Artificial intelligence-based tools, like Pymetrics, are transforming
the hiring process as we know it, writes Tom Viggers
Dollar Shave Club. Juul. Kylie Jenner. No matter the category, the new world of consumer goods is being defined by companies that have gone from startup to household name virtually overnight. The tried and tested formula of scale + relationships is breaking. Everyone is a possible competitor in today’s ultra-competitive world. And whereas small companies used to aspire to be more like large ones, now the reverse is true.
In this new world, products can be designed marketed, and drop-shipping arranged, from a home office. And increasingly that is where those highly differentiated, novel brands that consumers want to buy into are being developed. According to McKinsey, the keys to future success in the consumer goods sector are greatly enhanced agility and mass innovation. No doubt they’re right. But it’s easier said than done. Of course, cloud-based technologies will help, and visionary teams at almost every global organisation are hard at work transforming their infrastructures to enable previously unimaginable feats at the stroke of a Pencil.
But what about the workforce? When we’re all wearing our plain black Mark Zuckerberg T shirts and our offices look like Apple shops, how are we going to know what to do? We’ve been sold a vision of strategic and rewarding careers in roles that we’ve never even heard of, and workforces of semi-autonomous agile teams who seamlessly swarm together like ninja drones to solve whatever problems the future may hold. But how is this going to work in practice? Inconvenient as it may be, human beings don’t come with API integrations.
The human personality is going to stay analogue. In that context, traditional systems of record – work history, educational background and so-on, already woefully inadequate for the purposes they’re put to – will become relics. So, how do companies with tens of thousands of employees pull off the miracle of behaving, and not just branding themselves, like startups? And what is ‘startup thinking’ anyway?
What is needed is a consistent way of understanding peoples’ personality, and mapping that to what is required to perform different roles. That kind of data will enable us to make judgements about human capability in a completely different way – simplifying the way people can be matched to projects, speeding up the innovation process and, at the same time, driving the authentic diversity that powers true innovation. This is the vision behind new technologies driving talent-matching platforms whose mission is to help everyone find their place in the world of work – not just today, but far into the future. For instance, industry leaders including Unilever, Kraft Heinz and Colgate Palmolive are piloting pymetrics to help them solve a whole host of challenges, matching hundreds of thousands of people every year to their best-fit roles and continually developing algorithms that learn and adapt to reflect the behaviours required in a fast-changing world. Pymetrics is used across all kinds of roles and industries, but it is in the consumer goods sector that organisations have been fastest to leverage the platform. Perhaps the reason for this is that when you invest in matching people where they truly fit, you don’t just help your business; you help people, giving them more chance of success, a better sense of belonging and make them feel valued, included and relevant. And when you treat people like that, they reciprocate. They do exactly what they’re doing for Dollar Shave Club, and Juul, and for Kylie Jenner: they spread the word and they buy stuff.