worked as an independent consultant. He received his Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and a M.A. in Human Resource Management from The George Washington University. He has co-authored book chapters and numerous articles published in academic journals and the popular press and presented at numerous professional conferences. In addition, he is a member of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, the Austin Area I-O Psychology Association, and the American Psychological Association.

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