The disparity between modern recruitment techniques and traditional approaches has never been wider. As established methods fall victim to laws of diminishing returns, we sample some contrasting cases from this week’s headlines. Who is implementing smart schemes to attract top talent? What role does technology play in effective recruitment? And how can beleaguered public services balance tighter budgets with falling applicant numbers, when it comes to closing skill gaps?
Public sector recruitment faces stagnation
In an age where finite budgets are expected to go further, public services in Britain are struggling to recruit. This week, it was disclosed that a multi-million pound drive to bring more GPs to Scotland resulted in only 18 successful applications.
The £5 million initiative, which included ”golden hello” payments of £20,000 to each hire, attracted just two thirds of its target number into the health service.
A week ago, Recruiting Times published a similar story assessing the rising costs and falling outcomes of recruitment drives in the British Army.
One of the challenges facing the public sector at present appears to be the tightening of local and national budgets. Despite acknowledgement from government that productivity is slipping, controls over public spending have remained in place. Consequently, services are obliged to adhere to old and outdated practices rather than committing to an up-front investment in contemporary solutions like recruitment software.
It is not the first time that public services have been found over-paying for under-performance in recruitment. Back in September, our news round-up documented a government report which criticised outsourcing firm Capita for poor results in a contract worth £44 million a year.
University recruitment turns to gaming
We do not often offer commentary on university recruitment, here at eBoss. Many would not even consider the process of attracting students as recruitment. But that is exactly how it treated by many of today’s higher education institutions. So it is interesting to consider the changing habits used by organisations when attracting top minds to lecture halls. The cross-pollination of ideas may inform recruiters of the best practices for recruiting graduates to the workplace.
One idea that we have discussed at length is the idea of gamification in the hiring process. Now, one American college has gone one stage further and established a gaming e-sports team in a drive to boost their appeal among the digital native generation.
Averett University in Virginia is among the first institutes to provide funding for competitive video gaming. Chief information officer Kevin Lipscomb stated that the drive was: “ a huge tool for recruitment and retention”.
e-Sports are an area of consistent growth within the entertainment and leisure industries. Averett students will be provided with facilities that enable them to train and compete with teams from around the world. Perhaps workplace gaming squads will one day replace free gym membership as the standard hiring perk of tomorrow?
More Human than Human?
Finally, a report which features tech so advanced that it may be in danger of entering the uncanny valley.
OnRec has profiled the emergent tech of a Chinese enterprise named Human, which aims to interpret the facial expressions and movements of interview candidates. An example of the next generation of pioneering AEI (Artificial Emotional Intelligence), Human suggests that their new system will eradicate subconscious bias from the hiring process, once and for all.
Under the Human process, candidates are interviewed via a video screen. The artificial intelligence is able to decipher meanings in facial responses – and underlying character traits – by analyzing the real-time footage.
Human’s CEO, Yi Xu, said: “We want to minimise the human bias”; explaining that the new AEI system would permit blind hiring strategies: “You don’t know who the candidate is; age, gender, or race doesn’t matter.”