Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success.”
Sir Ernest Shackleton, was a British polar explorer who led three British expeditions to the Antarctic. This is supposedly the ad that he placed to invite people to join him in the expedition. The Smithsonian mag broke many hearts when it found out that this legendary ad was the figment of somebody’s imagination. Shackleton never placed the ad. The legend nevertheless has an important lesson for everyone who needs to hire people for a task. Today we have Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help you search for a needle in the haystack.
Here are some things that will improve the quality of your hires.
- Be brutally honest in describing the job: If the job involves long hours of repetitive work, telling the candidate helps you find someone who does not like too much of change. The Mercer Employee Engagement Index says that more than one in four would consider leaving their organization, if they had the chance. That is a potential attrition of 25 percent waiting to happen. Textioanalyzes the language used in the ad to identify bias. Saying a job requires a ‘‘rock star’’ will draw more men than women; saying it requires a ‘‘passion for learning’’ attracts more women than men.
- Avoid bizarre designations: Using a fancy designation is gimmicky and dishonest. It raises expectations of something grander that what it is. All in-store repairs of Apple products are carried out by "Geniuses", formerly known as Mac Geniuses. When a Genius cannot solve your problem, it can breed cynicism. There is a company that calls the Receptionist, Director of First Impressions. It is unfair to call the Receptionist a Director without paying him/her the salary of a director.
- Assess personality for senior roles: While the job descriptions may be the same, you probably do the same job very differently from your predecessor. Personality shapes several aspects of the role – our ability to bounce back after rejection (Sales roles); risk taking ability; our method of competing with others or even how much we voluntarily socialize with colleagues can be traced to personality. Two leaders will give feedback in very different ways. In one case, it motivates the employee to try harder. Another boss may leave the employee bruised and humiliated. A caveat: use a personality assessment tool that is scientifically validated and reliable. Humantic uses AI to assess the candidate for Big Five personality traits without requiring her to answer a questionnaire.
- Use technology in hiring: Using AI for sourcing, screening and setting up interviews can be great ways to improve the candidate experience. Hilton, Humana, Thredup are among the many companies that are using AI in hiring. Bloomberg and Dolby Laboratories have used GapJumpers to reduce bias in hiring. Humantic recommends assessing the existing team members and then decide whom to hire.
Using the power of AI to supplement (not replace) the human judgment can make the Talent Acquisition process more effective. Making an informed choice can be the first step in having happy employees