There was unmistakable enthusiasm as the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) conference was offered in person after being held virtually for the past two years. Every year, Industrial/Organizational (I/O) experts and HR leaders convene to discuss the most significant challenges and advancements to “the science of work.”

This year I joined Mary Ann Bucklan, Director of Research at Employment Technologies, to glean insights from the best and brightest in our field.

Talent management took center stage.

Organizations are witnessing a major workforce shift and facing increased employee churn. With voluntary turnover reaching record-breaking highs, I/O experts at SIOP echoed the concerns of HR staff, advising organizations to focus on three key areas:  recruitment, selection, and diversity.


Be transparent.

Communicate regularly with candidates, letting them know where they are in the process and what they can expect next. Disclose the minimum requirements for the role. Be open with candidates if artificial intelligence (AI) is used in the screening process and clarify the role it plays. Sharing your AI policy will help mitigate negative applicant reactions.

Show that you value your candidates’ time.

Choosing an assessment that takes an appropriate amount of time is key. Serious job seekers appreciate the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and don’t mind devoting time to this step. Assessments that are too short may not provide a reliable measure. For entry-level jobs, the ideal length is between 10 and 30 minutes. In addition to appropriate test length, candidates prefer assessments with high face validity. This means they perceive the assessment as realistic, job-relevant, and appropriate for the target job.

Regularly conduct a candidate experience walkthrough.

Complete the job application process from beginning to end, identifying any bottlenecks or inefficiencies. Employers who are mindful of the applicant experience can implement strategic changes before applicant dropout rates begin to climb.

An applicant-centric approach creates brand promoters.
Negative applicant experiences lead to brand bashing.  



How do you expand the funnel in a job seekers’ market?

Source candidates from alternative talent pools.

When expanding recruiting into uncharted territory, it’s important to have a recruitment process that evaluates whether candidates possess the fundamental, job-relevant competencies necessary for the job.

Evidence-based tools like assessments and structured interviews help optimize your recruitment funnel while minimizing performance issues down the road. Although it might be tempting to eliminate these steps to save time, doing so will remove the most predictive measures from the screening process. You will risk hiring less qualified candidates – which will negatively impact performance and retention at both the individual and team levels.

On the other hand, if your hiring standards are too rigorous, you may be turning away perfectly viable candidates. That’s why it’s important to assess for only the competencies that directly tie to job success, understanding that some skills and competencies can be trained post-hire.

By focusing on essential competencies rather than past experience or trainable skills, you can streamline your hiring process and increase applicant volume. Yes, this does mean that your training effort and budget may increase. However, investing in on-the-job training shows that you value your employees’ career development and advancement. Plus, it can help you build a pipeline of future talent.

Hire for potential, not experience.
Use predictive hiring measures that target essential competencies. 



The trend towards Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives has been building for some time and shows no signs of slowing down. One result has been a push to diversify talent pipelines by shifting away from conventional screening criteria.

This typically involves reevaluating the work experience and education qualifications of a job and removing any non-predictive requirements. Pre-hire assessments are generally more predictive than work experience or education, with less negative impact on diversity.

For example, researchers have found that “degree inflation” is the most prevalent in job descriptions for entry level and leadership positions. Degree inflation refers to employers adding degree requirements to job descriptions that never required a degree before. Not every job requires a four-year degree.

To expand the talent pipeline and improve diversity, move away from education and experience requirements that aren’t truly necessary for the job and transition to more skill-based job descriptions.

Remove barriers to employment.
Don’t let outdated screening requirements prevent you from attracting the talent you need.



Looking for ways to modernize and improve your talent management process? Talk with one of our I/O experts!  Click here to request a free consultation or call us at 888.332.0648.