2012 #hrwins HR Companies To Watch Vendor Report: SkillSurvey

Quality.  When it comes to Talent Acquisition, achieving a consistent Quality of Hire is like the quest for the Holy Grail.  Whether it’s more like the folklore and tales of old or more like the Monty Python version – I leave that up to you and your personal  experience.

Quality of Hire is dependent on both the source of Talent and quantifying the fit of an individual to a role and company.  Quality of Hire bubbles up every few years as a hot issue in the Human Capital Management (HCM) space, but it’s such a complex and costly issue to address that it generally gets overpowered by things that address more short-term business issues.  You’ve probably heard the old saying, “Quality. Speed. Low Costs. Pick any two, but you can’t get all three together.”  We generally don’t like to hire slowly, or to commit to higher costs.  The deck seems stacked against Quality of Hire, doesn’t it?

I think HR Pros and Hiring Managers would love a more simple approach to Quality of Hire than the market has given us so far.

So many of the Sourcing tools we use for candidates result in volumes of resumes or profiles that need to be scoured and filtered.  Once you get through that process, in most cases you are then making your first impression to the candidate via email, tweet, or message on a Social Network.  Is casting my net for candidates on the entire Open Web with great algorithms really my best way to find quality talent?

Once a candidate is seriously considered in the hiring process we’ve developed assessments and tests to help understand fit and the candidate’s strengths.  I would never argue that these processes can’t work – I’ve seen them work first hand, but they are cumbersome and tend to be more helpful as an indicator of how best to manage and collaborate well together – not really a vehicle for a hiring decision.  We all believe that top talent knows top talent, so we clamor around referrals as the premium source, and litmus test, for quality.

Could there be an even better source for talent than referrals?  Is there a way to engage that talent that helps me make more effective hiring decisions?  Could there be a way to get assessment level perspective on a candidate before the hiring decision is made?

Enter SkillSurvey.

SkillSurvey has been pioneering the automation of reference checking for years, however they don’t just automate the process to get you more completion rates – their solution promises to move beyond reference checking and into what they call “reference assessment”.  They’ve introduced scientifically-validated behavioral assessments in the reference-checking process, giving Hiring Managers and HR a 360°-view of a candidate’s fit for a given position.  They have smartly and creatively introduced assessments during the reference process.  This promises to impact Quality of Hire, Turnover, and efficiency metrics.

Their innovation doesn’t end with the process.  They have also entered into the world of sourcing, by helping their customers build a database of, what SkillSurvey considers, the highest quality Talent Pool – Individuals that have been references for your candidates and have opted in to learn more about you.  It’s compelling.  I can tell you from my own experience in 3rd Party Search and via my relationships with folks in that role, references are considered an even higher quality source of talent than referrals.   SkillSurvey is rumored to be working on taking this Opt-In database into the Social Recruiting world – providing an Employer Branding experience and true cultivation of relationships with this source of talent.

SkillSurvey addresses several opportunities or business challenges for companies of almost any size:

Shorten Your Time Time To Hire.  Anyone that has been involved in the hiring process will commiserate with you about several of the steps that slow your time to hire, or time to fill.  Reference checking is one of those.  The phone tag and email tag can go on for unacceptable lengths of time.  Automating the process boosts efficiency and effectiveness.

Synchronizes Reference Process With Core Business Metrics.  Using a standardized process, SkillSurvey can synchronize the reference data collected with key metrics for your business.  Perhaps the biggest example of this is where they have synced reference surveys with the Patient Satisfaction Standards (HCAHPS) used in Healthcare.  This gives Hiring Managers and HR Pros a view to how a prospective new hire will impact key ratings around Patient Satisfaction.  You could see the same approach be helpful in various hiring disciplines.

Puts A Focus on Quality.  Whether it’s the 360° assessment data considered during the hiring process, or whether it’s cultivating your most valuable source of talent, applying a measurable focus to Quality  leads to a proactive hiring environment aligned on values and culture.

The modules break down like this:

Pre-Hire360®:  Behavioral web-based reference checks that assess a candidate’s behaviors, skills and developmental needs with their managers, peers, business partners, and clients.

Passive Candidate Compiler™:  A powerful opt-in searchable database of prospective candidates who are eager to learn about future job openings at your company.

If you are a company of almost any size and interested in a more simple, but effective way of  improving your Quality of Hire, or you are interested in cultivating a Talent Pool of, what may arguably be, your highest Quality prospective candidates, or both, you should be taking a look at SkillSurvey.

Disclosure:  This post is NOT a result of any sponsorship or paid relationship.

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About glarocque

George LaRocque is the leading strategist and go-to-market consultant for HR-related technology and the human capital management (HCM) marketplace. He has personally launched market-leading HR technology brands to profitability, funding or both. He is the president of LAROCQUE, a go-to-market consultancy, the operator and organizer of the InfluenceHR Conference, and the publisher of the #hrwins reports on Innovation in HR Technology.

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