Thursday, June 29, 2017
I was recently chatting with a friend about the job search process (can you tell there’s a recent college grad in my life?). Given the cost of replacing an employee—according to Monster it can be up to 150% of their salary—it does seem a bit crazy that many companies make big hiring decisions based off a couple 30-minute interviews and that the whole thing starts with trying to format your life’s accomplishments into a one-page summary.
So, I was curious to see that one of the world’s biggest companies, Unilever, is now relying on algorithms and online games to recruit and sort potential hires. (I know, I know, you can’t read it unless you have a WSJ subscription, but try Googling the title and you’ll be able to find a variety of sources that deliver the gist: “In Unilever’s Radical Hiring Experiment, Resumes are Out, Algorithms Are In”).
It sounds like a fascinating experiment and one that seems to be paying off for Unilever: 80% of the people who make it through the tech maze and got an in-person interview (the only part of the process that involved intersecting with a real person) got a job offer, though the company wouldn’t say how much money it saved them and the process is too new to measure results.
One of the parts of this story that most appealed to me? That these tools allowed Unilever to solicit new employees from 2,600 colleges instead of the small number of schools they historically visited in person. That sounds like a great way to meritocracize (yes, I know that’s not really a word) the hiring process and increase the quality of new-hires to boot.