The rapid adoption of remote hiring tools was accelerated only in-part by the COVID-19 pandemic. Technology has started to provide insights that humans, even if you hire lots of them, cannot. At a time of lockdown, remote hiring tools presented the only real opportunity to fill vacancies and acquire new talent. These tools are not completely at odds with traditional methods, and there are still considerable drawbacks to the remote hiring process. 

Whether face to face, or conducted remotely, personal bias favours every existing interview format. No matter how honest we try to be, we can only answer questions using our personal perceptions. A lack of self-awareness can entirely skew interview responses. A difficult day, nerves, or bad news can mean that we present our worst self in an interview situation. Both scenarios can also set psychometric testing off kilter. When hiring remotely, we don’t even have the benefit of body language cues to guide us. While the reliance on employer referencing fails to take into account the possibility of office politics and personal antipathy. That’s why PsychTech has become increasingly important in recruitment.

PsychTech and the future of remote hiring

PsychTech refers to the psychology technology sector, where digital products are being created to help us understand the human mind and behaviour. In HR, this means the ability to gain a far more rounded picture of candidates, helping to avoid the significant losses associated with making bad hires. With greater reliance on remote hiring, it is an emerging field with significant potential. But it needs to be correctly and ethically applied if it is to be effective. 

The application of 360° personality modelling in recruitment

360° personality modelling is built upon the premise of crowdsourcing. One of the best ways to mitigate against personal bias from recruitment is to simply leverage multiple opinions. As far as we are aware, innerworrks.me is the only firm offering personality tests with this model. Employing software engineering, artificial intelligence/machine learning and behavioural psychology, as well as knowledge of the best recruitment practices, we can garner a rounded view of every interview candidate. Anonymous feedback taken over time from a full network of people close to individual candidates removes the skew of back office disagreements and management favouritism. Instead, providing depth and quality of observation, and an understanding of how candidates work.

When you add in AI and computer adaptive testing (CAT) to deliver personalised, reactive personality tests which algorithmically adapt according to the responses received, the picture becomes infinitely clearer, and risk dramatically reduced. And these are tools that can be applied across a whole business, not just in the acquisition of new hires.  

The benefit of PsychTech for employees

While personality testing has become par for the course in recruitment scenarios, for employees it can be a harder sell. For businesses to gain the benefits of 360° personality modelling, employees need to be brought on board, with insights they could not have figured out by themselves and results that are both easy to understand and work with, and that provide potential benefit. 

Understanding what your colleagues think of you is both a daunting and an irresistible proposition. The ability to strip back assessments, so they’re free from office politics and provide constructive feedback, can be invaluable for anyone wanting to get ahead in their career. It can also help employers better support their team members, build better team dynamics, and improve employee wellbeing – all of which pay into principal productivity gains. 

The recruitment process is in a period of evolution. Although partly accelerated by the pandemic, this is a change that was always coming – and many would say is long overdue. With the right application of technology, we have the power to not only prevent bad hires, but improve team cohesion and wellbeing. The argument for adoption is strong. But the imperative is to make the move ethically, with individual privacy and support front and centre. 

By Lisa Baker, Senior Editor

Senior Editor Lisa Baker is the owner of Need to See it Publishing Group, providing contract news for business and news sites across the UK. Lisa is an experienced HR writer and commentator, editing HR publications for more than 5 years.