Talent Assessment in 10 Years?: Recruiting Strategy Thought Leader Kevin Wheeler Sounds off

With special guest: Kevin Wheeler

This episode’s guest is Kevin Wheeler, Founder and Chairman of the Future of Talent Institute. Kevin is a futurist and a true thought leader whose personal brand brings to the party a practical but future-forward blend of wisdom.

Kevin brings a really strong foundation in understanding the role talent will play in shaping the future business landscape. It is through the lens of a hybrid futurist- realist that Kevin discusses his views on how assessment fits into the big picture.

In this episode, Kevin shares his views on the state of recruiting and talent assessments 10 years from now.

According to Kevin, there is a utopian view that AI will take over the need for human intervention in hiring. His view does not align with this. Rather Kevin feels that 10 years the view will not be radically different than it is today. Instead, we will see a more evolutionary change that will be subtle and consist of augmentation as opposed to redefinition.
Kevin feels that 10 years from now there is no way we will not be able to push a button and deliver the perfect candidate. Instead, using systems to quickly settle on a shorter list of candidates that are better qualified is more realistic. In fact, the entire hiring experience will be streamlined to be simpler and easier- with administrative tasks being handled by the machines freeing up humans to do what they do best.

I asked Kevin, “How his clients feel about the AI-based TA tools available today? Are they afraid or excited?” Kevin’s reports that his clients are confused, skeptical and scared. They do not know if the technology that is being advertised is for real. They also fear that tech may take their jobs someday. Most recruiters don’t trust the black box of AI. They need better education about what the tech is really doing.

When it comes to the practicality of advanced tech’s role in the hiring workflow, Kevin’s clients generally show that we have a long way to go. This is because, despite the hype, the reality is that even though there are some cool tools out there, they still have to exist within a big-picture process and workflow. Typically getting new tools to play well with existing legacy systems is an exercise in frustration. Putting an exciting tool into a process that is not its equal can create a log jam that keeps the value of the new tech from being realized.

According to Kevin- There are 3 key areas where AI is going to lead change over the next 10 years

Sourcing- Finding candidates will be much easier via the assistance of AI. We already see this trend, but in the next 10 years, the sourcing function will become both more automated and more accurate.

Assessments- Humans are complex and assessments don’t tell the whole story. We are a long way from being assessed by AI alone. Insights can be delivered via AI and the most basic level can be automated, but blindly expecting AI to radically change assessments in 10 years is foolish. The biggest change will be the increased use of work samples that are augmented by AI.

Chatbots- Chatbots and assistants in the here and now are not really too capable, in 10 years we will have very capable assistants to help us. This will mean that applying for a job will be a much better experience for candidates. We all want a good human experience. By removing the admin layer AI can help stuff will free up TA to provide the human experience candidates want.

Yes, we will still have assessments in 2028, they will be easier to use and will provide a smoother, more realistic experience for candidates and TA. But beware the danger of over-relying on AI to come rescue us. Kevin is confident that we won’t be getting a magic button to deliver the perfect employee anytime soon.

Kevin leaves us with the ideal strategy for the next 10 years (and beyond)- “Question everything!”

Kevin Wheeler is the Kevin started FOTI out of his passionate belief that organizations need a more powerful and thoughtful architecture for talent than they have at present. After a 25 year career in corporate America serving as the Senior Vice President for Staffing and Workforce Development at the Charles Schwab Corporation, the Vice President of Human Resources for Alphatec Electronics, Inc. in Thailand, and in a variety of human resources roles at National Semiconductor Corporation, Kevin has firsthand knowledge of the need for better strategies and approaches to finding, developing and retaining people.

Kevin is a globally known speaker, author, teacher and consultant in human capital acquisition and development, as well as in corporate education. He is the author of numerous articles on human resource development, career development, recruiting, and on establishing corporate universities. He is a frequent speaker at conferences. He writes a weekly Internet column on recruiting and staffing, which can be found at www.ere.net, and he and Eileen have written a book on corporate universities, The Corporate University Workbook: Launching the 21st Century Learning Organization. He has served as adjunct faculty at San Jose State University, the University of San Francisco and on the business faculty at San Francisco State University.

Learn more about Kevin’s work at https://futureoftalent.org or email Kevin at kwheeler(at)futureoftalent.org