AP Newswire: Historian’s searching through dusty trunks in an English row house in downtown London recently found a packet of notes carefully sealed in a mysterious glassine box. Closer investigation revealed that Mr. Charles Darwin, father of evolution, authored the papers while the HMS Beagle was moored in the Galapagos Islands. The age of the documents has been verified as about 150 years old, but scientists are still pondering the mystery of their content. Could it be that Darwin encountered some kind of mysterious time warp long unknown to scientists? You be the judge. Here is a transcript of the original text: “I have been so immersed in studying the flora and fauna of this small island for the last few weeks that it took Mr. Bynoe, our ship’s surgeon, to draw my attention to a totally unique phenomenon. I’ll never fathom how he managed to connect the ship’s navigational computer to the Internet, but miracle of miracles, Mr. Bynoe opened my eyes to an evolutionary trend happening right before our very eyes. Normally this phenomenon would take place over the course of hundreds of generations, but here we could see evolution happening as we watched! “Our subject began as a simple species – a single-celled life form of the phylum ‘recruitus fastus.’ In its primitive matrix, we observed this simple creature automating file cabinets, integrating the Rolodex and generating follow-up letters to applicants. There must have been a ready opportunity for this species to move paperwork into electronic form where it could be quickly harvested and digested. This primeval form seemed to be focused on keeping track of people and looking for more efficient ways to push paper. “Then the unexpected happened! Our simple species suddenly encountered a new energy source – the Internet! We watched as the organism spontaneously divided into two specialized variants we named ‘bigger’ and ‘wider.’ The offspring specializing in ‘bigger’ proliferated into something my shipmates quickly nicknamed ‘job boards’. This evolutionary variant seemed to allow more people – both applicants and recruiters – to share more data. Those generations specializing in ‘wider’ seemed to develop searching strategies using specialized engines intended to find passive applicants. Remarkable! When able to feed on new energy, the species stopped evolving and reacted by growing in size – not efficiency. “The next evolutionary phase showed only a slight environmental modification. As the two life forms matured, they added better applicant management tools by passing data from one life form to another, automating their biological messages and collecting information from application-forms. Not much change in this stage, as innovation truly seemed to plateau. It was noteworthy to observe the emergence of many clones.” The Imminent Death of a Species? “I am rushing to compete these notes, as Captain Fitz Roy informed us we must weigh anchor and depart for our next destination before the seasonal tides change. I am sorely vexed because I will not be able to witness the final outcome of what seems to be the next stage of this species’ evolution. The life forms have recently been experiencing a significant amount of chaos in their environment. Everywhere we look there are databases, paperwork automation, and search engines – but the organisms are still competing for limited sustenance. I believe we are on the verge of an evolutionary stress point where these highly stressed organisms will either evolve to the next level of complexity or go extinct. “Thank goodness for stout wooden ships, railroads, wheeled carriages, and buggy whips. They serve a basic transportation need that will surely never be satisfied. However, I ponder the question of whether the species we are observing will be as successful at survival as our modern conveniences. It seems the life forms we have been studying have automated everything that is “automatable.” We see ultimate levels of correspondence and databases, but will the species be able to evolve to where it can solve the basic question of which candidate actually has the better skills? “Truly, a significant paradigm shift is in the wind. This species was good at becoming a larger entity, but that was due to an abundant food supply and prolific horizontal growth. However, I’m sure my colleagues will share my concern about whether this species will ever be able to recognize their past growth was the product of an abundant food supply and favorable environment. Their future will surely require more than massed databases, correspondence and self-reported application forms. “It remains to be seen which branch of the species will be the first to recognize their vulnerability and begin to accurately measure the four distinct skill domains. For readers unfamiliar with these classifications I list them as follows:
- Mental ability: i.e., learning, problem solving, analyzing, technical knowledge, etc.
- Organizational ability: i.e., time management, project planning, attention to details, etc.
- Interpersonal skills: i.e., persuasion, team orientation, communication, coaching ability, etc.
- All the attitudes, interests and motivations associated with using the first three.
“Pity, this is so simple, yet so complex for some. Individual species do not have to believe the classification theory to use it. They can prove it to themselves by investigating what effect the absence of any one of the four domains will have on performance. But of course, the same could be said for the fish. It would be difficult for a flounder to realize the presence of water because it is such an inseparable part of its environment. “Will the species recognize that interview questions have been, are now, and will always be highly inaccurate? It takes but a minute of reflection to realize the weakness of interviewer skills and the ability of the applicant to respond. The species need only observe whether personal responses to interview questions are a true measure of their own skills. “Mr. Bynoe kindly reviewed my notes last evening and asked why, if interview data were such weak predictors, would not the same standards apply to application forms and resumes? Truly, I was hard pressed to respond quickly, and after considerable weighing of the evidence, was forced to concede that so-called “job profiles” built on resume and application form data would be, indeed, exceedingly primitive and inaccurate. Not unlike using a yardstick to measure the distance we have traveled on our voyage – false assumptions based on inaccurate measures. Job profiles of any sort that are built on weak data truly represent a short-sighted measurement strategy that will eventually be discovered and discarded by the major hosts supporting the species. As I explained to Mr. Bynoe, you can fool some of the hosts all of the time and all of the hosts some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the hosts all of the time. Given time and maturity, any clear-sighted host will see the flaws inherent in weak hiring tools.” A Final Note “As I leave these islands, I have made some notes integrating the laws and forces of natural selection that will, indeed decide who evolves and who perishes among this species. I may have the opportunity to test my theories upon my next visit to these islands, or if I am unable to continue my investigation, I pray they may further guide the work of my able successor.”
|Evolutionary Phase||Species Response||Evolutionary Solution||Leads to Extinction? (Yes/No)|
|Primitive-Single function||Applicant management tools?||Keep track of applicants|
|Primitive-Multiple function||Applicant correspondence tools?||Correspond with applicants|
|Sourcing tools?||Find passive candidates|
|E-Cruiter correspondence tools?||Correspond among recruiters|
|Evolved-Survival function||Realistic job previews(content validated)||Early applicant screen out|
|Weighted application forms ?competency and bio-data based (content or criterion validated)||Streamline application process|
|Behavioral or situational questions||Broad, but shallow measure of skills|
|Technical tests (criterion validated)||Narrow, but deep measure of technical skills|
|Problem solving tests (criterion validated)||Narrow, but deep measure of analytical and learning ability|
|Planning tests (criterion validated)||Narrow, but deep measure of organizational ability|
|Persuasion simulations(content or criterion validated)||Narrow, but deep measure of selling skills|
|Coaching simulations (content or criterion validated)||Narrow, but deep measure of management coaching skills|
|Teamwork simulations(content or criterion validated)||Narrow, but deep measure of teamwork skills|
|Customer service Simulations(content or criterion validated)||Narrow, but deep measure of customer service skills|
|Test of Attitudes, Interests and Motivations(criterion validated)||Broad measure of attitudes, interests and motivations associated with high job performance|
|Integrated system that brings together all data in one concise package?||Make the best hiring decision|
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Guide: Practical Tips for Remote Hiring
In His Majesty’s Service
Charles Darwin, Oct 20, 1832