Screening for Strategic Talent Acquisition and Reskilling Potential

Posted on 01.29.2020

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As we move towards the future of work — such as automation, digital transformation, and Industry 4.0 — strategic talent acquisition is more important than ever.

A Monster survey found that 71% of recruiters say they struggle to fill a position because of candidate skills gaps.

The workforce of the future is going to look different, but HR managers can hire now to be prepared. Read on for tips to refine your background check strategies.

Hiring for… retraining and reskilling potential

According to the McKinsey Global Institute, by 2030 as many as 375 million workers — about 14% of the global workforce — may need to switch occupational categories as digitization, automation, and advances in AI disrupt the status quo.

This means that in the next decade, corporate training will be even more vital — as will hiring employees with versatile skillsets. Addressing skill gaps will be a big priority for hiring managers in the next ten years. And although that future may seem far off, you can keep that priority in mind when evaluating candidates today.

While experience is important, attitudes and aptitudes are equally essential, particularly when hiring for fast-moving technologies. According to Training Magazine, one technology company hires medical technologists and transitions their skill sets from medical technology to information technology.

Look for applicants with the potential for retraining, even if they don’t necessarily have the skills now. This might include qualities such as adaptability, open-mindedness, willingness to learn, and the like.

These skills aren’t always evident on a resumé or college diploma. In this case, hiring managers should go a step further and conduct employment reference checks with targeted questions that assess these qualifications.

Hiring for… emotional intelligence

The “Future of Jobs” report from the World Economic Forum predicts that emotional intelligence (EI) will be one of the most important job skills by 2020.

As the use of technology increases, experts say it is critical for staff members to think about people first — which is where EI comes in.

EI can facilitate better team building, more cohesive relationships, less employee turnover, and contribute to a better employment culture. According to a recent Harvard Business Review study, emotionally intelligent organizations also report significantly stronger customer experiences (37% vs. 8%), higher levels of customer loyalty (40% vs. 12%), and customer advocacy (31% vs. 8%) than those that don’t value and/or foster EI.

EI can be difficult to recruit for as it is traditionally a “soft skill.” As with reskilling potential, there is no university degree for EI. To hire for it, HR teams will need to look more towards the people-oriented background checks — such as Employment Reference Checks.

Hiring for… long-term strategic goals

While some strategic goals may be far off, starting to think about hiring now to align with that strategy has many benefits.

Succession planning, moving to automation, short and long-term needs, and beyond are all important to consider today — and create a hiring plan to complement it.

Conducting a gap analysis and creating a plan to implement will help guide your hiring decisions. Deciding what positions you’re going to hire, where you will advertise the position, when you will hire it, what the onboarding process will look like, and more is essential.

Extra due diligence during the hiring stage is particularly important for strategic talent acquisition. Many companies underestimate the cost of a bad hire. Wrong fits can linger for months — or even years — disrupting the work environment, client relationships, and potential for growth. Prevention is key; make sure you are hiring the right fit from the start with pre-employment screenings.

Reviewing social media profiles isn’t enough. Instead, companies should be considering full pre-employment screenings, especially employment reference checks to assess competencies and long-term potential.

At Triton, our pre-employment screenings help protect your company and aid in making strategic hiring decisions. Ensure you’re hiring the right person for the long-term with comprehensive employment history and educational history checks, and targeted employment reference checks.

Learn more about how our services can help bridge the skills gap. Call 1-844-874-8667 or visit