Modern Recruiting: Hiring For Aptitude Over Pedigree

In Bersin by Deloitte’s report titled Predictions for 2015: Redesigning the Organization for a Rapidly Changing World, Bersin boldly defines job skills as the new economic currency, and touts the increased importance of internal talent development. With increased competition to attract talent, many companies are looking beyond the resume to assess a candidate’s potential. Bersin recommends that “Companies should take a “supply chain” view of skills, realizing that it often takes many years for employees to build deep skills within their roles or organizations; career development programs, job rotations, competency-based assessments, and simulations are increasingly important.”

How do these modern hiring trends affect your talent acquisition strategy?

Aptitude Testing

At, senior editor Elizabeth Eyre touts the importance of using aptitude testing to determine if the candidate is a strong fit for the role and if they will mesh with the company culture. Employers want to understand the future potential of their candidate, not simply what they have accomplished in the past. Eyre believes finding the right balance of aptitude and interest is the key to a candidate’s long-lasting success in a company.

Enhanced Learning & Development Programs

Bersin’s report identified the increased specialization of workforce skills as a core reason employers should revamp their learning & development plans. He a cited a 2013 article from Oxford University that projected nearly one-half of current jobs will be eliminated in the next ten years [displaced by technology]. As candidates with direct experience become more scarce, there’s a lower expectation for new hires to hit the ground running without internal training. Bersin recommends building an integrated digital learning experience for new hires, and described companies that are investing in learning management system software that use analytics to provide learning recommendations based on employee’s activities.

Increased Focus On Passive Candidates

Many firms are shifting their focus to passive candidates to reach the best and the brightest in their field. This includes making strategic hires for roles that are yet to be defined to avoid losing candidates due to timing. The increased competition among firms to attract talent has put job seekers in the driver’s seat, and firms have reacted by making it attractive for otherwise satisfied employees to jump ship. With open access to professional networking sites like LinkedIn and industry associations, tracking high potential candidates has never been easier.

Incentives For Personal Referrals

Increasingly, employers want to know a 360-degree view of their candidates, not simply how they act in the workplace. Many firms offer incentives and compensation when current employees help identify strong candidates for the team. Having a friend or colleague vouch for a candidate is effective for a few reasons. The current employee is more likely to provide an accurate assessment, such as noting if the candidate is punctual to work or a strong team player. The current employee can also provide insight on whether the candidate would thrive in your company’s culture. Finally, the current employee knows they are outing their own professional reputation on the line, and would likely be very selective about who they recommend.

The modern recruiting process is shifting away from direct experience to focus on a candidate’s long-term potential. By using aptitude testing, internal training and employee referral programs, hiring managers are being proactive in assessing the qualities that would make an individual successful on their teams. Finding the right fit leads to higher employee satisfaction and lower turnover, so finding the best approach to screening your candidates is well worth the effort.