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Top Nine Predictions for 2016

by Joseph Murphy

The team here at Shaker are experts at developing the tools to help our clients predict success among their candidates. Predicting what the future holds in the assessment space? That’s a little more difficult. Each year brings new changes and challenges to how employers conduct their business, and, in particular, how they hire.

While 2015 was characterized by the growing use of data to shape all aspects of the hiring process, will this trend hold true in 2016? And with mobile assessments taking off in the past year, will they continue to gain ground in the year ahead? And how will technology overall impact how companies hire? To find out what 2016 may have in store, we created a list of our top nine predictions for the new year: 

  1. The big data bubble is ready to burst
    Much has been written about big data over the past few years and how it will change everything. But is more information always better? In 2016, people will realize the irrational exuberance we all have for big data and understand that quantity does not always trump quality.
  2. Growing use of artificial intelligence in talent acquisition
    Researchers will continue to apply artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to candidate evaluation data. This doesn’t mean recruiters will be out of a job any time soon – in fact, recruiters will become more sophisticated consumers of talent analytics.
  3. Rise of mobile assessments
    The assessment market will meet the need for mobile-based solutions and putting more focus on short, sweet mobile-enabled approaches. Mobile design has placed new demands on psychometric rigor and the user experience. The move to mobile is well underway. The winners will be those who reinvent the way four inches of digital real estate can deliver an engaging, educational, and effective evaluation.
  4. The gig economy continues and temp workers will change assessments
    As more companies leverage freelance and on-demand workforces, assessments will have to evolve to this new reality in which organizations are hiring for now, not the long term. Measurements of development needs and growth potential may be stripped away from assessment content.
  5. The end of game playing in assessments
    Adding gratuitous games to a rigorous business process like making hiring decisions will begin to fall out of favor. Game play in other parts of the economy has been challenged to prove it works. What we will see more of is the use of gamification, not games that lack job relevance and face validity.
  6. The self-driving career steps on the gas
    Key aspects of the hiring process will become more automated and fully integrated across a suite of solutions. The candidate will be able to leverage above-the-funnel self-evaluation technology to enhance career awareness and find relevant jobs. Realistic job previews and job-specific assessment inside the ATS will lead to auto-advancing well-qualified candidates. Integrations with other automated solutions, such as self-scoring video interviews and background checks, will short list candidates for job offers. New-hire assessment results will inform the learning management system for individualized coaching and ramp-up support. These factors will contribute to faster time to hire and candidate-centric onboarding for a more self-driven career experience.
  7. Greater value of text analysis for qualitative responses
    Text analytics on random data, like resumes, has not offered much value beyond grouping candidates into different piles. However, text analysis of open-form responses, such as answers to structured assessment questions, has proven to offer greater predictive power. As such, their use will continue to increase.
  8. Computer-as-recruiter tipping point
    A human, enabled with insights from predictive modeling and machine learning, makes better decisions than a computer or human alone. The growing ease of collecting and analyzing objective candidate-evaluation and quality-of-hire data will drive broader adoption of evidence-based hiring practices.
  9. Strong desire for a job change will be disruptive
    An improving economy will fuel turnover and talent competition. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics cites fewer than two unemployed candidates per job opening, yet 54 percent of companies participating in the 2015 Candidate Experience Awards Survey indicated 200-to-1 applicant-to-hire ratios. This figure means many employed individuals are actively seeking new jobs. As the economy improves, hiring and retention initiatives will demand more resources.

As 2016 takes shape, we’ll watch with interest to see how the assessment industry adapts in response to changing technological capabilities and the evolving needs of employers. No matter what the year ahead brings, Shaker remains committed to being on the forefront of selection science, delivering candidate experiences that helps business make smarter, data-based decisions that lead to measurable business results.