The New Normal for Hiring
October 26, 2020
Saville Assessment, a Willis Towers Watson Company, interviewed a number of talent assessment leaders from a range of global organizations about the impact Covid-19 is having on their talent agenda and approach to hiring.
In this article we focus on two hot topics impacting how organizations hire talent and take a look at how a global insurance company implemented an award-winning assessment process.
Significant reductions in hiring
Some sectors have needed to significantly reduce external recruitment, at least in the short term. A 50% reduction in external hiring between January and June compared to the previous year was typical.
They have needed to focus their attention and resources on positions which are ‘mission critical’; often executive roles and specialist roles within IT.
Outside of these mission-critical roles, organizations have become more internally mobile. Internal talent has had first consideration for vacancies that have arisen, and redeployment was a common theme. One organization had quickly transferred a team of customer facing staff, during the lockdown of non-essential retail, to their contact center which was facing increased demand.
What might be next?
A focus on internal mobility is likely to continue at least in the short term. Where organizations continue to hire, and recruitment freezes begin to thaw, the number of applicants will far outweigh available roles.
This could put an increased pressure on recruiters and talent acquisition specialists. Processes will be under strain from larger applicant volumes, a new wave of talent in the market resulting from job losses will increase competition, and many talent acquisition teams will be expected to deliver more, with tighter budgets and less resources.
Many of the organizations we spoke with discussed the importance of gathering quality data from their screening and selection process. It will be critical that processes going forwards not only engage candidates, but the data elicited from them adds real value to identifying who are most likely to perform well in the role.
Things to consider
- Internal talent mobility – build processes and structures to make movement across departments simple, allowing you to respond to fluctuations in market demands.
- Assess for behavior - considering behaviors in your assessment processes will help you manage your pipeline better and ensure you are recruiting the people who are most likely to thrive in your roles.
- Assess wisely and get data that matters – more than ever, talent assessment processes need to give you the data you need for timely, accurate decision making.
- Put the odds in your favor– using assessments with proven reliability and predictive power is going to increase your chances of making the right hire. This is essential for your mission-critical roles and important for selecting from your crowded talent pools.
Hiring for senior roles has been easier to adapt where largely the process has involved replacing an in-person interview with a video interview.
Early-careers and volume recruitment has proved more challenging where scheduled assessment centers could no longer take place. Key challenges for moving this to an online setting were finding suitable technology, connectivity, and digital security.
The adaptation to virtual recruitment put a spotlight on the (often overlooked) recruiter experience and how to keep them engaged when delivering several back-to-back assessments online. In response, many of the organizations we spoke to have updated their training and guidance materials to support their people.
What might be next?
It is clear organizations are missing the benefits of physically bringing candidates into their buildings and immersing them in their working environment. Organizations are therefore looking at creative ways to offer this in the recruitment experience. It is likely many innovations in this area will start to be discussed in case studies and at industry events.
The sudden move to 100% virtual delivery will give many organizations a ‘pause for thought’. There will have been pros and cons to the adaptions put in place. Organizations will reflect on how they can potentially maximize the value of their hiring process across key metrics with a more blended approach.
The organizations that have adapted efficiently, maintained the caliber of their applicant pools deal, and helped candidates and assessors adequately prepare for the assessments, will benefit.
Things to consider
- Review your processes critically – does the virtual assessment give you the insight you need or is there a better way?
- Have you got the right technology? For obvious reasons, many organizations have put temporary solutions in place. Now could be the time to review whether the technology you have is fit for purpose or if investment is needed.
- Provide guidance for candidates and assessors so they are as prepared as possible for the nuances of remote selection exercises. Our research shows this is critical for candidate (and recruiter) experience.
Video Interviewing from Saville Assessment
Implementing an award-winning assessment process with a global insurer
We were delighted to take the crown for Excellence in Assessment at this year's Association of Business Psychologists (ABP) Workforce Experience Awards. The judging panel recognized our work with a leading global insurance company, introducing a new cutting-edge digital assessment process for recruiting sales representatives.
We partnered with the client to create a custom Situational Judgment Test , assessing how candidates would behave against realistic workplace scenarios. This was implemented alongside the new Match 6.5 behavioral screener, powered by Wave.
Taking just six and a half minutes to complete, the questionnaire measures 36 critical work areas. A ‘Day in the Life’ video completed an engaging experience for candidates, taking under 20 minutes in total to complete.
The client received an overall role-fit score identifying those capable of driving significant sales growth. Individuals who performed better on the blended assessment sold more policies than those who scored lower on the assessment - averaging $248,000 more in sales per year, per person.
You can find out more about the project in this short video:
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