Recruitment Software to Find ‘Hidden Workers’
September 8, 2021
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by Arabella Seebaluck

A latest report by the Harvard Business School is suggesting recruitment software could be putting a damper on the hiring system in the U.S. The report, entitled “Hidden Workers: Untapped Talent” demonstrates how software may be discarding millions of candidates that would normally fit a job requirement. This is how they coin the term ‘hidden workers’, as those fall through the selection process, impacting the structure of the labour market in the U.S. at large.

“The irony that companies consistently bemoan their inability to find talent while millions remain on the fringes of the workforce led us to seek an explanation. How could such a breakdown in the fundamental laws of supply and demand occur? Why do companies consistently overlook large pools of talent? What changes would companies have to make to take advantage of that talent?” Joseph B. Fuller, Manjari Raman, Eva Sage-Gavin and Kristen Hines of HBS ask.

The research into the shortcomings of recruitment software used these questions to drive their study, “which included a survey of more than 8,000 hidden workers and more than 2,250 executives across the U.S., the U.K., and Germany.”

Although the report points to numerous reasons for which people are not being selected for jobs, one of the most prominent one they found was hiring automation. About three quarters of employers in the U.S. use these programmes, simply because it would take to long for the sheer load of applications to be handled manually. This applies particularly to Fortune 500 companies, who almost don’t use any other methods.

“Companies chose to install and expand their reliance on such automated systems with clear-eyed, hard-nosed business logic. And the technologies have yielded some real benefits for employers. The irony, however, is they have simultaneously exacerbated the very talent shortage they were intended to address. Ostensibly, automating hiring practices was supposed to reduce costs and ensure that companies found the talent to meet their current and future needs, while increasing diversity. But our research strongly suggests that the quest for efficiency in the hiring process has caused firms to narrow the pool of applicants they consider so severely as to exclude qualified workers.”

Are all software the same?

Youpal Group, an IT startup based out of Sweden, is one of the latest companies to offer hiring solutions at various levels. Yougig is the product that caters for clients, talent as well as recruiters as a one-stop-shop for projects in particular. Yourecruit is an other recruitment software tool developed by the same company, which prides itself on having the ability to match candidates quite efficiently.

“Yougig is pretty much a very, very big platform that connects potential candidates with people, looking for businesses and also businesses that are looking for people to work with and add to their team. This is so as to develop products. Yougig mostly focused on the IT sector and the whole industry. The platform basically does everything: from supporting people that are looking for candidates to helping through the whole process of picking the correct candidate, vetting the candidate, actually hiring him then giving feedback to know if a candidate is good or not. Also giving him assignments to finish, being able to see what the candidate is doing, recording, the time he spends on say a module or whatever he’s developing. Basically, from the clients’ perspective of the person that’s actually doing the hiring,” Apostolis Argatzopoulos of Youpal Group told Uteckie.

Perhaps this is a way forward. Instead of trying to match people only with jobs, selecting them for projects as a way of into full time or more regular employment could be a way of deflecting the ‘hidden worker’ issue.

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