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Successful hiring has always been an art; now it’s a science, too

Anne Wallace Allen 2015Smart hiring has always been an art, but now it’s also a science, thanks to analytical and training tools that help hiring managers sort through electronic applications, administer testing and training, and perform other functions.

For this issue of Workforce, we talked to human resource managers and CEOs about some of the issues facing companies these days as they try to hire and retain good workers in a workers’ market.

workforce-column-sept-2017One is Devon Dickinson, the CEO and founder of Verified First, whose companies provide some of the regulatory and compliance functions that human resources departments need to undergo in the process of hiring. The Meridian-based Verified First helps employers with background tests and drug-testing, and now it’s investing in technology to make its platform integrate more easily with other Human Capital Management Software, or HCMS.

Another is Toni Carter, the lead for inclusion and diversity at the Idaho National Laboratory. Carter uses a training tool called Building Bridges, created by a company called Mind Gym, to help decision-makers counter biases. Carter used the tool at her previous employer, Motorola.

She also expects artificial intelligence to play a large role in Human Resources in the future, by doing things like scanning resumes and scheduling appointments.

“I think why a lot of people are afraid to pursue it more is they think it will take away from jobs,” Carter said of artificial intelligence. “But if you can have AI take care of one thing, you can free up a resource to go work on something more strategic and creative, and keep you focused on those things that are really next-generation.”

In Workforce, writer Sharon Fisher takes a look at some of the largest issues in human resources that are affecting Idaho: immigration, the minimum wage, occupational licensing, and research showing that student loans are sending people on career paths they don’t necessarily want to pursue.

Hiring, employment, and the job of the HR professional will just continue to evolve as the workplace changes. One of the next big steps ahead in Idaho: internships.

The Boise-based grocer Albertsons LLC has 63 interns spread throughout its three campuses: 35 in Pleasanton, Calif., 10 in Phoenix, and 18 in Boise. Idaho educators would like to see more Idaho employers take on interns, to give prospective employers more information on possible hires, and to show student interns whether a field is truly right for them.

“You’re giving the intern a true picture of what the leader is living day after day,” said Cathy Lord, the vice president of human resources at Albertsons. “That’s not something you can teach in a textbook.”

Many employers are leery of taking on interns because the structured programs do require a manager’s time.

“It predominantly falls on the HR department, and we’re OK with that,” Lord said. “We believe hiring the right talent is a win-win scenario.”

About Anne Wallace Allen

Anne Wallace Allen is the editor of the Idaho Business Review.