Andy Capaloff
June 13, 2023

How Can You Hire For Jobs That Nobody Has Experience In? Aptitude!

Use aptitude to hire for jobs that nobody has xxperience in

Arianna Huffington wrote about a LinkedIn report showing how using a skills-based approach to hiring could drastically expand the job pool.  The first of the following two links is to her thoughts on the LinkedIn article/study. The second link will take you directly to the LinkedIn study.

While I certainly agree that skillset analysis will be invaluable when recruiting for new jobs, I believe it doesn’t go far enough, and that aptitude is a better measure. Further, I consider it important that job seekers looking to change career path do their own aptitude analysis. I caution, however, that this can only work with with absolute honesty.

Here’s the comment I left: “I would encourage companies to go beyond skill, to aptitude. The same aptitude that made someone good at one thing, will likely work similarly for something else. With no direct experience in that skill, a person with proven aptitude for it is likely to succeed.”

How To Use Aptitude To Hire For Jobs That Nobody Has Experience In

It has been possible to ignore aptitude in most jobs until now. One that it was previously used in was Computer Programming in the earlier days of the profession, up to the late 70s. (I know this because I had to take a test to gain entry, and take further tests when interviewing for my 2nd and 3rd jobs.) In truth, the tests were not good. But the concept itself was invaluable.

To be a good programmer, you needed to have a good understanding of logic. So the tests were a form of IQ tests. They were not foolproof though. And me getting the second highest score for the company I got my start with actually made them nervous, as the only person to beat me was an abject failure!

To better prove aptitude, one would need instead to break down the skills needed for jobs people have done, and the aptitude needed for each of those skills. Then reverse the process to see which other skills the same aptitude could be beneficial for, then which new jobs require those skills.

I give examples of how to do that in this article:

Decompose Your Skillset to Find Your Strengths (And Weaknesses)

Hiring For Jobs With a Narrow To Non-Existent Experience Pool

With the upcoming advent of ever more new technology jobs, how best should the recruitment be handled?

Alice Elliott recently tackled an aspect of this subject here on Curatti – most notably regarding AI.

Dare we trust recruiters, who frankly have made a terrible mess of the algorithms they use in order to comb LinkedIn and various job boards for potential candidates for the jobs they are trying to hire for? I hope not, as they turn out to be a lazy way to get the supposed candidates to do their jobs for them!

 😛 Here’s my spoof on the typical recruiter outreach based on their algorithms:

“I’m reaching out to you with an exciting opportunity.

The main points are:

  • You have none of the requirements and it utilizes none of your strengths
  • It’s in a place you’ve never heard of in a state you’d never move to
  • It pays less than you’ve earned for 30 years

If interested or if you know someone who might be, please let’s set up a time to talk.” 😛

Having a supercharged version of the above based on equally poorly devised and trained Artificial Intelligence will not be good for anyone.

Who Should Create AI Recruitment Models?

The short answer is, no one group of people should be involved in the analysis that forms the basis for training new AI. Instead, it should be different groups of people who each know aspects of the needs.

  1. Old School and corporate recruiters. Despite my disparaging remarks about recruiters, I have the utmost respect for old-school professionals. They, along with corporate recruiters, have invaluable knowledge on the subject.
  2. Candidate self-assessments. Who better to decompose aspects of a job than those who will be doing the work?
  3. Group managers. Reasonably experienced group managers may not be able to decompose every skill into the granular areas for which aptitude will be required. And they are not the answer to the question in #2. Their knowledge is better suited to breaking down each aptitude required for a team. After all, if we’re effectively creating new jobs, we can design all new ones.

Please Share Your Thoughts

  • How would you recruit for new jobs?
  • If you agree with my assessment regarding aptitude, who do you think would be the right people/groups of people to train the AI?
  • Is there anything you’d like to add to this subject?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section, below. Thanks!

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Andy Capaloff

Andy Capaloff is the COO of Curatti. Prior to moving into the world of Content Marketing, Social Media Management and the day-to-day running of a Digital Marketing company, Andy spent over 3 decades in various aspects of IT. It is here that he honed his writing and technical skills, and his ability to ask uncommon questions.