Talent Shortage Is A Myth And You Need AI To See That

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Resourcing teams everywhere are lamenting talent shortage. There are also very loud noises being made about the capability of the candidate pool that is available today. Enterprises the world over are scrambling to face this challenge and trying to get their hiring in order. But is the talent shortage really a problem? Does it even exist? Can AI in hiring help us to see clearer here?

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Talk to any hiring professional in an enterprise and the first problem that they will tell you about is the talent shortage in the job market now. There are openings or requirements and they have looked at a seemingly endless list of people. They surmise that none of them are fitting the requirement, hence it stays open or leads to outsourcing or contracting decisions further. But when you talk to the other end of the spectrum, the candidates, they will tell you that they have been ready with the skills for a while and no one seems to hire them. This is an intriguing situation. To an observer it seems very confusing, there are jobs and there are job seekers why aren’t the two intersecting to get enterprise projects going?  Are we really that short of talent?

The answer to that question lies in the way human beings think and decide. The hiring team is a set of humans who have their biases that are part of them. These are formed over years from various experiences and hence are very tough to eliminate in a person. What kind of biases are we talking about here?

Imagine that you need a great designer with very creative and interesting ideas, you advertise that requirement and a set of candidates walk in. One of them has a hearing problem but is a brilliant designer. The traditional and human based hiring process involves key hiring decisions made from a few minutes of face-to-face interactions with a candidate, this is popularly called an interview. When the hearing impaired candidate walks in for the interview, he/she is actually walking into a room loaded with bias against them and the general tendency is to reject such candidates even if they display the skill needed for the job. This stems from the school of thought that the enterprise somehow will have to stretch itself to accommodate such candidates. The actual fact is that the enterprise is actually depriving itself of a great resource here, one that will deliver and stay for a considerable time. This is true for candidates with any sort of disability or physical challenge.

Now come to the same opening and imagine that a professional with a break in employment walks in for the interview, again the human element in the equation tends to filer such candidates out with extreme bias. They are deemed unfit to hire or something of an attrition risk and never given a serious look even at the preliminary stages of hiring.

Ideally, the enterprise in today’s scenario, where time to market with solutions is the difference between succeeding and failing, should be beyond all bias and aim to be a diverse and inclusive organization that fosters a positive and healthy work culture and environment. There is also a global concern over workplaces not being as diverse as they should be.

When you take all these factors into consideration and take a re-look at the talent shortage situation, you will realize that there really isn’t a talent shortage issue, it’s more of a talent exclusion issue. The real cause for this is human bias in the system.

So what can help and enterprise go beyond bias and actually overcome the talent shortage challenge? The removal of bias. But that is easier said than done with humans. So we will do well to go beyond humans to fix this. Enterprises need to have an AI enabled hiring system that actually builds context around the data that is available about candidates. The classical sources of candidates like job boards  and print ads will not give a full picture of any candidate, you need to go to dig digital data about candidates and the best place to start that is online. The huge amount of digital data can be clearly and easily processed by an AI and yield better fits and larger candidate pools for organizations.

There was a time when such tools were in the realm of fantasy or fiction. But now we have actual products like Spire TalentSHIP that can do this effortlessly for you. So, the talent shortage is just a notion and you need AI to help you to see that clearly and resource more efficiently.

About Shakthi

I am a Tech Blogger, Disability Activist, Keynote Speaker, Startup Mentor and Digital Branding Consultant. Also a McKinsey Executive Panel Member. Also known as @v_shakthi on twitter. Been around Tech for two decades now.

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