Hidden Workers: Untapped Talent | Harvard Business School and Accenture

Talent Management

This excellent 74-page report outlines several barriers that keep companies from considering hidden workers as candidates to meet their talent needs. Hidden workers “have a desire to work and are actively seeking work, but their regular efforts to seek employment consistently fail because of hiring processes that focus on what they don’t have (such as credentials) rather than the value they can bring (such as capabilities).” One contributing factor to this dilemma is Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), which sort through applicants at scale and exclude viable candidates whose resumes don’t match a specific criterion of the job description. The result can be an efficient process that is less effective at identifying skilled talent. In fact, 88% of those surveyed in this global study believed that their ATS weeded out high-skilled prospects because of this issue. One way to minimize this risk is to ensure job descriptions focus on the most critical criteria versus a litany of “nice to have” skills, traits, and experience. Firms can use this reference to evaluate the impact of their talent acquisition policies, practices, and technology on their ability to access hidden talent.

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