Exploring the latest trends in predictive hiring

Hiring and retaining the right employees has always been a challenging endeavour for organizations. The global pandemic has exacerbated this challenge. Organizations have been forced to adapt their processes to recruit remotely and rapidly, integrate new team members remotely and attempt to keep employees motivated and engaged from a distance. In a market that is plagued by a skills shortage, high unemployment rates, rapid technological advancements and employee mobility, South African organizations are fighting to remain relevant and competitive in the market. With this said, organizations cannot afford to make poor hiring decisions.

A study by Zaio (2020) revealed the following:

The effectiveness of an organization depends on the effectiveness of its employees.”

– Gerrit Louw

Research suggests that traditional recruitment methods may be more flawed than previously realized. A study by Louw (2019) in the Eastern Cape revealed that 94.73% of organizations participating in the study used the traditional interview as their selection tool. Although still commonly used, traditional interviews have been criticized for the following reasons:

  • Traditional interviews have shown to ruin the candidate experience and, in turn, ravage the organization’s reputation.

  • Traditional recruitment methods over-rely on intuition resulting in subjective hires.

  • Internet exposure has provided candidates with the ins and outs of the interview process, allowing them to regurgitate rehearsed answers, resulting in ingenuine responses.

  • Traditional screening processes are negatively impacted by unconscious bias; recruiters tend to shortlist individuals, implicitly, who are most like themselves.

  • · Unstructured interviews are costly and time-consuming.

Predictive Hiring, what is it? What if you were told that you could improve the quality of your hire at a fraction of the price and time spent during your recruitment process? Latest developments in research show that leaders are moving towards a recruitment approach that is data-driven, consistent, faster, cost-effective, and free from unconscious bias. The emerging concept of predictive hiring may be a foolproof way to achieve the above efforts.

Looking at the trends: Why predictive hiring may be the way forward.

Analytics, data, and predictive tools have been adopted globally. When looking into why these tools have become popular, we were presented with several reasons.

  • The use of data has shown to improve employee retention by identifying employees at risk of resigning.

  • Data and analytics can be used to demonstrate the current skills gaps within the organization.

  • The use of performance, attrition, and employee engagement data assists in predicting the type of candidates that will fit and succeed in the organization.

  • Data and analytics streamline the overall recruitment process, saving resources, time, and money.

  • Using a technology-driven and automated process assists in the building of a hiring process that is immune to the rapidly shifting market.

  • Predictive hiring tools leverage an agile approach to talent and hiring, a necessary component to remain competitive in the future.

Further highlighting the increasing popularity of these tools, TalentLyf’s (2020) synthesis of statistics by Zojceska (2020)presented the following:

The following trends have been identified when looking into predictive hiring:

1. Moving towards a data-driven hiring process

The critical elements of hiring candidates involve the initial screening of applications, reference checking, and interviews. Predictive hiring tools are now starting to be used to simplify all these processes, remove bias, and save time. We predict that from now on, this will become the norm for the hiring process.

To unpack this statement, let us dive into how data is being used to optimize the process:


There is an increased utilization of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to streamline the screening of CVs.

  • ATS make use of data points to sort through CVs.

  • ATS screen the CVs and identify those most in line with the job description or through identifying keywords present across both.

  • The system screens CVs, removing human unconscious bias and provides a shortlist with rankings to the recruiter in a short period.

  • ATS allow for the development of a database that allows for easier access to potential candidates.

The interview process

Gaining popularity during the COVID-10 pandemic, it is predicted that online interviewing is here to stay. With a global shift towards the permanent adoption of work from home initiatives, we foresee that face-to-face interviews may become a thing of the past. With tools such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet, video interviews are now possible.

This provides the added benefits of:

  • Having a recording to analyze after the interview.

  • Providing data points that may otherwise be missed in face-to-face interviews.

  • Saves time and costs.

Taking it a step further, AI has been introduced to conduct interviews on behalf of the recruiter through video platforms such as Talegent and Hirevue. This software analyses the videos according to:

  • The body language,

  • facial expressions,

  • the tone of voice,

  • outfits chosen,

  • and answers provided to provide the recruiter with a report on the candidate.

These reports also fairly compare the candidate to others applying for the job. The software uses data from predictive models to scope for pre-identified competencies within the candidate.

2. The shift in the type of skills assessed

After low success rates in traditional hire practices, a deep dive into understanding why these hires fail presented an interesting outcome. It has been revealed that too often, “soft skills” are ignored during the hiring process with a strong focus on “hard skills”.

Although we cannot deny the importance of hard skills, research has shown that the prevalence of soft skills may be a more accurate predictor of success in the role. Findings by LeadershipIQ revealed that:

  • Only 11% of hires fail due to inadequate hard skills, where up to 30% fail due to the inability to accept criticism.

