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Missing Out: Five Ways to Misuse Online Screening Tools - Part 3

By Evan Sinar, Ph.D.

By Evan Sinar, Ph.D.

Misuse #3: Codifying a Narrow Route to Job Success

Problems also emerge when online screening criteria are based solely on conventional or “typical” qualifications. Such qualifications may include a minimum number of years performing a similar job, a particular college major, or demonstrated knowledge of a specific industry. When these are used as hard, uncompromising limits to narrow the candidate pool from the outset, a company loses any chance to consider non-traditional backgrounds. Veterans of the military, in particular, often have highly-relevant skills that aren’t spotted and credited accordingly if a conventional search approach is used – meaning that these valuable individuals can slip through the process entirely unnoticed. If “required” skills and experiences don’t fully account for variations in the experiential opportunities available to those from other cultures and countries, they too can be inadvertently overlooked. Even “cloning” current employees to identify screening factors can be problematic – if a company’s talent status quo is no longer sufficient, modeling new employees after existing ones may only perpetuate current workforce challenges.

The long-term impact of this type of misuse can be wide-ranging given the consequences of narrow employee perspectives for many key talent management issues, including poor global acumen, stifled innovativeness, and proces inefficiency stemming from long-unchallenged “standard operating procedures”. Instead, screening factors should accommodate alternative routes to success whenever possible. This could involve broadening the scope of “acceptable” backgrounds to encompass adjacent fields, industries, and skillsets, appropriately recognizing military service as a valuable source of experience, crediting candidates for their interest in and active learning about emerging areas where extensive formal work experience may not yet be possible, and carefully vetting all criteria to ensure that candidates from different cultures are not mistakenly excluded.

Evan Sinar, Ph.D., is chief scientist and the director of DDI's Center for Analytics and Behavioral Research.

This article was originally published by Recruiting Trends and is reprinted here with permission.

Posted: 18 Sep, 2012,
Talk to an Expert: Missing Out: Five Ways to Misuse Online Screening Tools - Part 3
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