Mathias Linnemann: Measuring what matters in recruitment

Management consultant Peter Drucker famously said “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” This article explores the role of measurement, people analytics and psychometrics in the recruitment process, exploring how this can have a positive impact on employment and how they should be embraced in future working environments.

The value of psychometric testing as part of the recruitment process

Every recruitment manager wants to find the very best candidate for the job.

Psychometric testing promises to measure a candidate’s mental capabilities and behavioural style which initially may seem like a positive metric to use when recruiting. However, if you scratch below the surface, psychometric tests are not always a reliable indicator of how a candidate will actually handle specific responsibilities and situations in the work environment and can be misleading.

The fact is that it’s much more important to examine the nature of the job, before examining the nature of the individual.

Flexible workers such as freelancers, independent consultants and contractors are usually motivated by working on several different projects.

For project-dependent tasks that are time-specific and revolve around solving a specific issue, it’s important to hire someone who is able to work independently and to tight deadlines requiring little or no training.

On the other hand, if the nature of the job is on-going and not time-specific, it would be beneficial to hire someone who thrives in a more stable work environment, carrying out repetitive tasks, and who is more of a generalist than a specialist.

Whilst psychometric tests can provide an assessment of the candidate, they should never stand alone. Other influencing factors should be the candidate’s CV and experience, their skillset and qualifications, and how they presented themselves during the interview process.

Monitor how positive – and happy – your work environment is

It’s a well-known fact that a lot of job roles are staffed through networking.

96 percent of companies with 10,000 employees or more — and 80 percent of those with fewer than 100 workers — say that referrals are their number one source of new hires, according to a 2016 SHRM benchmarking survey.

The trick is to get your employees excited enough about your company so that they to want to refer someone from their network to an open position, without the need for a financial incentive.

This comes down to creating a great employee experience, fostering a healthy work culture, and ensuring that employees are happy and motivated at work.

According to research carried out by the Centre for Information Systems Research, companies ranking in the top quartile for employee experience have twice the innovation, double the customer satisfaction, and 25 percent greater profitability.

It’s also of value to know what attracts talent today.

As an example, according to a study by the World Economic Forum in 2017, young workers, while no less driven by professional development, now prioritise flexibility, leadership training and work that they find meaningful.

The key is managing to create an employee experience that takes into account the wants and needs of your talent base, allowing referrals to happen organically without any financial implications.

Learn from your people analytics

Finding and attracting the best talent is important to ensure you have the best team to compete in your market.

People are the biggest and most important driver of any organisation’s success, although finding the right talent can be difficult, time-consuming and expensive. On average the recruitment process takes 42 days, and then it can take up to eight months for a new employee to reach full productivity. From an employer’s point of view, that’s approximately 9.5 months before your new-hire is at a satisfactory level.

Technology platforms like ours can help mitigate this problem by using advanced matchmaking algorithms to find the very best person for the job in an instant, cutting down the time-to-hire from 42 days to only one. Such algorithms take into account factors such as prior experience, skillset and qualifications.

Using people analytics as part of your company’s recruitment strategy not only cuts down the time-to-hire, but also allow you to get the very best candidate for the job with exactly the right skills that you need. An added benefit is that is also removes human biases from the hiring process.

Tying it all together with a hybrid approach to employment

Research carried out by the Centre for Information Systems Research showed that better performing companies employed a hybrid mix of freelance talent and full-time employees, with an average of only 60 percent employed full-time.

HR leaders who embrace a hybrid workforce are seen to build a more competitive organisation, able to deliver specialised skills faster and with greater efficiencies and cost-savings.  All of this can be easily measured using technology.

However, HR leaders also need to embrace the fact that employee loyalty is slowly dying. Half of Millennials will leave your company within two years, and 60 per cent of employees are open to a better offer from a competitor.

What people want is flexibility hence why freelancing is growing in popularity. Since 2009, the freelance economy in the UK has grown by 25 per cent and generates an estimated £109 billion a year. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in 2018, flexible workers now account for around 15 per cent of the working population in the UK.

Consequently, companies like Apple and Google already employ more freelancers than regular employees, according to a recent Toptal survey.

HR leaders must realise that talent acquisition is about access, not ownership, and that the best way to attract talent is to create a work environment that people would love to work in.





Mathias Linnemann is the co-founder of Worksome, an online platform that matches companies with on site freelancers and contractors using new technology. Before founding Worksome, Linnemann worked as Industry Manager at Google for six years with the responsibility of handling Google's clients' digital transformations. He has a Master of Science in Innovation & Business Development from Tsinghua University in Beijing and from Copenhagen Business School.