How to Tap the Talent Automated HR Platforms Miss | HBS Working Knowledge

HR Technology Talent Acquisition

In early September 2021, I shared a 74-page report by Harvard Business School and Accenture that outlines barriers that keep companies from considering hidden workers as candidates to meet their talent needs. The report defines hidden workers as those that “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).” The report notes that 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. In this new article by Joseph Fuller, one of the report’s authors, he offers further discussion on the challenges and opportunities of hidden workers through the lens of automated HR platforms. A few suggestions offered include replacing static job descriptions with hiring people for skills and experience and resetting ATS filters that often lead to hidden talent going undetected. As many firms continue to struggle to fill open positions, developing strategies to uncover hidden talent — both within and outside their organization — is a worthwhile talent priority for 2022 and beyond.

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