Companies with big budgets look to big ideas like gamification. And those with millions of vacancies to compare with millions of candidates want fancy algorithms to match CVs to job vacancies.
Big Technology, Big Ideas
It’s fine to talk of big technology that mines big data to find the next recruit but where does this leave the SME manager seeking to fill three or four roles?
Will the application of big technology really reveal the best people for his jobs?
It seems that these big ideas are following the same trajectory as many before. First there’s the hype, then the early adopters. But like smart watches, it’s unlikely that the first or even the second or third incarnations truly work.
Gamification, Semantics and Big Words
Recruitment gamification is the use of mechanics like competition, scoring and success in an online game. In this game, possible applicants play to earn an interview. Conceivably, those that do well in the game are the new recruits. But it’s early days in research and evidence from academia is essential for managers to be able to believe game results.
Recruitment agencies can maybe use semantic analysis to electronically match CV and vacancy content. This again assumes that the algorithms doing the parsing and reduction are up to the job and have been well researched.
And so-called ‘big data’ mining – the analysis of huge volumes of data from the Internet – might be possible, uncovering creative work from applicants and mapping their online activity. Such creative work may be found to yield aptitude; always assuming the authorship is genuine. In the fullness of time such online activity might reveal personality and other traits. But such inferences are still in research. Papers are only just now being written showing hopeful progress.
And all assume that the best candidates are on-line, rather than out playing sport and socialising face-to-face. Maybe they’re actually doing things most managers would prefer over building an Internet presence!
Using technology in recruitment
Before we get carried away, buying in to that possible future world of games, semantics and mining, let’s look at what’s already available, soundly researched and predictively valid. After all, it’s predictive validity we need– the ability to use search and selection tools in the knowledge that they optimally predict who’ll excel when in post. And current tools offer that predictive validity.
Big things might be for big firms to dream of but there are plenty of evidence-based tools in place today for the SME manager. He need only ask.