Sourcr future of assessment

Will global disruption force us to change the way we assess candidates?

Sourcr offers an innovative new recruitment marketplace that connects employers to specialist recruiters across Australia. Revelian recently partnered with Sourcr to offer its clients a more scientific and unbiased way to assess candidate aptitudes and competencies and make better, more successful hiring decisions.


In this guest blog, former recruiter and co-founder of Sourcr James Jennings looks at how the pace of global change and disruption is fundamentally changing the way we hire.



I read an article in Forbes recently that discussed some of the key reasons employees leave businesses. There were many interesting points, but there was one in particular that really resonated with me. Employer conservatism.


Conservatism: Not politically, creatively. The future is AI, VR and cars that fly and drive themselves. Our economy, transformed by digital and global changes, now thrives in a state of constant transformation and runs on disruption. Disruption is how we grow. If a leader can’t see tomorrow’s forest for today’s trees, the most ambitious stars will leave. Employees, particularly younger ones, perceive stagnation as death. 


It stood out for me because it’s been a major contributing factor to my decision to leave previous employers. An unwillingness to embrace technology and a deep scepticism of its ability to change industry.


The Law of Diffusion of Innovation


Many of you will have watched Simon Sinek’s How Great Leaders Inspire Action (Start with Why) and in it he talks about The Law of Diffusion of Innovation.


The law of diffusion of innovation


The law seeks to explain how and why new ideas and technologies spread. The percentage relates to the population percentage, and at different times and for different things we all fit into different categories.


Everett Rogers first popularised the theory in 1962 and many believe it still applies today. What’s interesting though is that today, the world is changing at a rate far greater than anything we have ever seen.


The fourth Industrial Revolution


Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, gave a company the discussions at the World Economic Forum. The WEF estimated the loss of 7 million jobs across the 15 largest economies by 2020 due to the fourth industrial revolution.


“The first [industrial revolution] was powered by steam, the second was powered by electricity, the third was powered by IT and software, and the fourth is going to be powered by this convergence of capabilities and technologies. Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things. And co-mingling these capabilities with software. And as a result, the world will never be the same.” Weiner said.


“Historically though, the rate of change was much slower, people had plenty of time to retrain and retool to take on these new opportunities. Today, not the case. The world has never seen innovation moving at this rate and it is outstripping our ability to train the workforce for the jobs that are and will be and not for the jobs that once were.”


There are two key points I took from this.


The first is that as business leaders we can no longer afford to be anything but Innovators and Early Adopters. We can’t sit and wait for the preceding group to test the waters first. We have to be aware of, and open to trying, emerging technologies and innovations.


The second point I took from this was the serious challenge, or perhaps opportunity, ahead of recruiters and talent teams.


We will be forced to change the way we recruit and develop talent because jobs will be created that have never before existed. There will be no perfect candidate. The round hole, round peg scenario will be replaced by the slightly narrower, square peg. It covers 80% of the round hole, but needs time to grow in other areas.


And to identify the candidates that will grow into the new areas the quickest and most successfully, we need to change the way we assess them for roles.


A brave new world of candidate assessment


I recently made the move from the corporate world to co-found a start-up, Sourcr, which connects employers with expert recruiters across Australia. We always set out to create a holistic recruitment solution, and one of the first things that we did post-launch was to identify a partner who could provide psychometric testing and assessments.


Candidate assessments are not a new phenomenon, but in my view, they’ve never been more important. To tackle the recruitment challenges of the future, we must move away from assessing candidates on purely technical skill set and start assessing them on competencies and attributes. We should stop asking, “Does this candidate have X year’s experience in Y role?” and start assessing them on competencies, such as commercial acumen, communication, decision-making, leadership, problem-solving. And you can do this using psychometric tools like behavioural assessments and  cognitive ability tests.


Employers who adopt competency-based assessments now will be best placed to identify, retain and develop talent in the future. We will no longer be able to take the easy route and simply find the finished product and let them get on with the job. We’ll need to invest significantly in L&D and to get the best ROI on that investment businesses need to use all the tools available to identify high potential talent.


James Jennings Sourcr

About the Author

James Jennings is a co-founder of Sourcr and a former recruiter. He built his career with a global recruitment firm, eventually managing three specialist divisions. His industry knowledge and networks will be key to driving the growth of Sourcr. After moving to Australia four years ago, he spends his time outside of work making the most of the Aussie outdoors.