Reimagining HR: Why We Must Think Differently in 2013

When interviewing candidates for a new Head of HR position at HireVue, I had a simple question for each applicant: If you could have a clean slate and start the talent acquisition process totally anew, what would you do? Surprisingly, the majority of candidates were unable to provide a good answer. Most just talked about doing things the old way, but using new tools.

Unfortunately, this way of thinking, where we look to adapt the latest technologies to our existing processes without making fundamental changes, is prevalent throughout the HR profession. However, new technology can only do so much. For HR to truly be strategic and ahead of the game, the  profession as a whole needs to rethink what we do and how we can make it better.

Organizations that continue to do things the same way they have always done them are bound the get the same results they’ve always gotten, if not worse. For instance, if a company struggles to find qualified candidates for its positions, the solution shouldn’t be to post its jobs on even more job boards. It doesn’t matter how many places you distribute job postings to or how many candidates apply; unless the company can attract the right talent, it may be wasting its time. After all, everyone knows that it is much better to attract 10 great candidates than 10,000 mediocre ones.

To improve the recruiting process, and attract and engage with the right talent, organizations need to bring more creativity to the function. This is especially important as recruiting continues to evolve and a range of new technologies, solutions and trends emerge. Rather than just adding techniques like gamification to the recruiting process or more actively sourcing candidates on social networks, companies need to figure out how they can use these developments to create an entirely new operation.

Take, for example, the process of hiring IT talent, a difficult task considering that recruiters must be able to assess the coding skills of each candidate. By testing technical ability up front through coding challenges, the organization can gauge whether candidates have the knowledge and technical capacity needed for the position at the beginning of the process. Taking it a step further and including digital interviews as well, the company can enable its candidates to explain their thought process in solving the coding test, as well as give employers a glimpse into their behaviors and broader abilities. This way, recruiters can look beyond the resume to see if a candidate has the necessary coding skills, and also determine if they would be a good fit for the company’s unique culture.

By committing to an evaluation of current processes, and figuring out how they can be changed, HR can play a more proactive and strategic role. To start off, consider just one aspect of the talent lifecycle you would like to improve, such as talent acquisition, engagement or performance feedback, and try to find new ways of doing that one thing. When HR is able to think outside of the box and come up with innovative methods, they can commit to continuous improvement throughout the year.

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