The 4th industrial revolution for HR

Few industries have not been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The use of video has increased, not only as a communication tool but as a platform for conducting job interviews. Online assessment technologies have also experienced significant growth in recent months. On the other hand, a large number of companies have taken advantage of the transferable skills of their employees to support the company in tasks, functions and / or positions other than those established.

According to group experts Robert Walters and numerous HR studies, these changes mark the start of the 4th industrial revolution in the field of talent management: “Covid-19 has ended up transforming the way we live, work and socialize . This impact will ultimately mean the confirmation of the fourth industrial revolution, which will blur the boundaries between the physical, digital and biological worlds. In the near future, professionals and businesses will have to adapt to the fact that the only guarantee will be constant change, either because qualifications and skills become obsolete shortly after learning them, or because the workforce more and more work will be a combination. between humans and robots ”, comments Alberto Muñoz, director of the IT and digital division of Robert Walters.

The Global Innovation Department of the Robert Walters Group has just published a new guide “Hiring by Potential in the 4th Industrial Revolution” which addresses the challenges to be met, as well as the talent assessment tools most used by companies in this new ecosystem:

The challenges of the 4th industrial revolution for the HR sector

In the relatively near future, how can we requalify / retrain our current employees? How to identify which employees are suitable for which functions and which roles? How to win the war for talent with companies that hire the same type of profiles, how to be more creative in the way in which the skills are assessed and the added value that each brings to the company, how to find professionals who feel at home? comfortable working with robots? “There is no magic solution to solving each of these challenges, the important thing is to understand that it is not about what an employee can do for the company now, but what he can do that in the future, ”says Alberto Muñoz, director of the IT and digital division of Robert Walters.

The HR function must adopt an increasingly differentiated approach to solve these challenges. You need to analyze how each position evolves as more and more tasks are automated, and what new skills the professional will need that are compatible with this transformation.

Hiring by potential, the main solution to these challenges

The pace of change in today’s world means that no skill set is assured. The logic behind choosing a professional is usually to hire someone who can do their job well from day one, who can start showing results in the short term … But what if the functions for which they were hired vary in a year or even in less than six months? In this case, the professional’s experience will no longer be your greatest advantage.

“In this new context, HR departments must focus on recruiting by potential: choosing professionals capable of evolving and evolving into more complex and stimulating roles as they evolve,” says Muñoz. “The prior experience of a professional does not determine the value that they might actually bring. By thinking about their future projection, HR professionals will take the first step towards a long-term investment in the success of the company, ”he says.

New generation of potential valuation methods

Analyzing a professional’s potential is very different from reviewing a CV or checking references; a systematic approach must be adopted and certain metrics established which allow its evaluation and comparison. Assessment tests such as psychometric tests have been used since World War I. Over the years, other types of valuation techniques have emerged. For example, the assessment of technical skills developed considerably during the last years of the so-called 3rd industrial revolution. This is due to the widespread use of automation, computers and the rise of electronics, the performance of multiple choice assessments and a multitude of technical tests that assess the professional’s current skills. However, with the emergence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, potential-oriented assessments have fully entered the scene.

There are several methods to assess a candidate’s long-term potential, from technology / digital testing to gamification testing, social testing and / or cultural fit. Here is the next generation of talent assessment methods:

Digital skills assessment
It focuses on technical knowledge (usually through multiple choice questions) and technical skills (through challenges or scenarios based on the work environment). The more advanced tests allow you to assess not only the candidate’s answers, but also to understand how he arrived at those conclusions, thus providing key information on how he approaches problems and builds his thought process. Skills assessment in the workplace
Understanding a candidate’s ability to do the job they signed up for is not a new challenge. So-called bac exercises (work simulation with an electronic mailbox) have been essential for assessment centers for decades. However, increasingly sophisticated technologies allow HR professionals to recreate highly realistic work scenarios, such as voice assessments for call center staffing. Game Based Rating
Gamification testing involves the application of game principles in the assessment process. Instead of answering multiple-choice questions or written tests, participants play a digital game that assesses thousands of sets of data about their behavior, skills and knowledge. The fun nature of games tends to generate high response rates. This factor, combined with the credibility that psychologists have placed on it, has led to the widespread adoption of this type of test in recent years. Cultural fit assessment
Often misunderstood, cultural fit is the alignment of a candidate’s values, behaviors, and goals with the culture of the hiring organization. The cultural fit assessment aims to find candidates with the same values ​​and preferences as the company (or the values ​​and preferences the company wishes to have in the future). This test has become very popular in recent times, although it has been criticized by some experts who wonder if this type of approach perpetuates unconscious biases. Video Rating
Our relationship with video changed at the end of 2005 with the explosion of YouTube as it allowed us to interact with video on demand / on demand. One-way (where a candidate answers questions directly on camera and their responses are then shared with the recruiter) and two-way (live interviews) video assessments began in the mid-1990s, but bandwidth and cultural reluctance delayed its adoption until the 2010s. COVID-19 has now reappeared significantly. Psychometric / aptitude assessment
Also called aptitude tests, psychometric assessments assess a candidate’s cognitive ability or personality. They are very popular with companies looking to predict a professional’s potential and assess a relatively wide range of skills and personality traits. Legacy assessment
This category is a “potpourri” of more traditional tests and assessment methodologies, typically standard multiple-choice questions. They also often include verbal and numerical reasoning tests. These assessments have the advantage of being highly tested (and therefore validated and verified), as well as having extensive and varied libraries, allowing companies to implement the same type of assessment provider for all types of functions. . Experiential assessment
Traditionally, assessment has focused on understanding and assessing a candidate’s skills and traits. As companies increasingly fight for top talent, there has been a shift in the use of assessment in the way they interact with candidates and promote the employer brand. An example of this is the use of virtual reality (VR) technology, which to date lacks validity and verification, but resonates and inspires applicants in relation to the hiring company. Language and / or language skills assessment
Growing globalization, nomadic workforces and offshoring have led to an increased use of language assessments. Millions of professionals have undergone language tests in recent years. However, since 2015, there have been increasingly advanced technologies that have enabled testers not only to understand the candidate’s vocabulary and language comprehension, but also their oral communication skills, including accent and skills. oral (share and link ideas in a coherent way).

“To emerge stronger from COVID-19, companies must now renew their workforce: implement a talent management strategy through which their current employees can develop digital, cognitive, social and emotional skills, as well as levels of adaptability needed to overcome future transformations, ”concludes Muñoz.

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