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Need to Expand Your Workforce? Look to Nontraditional Hires.

June 11, 2020

Erin Iafelice

Pop quiz! Pre-COVID, what percentage of employers preferred candidates that had relevant work experience?

A) 33%

B) 65%

C) 92%

If you answered about two-thirds, you’re spot-on according to a NACE 2017 survey. However, this is Q2 2020. Businesses are rethinking almost everything, including their approach to talent acquisition. We expect that nontraditional hiring will become a highly-accepted, high-performing talent strategy for recruiters in the coming months. Read on to find out who nontraditional hires are, how to identify them with pre-hire assessments, and why concentrating on them could be your smartest, shortest path to workforce expansion this year.

Who are nontraditional hires?

In 2020 vernacular, nontraditional hires are candidates who have the requisite job competencies but may lack job-specific experience. Job experience is traditionally considered a necessary qualification, but prior experience is not a reliable predictor of on-the-job success. Competencies that are a part of each candidate’s individual make-up are. The nontraditional hires approach is a shift for many hiring managers and even recruiters, so it’s going to require collaboration and concrete processes to get there.

Pre-hire assessments make nontraditional hiring viable

Spotting nontraditional hires who are a fit for your position isn’t as hard as you might think. With pre-hire assessments that focus on job-relevant core competencies, recruiters can identify qualified candidates based on predictions of their on-the-job success. 

Modern Hire’s pre-employment assessments are proven to predict job performance. They concentrate on core competencies appropriate to specific roles. For instance, Modern Hire’s pre-hire bank manager assessment reports on the essential performance drivers of builds relationships, coaches and develops, and delivers results. The pre-hire assessment for call center sales reports on sales drive and problem-solving. 

Modern Hire’s platform enables recruiters to make better decisions about nontraditional candidates based on hiring and performance data. Using advanced artificial intelligence that includes deep learning, Modern Hire can process and automatically understand interview responses and other natural behavioral indicators, and then relate the resultant data points to the job and organization-level performance. By bringing AI and predictive analytics to the process to better understand a candidate’s potential for a role regardless of prior experience, recruiters have the tools to implement nontraditional hiring strategies with much less risk.

There’s another benefit to an enterprise hiring platform like Modern Hire, too. Candidates who aren’t very familiar with your industry will want an inside look into your role and organization. They need to be able to get a feel for your culture and envision their future with you. Modern Hire’s pre-employment assessments present a realistic job preview and an immersive job simulation experience. The platform has the tools to integrate job- and company-specific content through the hiring process, and have two-way communication efficiently and effectively. Candidates, recruiters, and hiring managers all gain a deeper understanding of the hiring process for more informed employment decisions.

3 Reasons to consider nontraditional hires

Knowing you can bring data science to pre-employment assessments makes nontraditional hiring a more viable strategy. Here are just three of the reasons to add nontraditional hiring to your talent acquisition plans: 

  1. Your company may have atypical hiring needs now with the reopening of economies. The nontraditional talent pool can help you respond to short deadlines, unexpected high-volume needs, and hiring for new roles.
  2. The talent pool in June is very different than it was in January. It’s not a stretch to say that the workforces of entire industries are in upheaval due to pandemic-driven furloughs, layoffs, and on the flip side, incredible hiring booms. Companies that pursue nontraditional hiring have an opportunity to elevate quality in their hiring and their workforce.
  3. Nontraditional hires can offer a new perspective. How often do we ask someone with a fresh set of eyes to help us solve an ongoing problem? Nontraditional hires may look at processes differently based on their prior experience in other fields and present innovative solutions that work.

If workforce expansion is on your agenda for Q3 and Q4, nontraditional hiring could be a workable solution for the current hiring environment. Demonstrating how the use of proven, validated pre-hire assessments can support that strategy may be your ticket to better hiring performance this year.