  • 22% fail due to the inability to manage emotions.

  • 20% fail due to a misalignment of motivation.

With this said, we expect to see more organizations jumping on board and assessing an individual’s soft skills such as:

  • Innovation skills

  • Agility skills

  • Interpersonal skills

  • Resilience

  • Critical thinking and problem-solving abilities

  • Flexibility

  • Emotional Intelligence

  • Leadership skills

3. Technologically driven Assessments

Following on from the previous trend, increasingly, we are seeing and yielding the benefits of using modern assessment technology as a predictive hiring tool. The predictive powers of these assessments are because of the accurate insights that they provide into three main areas:

Cognitive ability

  • An individual’s general intelligence factor has shown to be a good performance predictor as it provides insight into the candidates reasoning ability, how they can navigate complex tasks, how they learn and make decisions.


  • By gaining a deeper understanding of the candidate's personality, predictions can be made about how the candidate can relate to others, manage their emotions, and approach and solve problems.


  • Motivation assessments assist in identifying the activities and contexts that drive a candidate’s performance, providing insights into the leadership styles and workplace cultures that will best suit the candidate.

Trends reveal that online psychometric assessments are being used pre-interview to narrow down further and simplify the hiring process. Psychometric assessments can provide insight into the soft skills mentioned above. By combining science, data and analytics, individual candidates can be compared against high-performing workers assessment results to gauge better how well they will perform.

These assessments also measure these abilities without the influence of unconscious bias and provide a consistency that is not possible when human judgement is involved. Furthermore, psychometric assessments can be presented in gamified formats and have shown to increase candidate experience - another trending topic in the recruitment space.

4. Increased tracking of performance metrics

With the above mentioned, it is not surprising that there is an increase in the overall tracking of metrics to use as data for predictive hiring. Organizations can improve their predictive hiring by understanding what has happened in the past. Two key elements contribute to the effective tracking of metrics. Firstly, the source of data that you are tracking needs to be factual and correct. Secondly, the more data sources used, the more accurate the predictions will be.

Data sources that should be more intelligently harnessed to contribute to the effective tracking of performance metrics include:

  • Candidate experience

  • Time taken to hire and cost to hire

  • Quality of hire

  • Number of candidates who passed probation

  • Employee’s work quality

  • Employee’s work efficiency

  • Employee retention

  • Time before the new employee is productive

  • Sources of hire

  • Where the employee came from to evaluate which recruitment channels are successful

  • Assessment Effectiveness

  • Turnover rate

By looking into these numbers, insight can be gained into what a good hire looks like. For instance, what traits are possessed by an individual who has passed probation and delivers high-quality work?

5. Candidate Experience

With a shortage of skills, an increase in head-hunting and a demand for exceptional talent, organizations are turning their focus to improving the candidate experience during the recruitment process. By fostering a good candidate experience, organizations can:

  • Improve their chances of having their pick at talent.

  • Positively change how candidates view an organization.

  • Sway the candidate’s decision to work at that organization.

Slowly but surely the working environment is being filled with a generation that has grown up with technology at their fingertips. Moves are being made towards a hiring process that is technologically driven to improve the process.

Some considerations

The above trends provide insight into ways that organizations are enhancing their recruitment efforts through incorporating predictive hiring tools. The statistics presented revealed that traditional recruitment methods will soon become a thing of the past as organizations rapidly jump onto predictive hiring tools to remain competitive. Although the above methodologies yield impressive results, we cannot ignore some important considerations when adopting these new hiring practices.

Investments and Infrastructure

The adoption of data and metrics into the hiring process comes with a cost. However, the return on investments is insurmountable compared to the initial outlay. It is important to consider that predictive hiring tools will require:

  • Increased data storage

  • The purchasing of intelligence applications

  • The investment in skills to accurately understand the tools implemented.

Humans Vs AI

Whilst the predictive hiring tools seem to do it all, we cannot ignore that people cannot be amalgamated down to numbers. It is important to consider a multitude of factors when making an informed decision to paint a full picture of the candidate.

Where to next?

Predictive hiring may feel overwhelming and out of reach for many organizations. We put forward a few steps that organizations can adopt to get on their way with their predictive hiring journey.

It is clear from the above that the traditional way of hiring talented staff is slowly but surely becoming a thing of the past. The new developments in technology and understanding of human behaviour take hiring to a whole new level and make navigating this new domain all the more exciting!

If you’re looking for more insights into improving your hiring practices, please don’t hesitate to contact our experts Yellow Seed Consulting who can help you jump onto the predictive hiring trends!

For more information, visit

Or send us a message here:

30 views0 comments