Matching for job boards: another view

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MatchingThis week’s guest post by Paul Basile was sparked by my post last week on matching. Paul Basile is CEO of Matchpoint Careers, a matching service that uses psychometrics to help employers hire better candidates. Hope you enjoy!

The greatest service any job board can provide to its job-posting employers and to its jobseeker members is this:  predict a successful, high-performing match of job and candidate.

To hire is to predict.

The very best performing employers predict and match, using proven science.  Yes, thoroughly proven, millions of times.  The evidence supporting prediction in hiring is voluminous and compelling.  Yet job boards mostly have not caught on.  Differentiation and huge value gains await those who implement prediction and matching.

Prediction and matching do not result from simply accessing candidates and doing keyword search.

Accessing candidates is easy and getting easier, via professional networks, associations, career sites, resume scrapers and so on; it’s no longer a differentiator and anyway it offers no help in selecting the right candidate.  Keyword search may identify a candidate’s experience, but presents no improvement whatsoever in selecting the right person.  In fact, keyword search perpetuates current recruitment results, in which about 50% of hired candidates fail.

If you aren’t predicting performance and matching person and job on that predictive basis, why not?

Predict performance and match candidate and job.  Here’s how.

First, measure what matters.  Experience doesn’t matter, not much, nor does years of education – both the core components of the resume (explaining why most recruitment sucks).  The factors that predict performance – the factors that matter – are these:

  • Cognitive ability – the candidate’s ability to learn quickly and well what needs to be learned for this particular job
  • Competencies – behaviors or “soft skills” that, repeatedly, identify the best from the rest, for this particular job
  • Preferences or fit – the motivating factors that enable candidates to feel matched, “in the right place” at a particular job and company
  • Skills – the specific capabilities that can be learned and unlearned, remembered and forgotten; for many jobs, skills are necessary but generally not sufficient or even critical to predicting high performers

Measure candidates along these factors to enable prediction.  Scalable, affordable, validated assessments exist to do this (and, with technology, can be freed from the historic weight of consultants, complexity and excessive customization).  Without this information, you cannot match.

Second, know what mix of these factors – cognitive abilities, competencies and preferences – drive performance in the particular job to be filled.  This information can be found with good reliability.

Third, match candidate and job by identifying candidates who have the closest fit between these predictive factors and the drivers of performance in the job.

Doing this, you will help the employer find the individual whose behaviors, capabilities and preferences best match the determinants of success in the specific role.  And you will help the jobseeker identify the specific job where the determinants of success match his/her behaviors, capabilities and preferences.  And you will do this at scale.

Job boards need to mind-shift from posting jobs and accessing candidates to predicting successful employees.

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Jonathan Duarte

    Once again, great idea, but most job boards will never be able to do this.
    Step 1 is possible… partner with a proven and scale able assessment tool. Easy.

    But Step 2 and 3 are not in the control of the job board alone.

    while I’ve never done it, I’m sure it’s possible to make huge generalities on assessments by job title and import that data… but as soon as you do, it’s obvious that the value of the assessment is going to decline because each job title in each company is different. Adding inaccurate data starts destroying the value proposition.

    Step 3 requires direct response from either a hiring manager or a recruiter who knows the hiring manager and the corporate culture. That’s the problem… it requires work on behalf of the employer and the job board, and isn’t highly scaleable.

    I’d love to see this work, but until you get good assessment data from the hiring manager, no assessment tool will work.

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