Don’t overlook talent: The importance of accurate data

Jeremy Products & Technology, Staffing, Tips & Tricks

Technology allows people to learn about a variety of topics in their own homes. Meanwhile, universities create graduates in a variety of fields who use modern computing devices that prepare them for today's workforce.

Yet, despite all these individuals and the innovative tools they utilize, businesses still have a hard time finding the right talent for open positions.

The Employee Benefit Advisor shared information from the Society for Human Resource Management that detailed the difficulty employers have with screening modern candidates. Over 50 percent of hiring managers said the applicants they see lack basic skills, and 84 percent said candidates don't possess the talents necessary to succeed in a particular position.

While its likely many candidates apply for jobs they're not qualified for, the problem could also be in the screening process. Some companies rely on outdated strategies or don't know how to properly use modern data tools. Here are some reasons people miss out on talent in today's job market:

Past biases
The first thing employers or staffing agencies must do is picture their ideal candidate. Once they have this image in mind, they must recognize if they anticipate qualities that aren't necessary for the job. Do they imagine the perfect employee in certain industries to be a specific race, gender or age?

Businesses have to be sure they evaluate talent fairly. Businesses have to be sure they evaluate talent fairly.

Old biases may cause employers to disqualify talented individuals – maybe even subconsciously. USA Today detailed how Silicon Valley has access to a wealth of Latino and black tech graduates, but for some reason fails to hire these groups. Sometimes it's because the universities producing the most diverse talent are not the ones top companies pull from.

Eliminating biases is not always as easy as it seems. A common best practice is to pull from a variety of data sets on each individual to get a full view of skills before jumping to conclusions. This may also mean gathering many different opinions.

Rigid data systems
One solution to judging candidates on anything other than skills is to break each applicant down into hard numbers. Companies and agencies use modern tools like staffing software to comb through candidate records and create profiles through intelligent algorithms and automated data processing. The Foresight Alliance Future of Work report said these solutions may discriminate if they are designed using old ideas.

The problem may be inflexible systems that disqualify candidates because the algorithms are based on rigid criteria. There may also be an issue when certain qualities are associated with specific groups, such as older individuals having less experience with modern communication platforms.

To ensure staffing solutions don't overlook talented individuals due to singular details, it's imperative to mix algorithms with human insight. This is where staffing agencies with custom intelligence systems really shine. When CRM features simplify the data process, agents have more time to properly evaluate information and create personal relationships with clients.

Missing platforms
It may be a simple matter of looking for candidates in the wrong places. If a business wants the most talented and skilled employees modern institutions produce, it needs to use modern communication channels. The Factor Funding Co. said many organizations don't use public candidate data available on sites like LinkedIn, despite the fact that the platform has features specifically designed for business purposes like staffing.

"Many organizations don't use public candidate data available on sites like LinkedIn."

On the flip side of this issue, employers may be aware of social platforms, but may use them incorrectly. The Society for Human Resource Management discovered a third of organizations have turned down candidates due to content on their Twitter or Facebook pages. These may be images of them in their social lives that have nothing to do with their ability to perform a job.

Candidate communication challenges
Screening agencies can help employers cut through the immense amount of public data available. These organizations are also there for candidates who need tools to market themselves correctly.

One of the the most common reasons for neglecting talent is overlooking qualified individuals due to simple mistakes. Recruiter Today said employers passed resumes over due to things as simple as spelling errors or not putting specific skills at the front and center of applications. This becomes an increasing issue as candidates use mobile devices for initial contact and can't easily write cover letters for each job on their phones.

Mobile recruitment features available on staffing agency software solutions provide candidates with simple and convenient forms for introductions. After that, talent profiles designed for specific industries make certain a person's skills are the most important qualities communicated. A staffing agency should be the mediator to ensure skills are properly translated for employers that say they have a hard time finding talent on their own.