For companies in Latin America, as in many other growth economies, landing skilled talent is a challenge. Organizations are finding that traditional methods of recruiting and hiring no longer suffice, particularly for reaching the next generation of leaders: Millennials. Even when applicants are numerous, HR struggles to sift through the pile and locate the resumes that hold promise. Wouldn’t it be easier if there were an automated method of locating the perfect match — without having to get the buy-in of five different colleagues who all have a different “read” of the candidate? The New Way to Hire: Assessments, Not Interviews   According to 2014 research by the Harvard Business Review[1] we humans are good at writing job descriptions and asking the right questions. But we’re not so good at making objective decisions based on the results. Even a simple equation leads to a better hire than human decisions, for all levels of the job hierarchy. In traditional hiring, we focus on resumes and interviews — and are inherently drawn to people like us. Despite our best intentions to be objective and focus on the candidates’ qualifications, we can’t help but favor the person we relate to — not necessarily the one who is best for the job. News Flash: The Talent You’re Seeking May Have A Shorter Attention Span Than A Goldfish   We all suffer from shortening attention spans in the Internet Age. The issue is even more pronounced among “Generation Z,” the demographic cohort that follows Millennials and will join the workforce in the near future. Goldfish have the ability to focus for nine seconds. The average human attention span has dropped to eight seconds according to a 2015 Consumer Insights study from Microsoft[2]. Generation Z grew up on games, from PlayStation® to Pokémon Go™. It’s a medium that younger generations are comfortable with. But did you know that games can provide employers with the data they need to make the right hiring decisions? The way people talk about themselves is different from the way they actually behave. Games allow us to collect and measure behavioral data without long questionnaires. And they’re fun to play! How it Works   To come up with the algorithm for assessing candidates for a certain role, we ask current high-performers in that role to run through the set of games. We then use data science to compare potential candidates to the high performing benchmark. Mercer Match assesses candidates on 80 different traits, both cognitive and emotional. When you play Mercer Match games, there’s no winning or losing — simply differences. The traits required for an IT role, a creative position and a sales function are vastly different. Games like rapidly tapping the screen when a specific color appears will assess attention to details and processing speed, whereas identifying the emotion expressed by an image of a person’s eyes will assess empathy and emotional awareness. Mercer Match isn’t just about finding the right candidate among those who already work in a particular field. It’s also about helping people maximize their potential and tap into their hidden talents. We actively recruit candidates on social media to find Millennial talent and others that haven’t yet found their perfect fit in the job market. Mercer Match in Latin America   We’re currently running pilots of Mercer Match with companies across industries in some Latin American countries. In Mexico, for example, we’ve partnered with some of the biggest players in banking to build a profile for the bank teller position. The employers now have access to an ever-growing database of candidates for this high-demand position. Interest in the platform is also growing in Colombia and Peru. It’s clear that the younger generations will change the way our organizations attract and retain talent. They expect to communicate with potential employers in more immediate, digital ways, with opportunities to progress once they land a job. But this also means HR has the opportunity to add real value to the business by using new technologies to make better decisions at a lower cost. The tools are available and the need for change is evident. The question now is whether our organizations are ready to adapt as rapidly as the market demands. Try Mercer Match for yourself. Visit   1 Kuncel NR, Ones DS, Klieger DM. “In Hiring, Algorithms Beat Instinct,” Harvard Business Review, May 2014 Issue, available at, accessed 8 December 2016. 2  Consumer Insights, Microsoft Canada. Attention spans, Spring 2015.  

Sebastian Vázquez | 11 May 2017

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