Federal hiring: Skills-based hiring and breaking down AI myths

April 24th, 2024
The HireVue Team

This month, HireVue had the pleasure of hosting its first of many federal hiring roundtables—an opportunity for federal employment teams to come together to strategize over the challenges, concerns, and promise of technology as it relates to federal hiring.

The discussions ranged in topics from skills-based hiring to leveraging competency frameworks and, of course, the topic of AI in hiring.

Below are the top themes and trends discussed.

Scalability of skills-based hiring at a larger agency

The DOD hires a variety of roles including internships, apprentice programs, fellowships, early-career grade selections, upper-grade panels, officer accessions, enlisted recruiting, and technical, but when slow hiring allows for frequent candidate drop-out, agencies struggle to not only sell their employee brand but hire top talent.

HireVue Human Potential Intelligence provides AI-driven tech specifically designed to unlock potential by assessing the skills and competencies that best predict success—at scale and backed by IO Psychology and data science best practices. 

And when today’s federal agencies are tasked with effectively scaling their hiring across various needs, HireVue automation allows teams to do just that:

  • Supports faster Direct Hire Authority decisions with better data than phone or in-person interviews provide
  • Schedules panels and support selections with behaviorally-anchored interview evaluations and supports decisions with in-app consensus sessions
  • Automates post-conditional job offer activities to ensure consistent engagement
  • FedRAMP Authorized and used by 8 of the 10 largest Federal Government Agencies as well as all five military branches 

Breaking down AI myths 

It’s safe to say AI is at the forefront of hiring these days—and the questions and concerns about it are there as well thanks in part to the viral sensation called ChatGPT. 

At HireVue, we believe that algorithms should be highly controlled and tested by humans to prevent them from evolving in a problematic way. We deploy AI that is both static and deterministic, meaning algorithms are not being re-trained on the fly and they give the same output every time given the same input; this should be the standard in hiring.

Learn more about HireVue’s industry-first AI Explainability Statement here. 

The state of AI in hiring

HireVue surveyed 3,084 workers and 1,006 HR professionals across the U.S., U.K., and Australia. They found that today’s HR professionals are generally comfortable with using AI and seeing positive impacts in their day-to-day work.

Specifically, they’re using AI to accomplish the following:

  • 31% use it for candidate communications
  • 27% use it for resume screening
  • 27% use it for assessments

After implementing AI in hiring, the perceived impact includes:

  • 53% have more time after automating manual tasks,
  • 53% notice greater productivity, and 
  • 50% experience faster turnaround.

HireVue is one hiring solution.

Screen: OnDemand Interviews can be used to screen candidates, moving beyond resumes and focusing on true top candidates. 

Assess:  An assessment for every role at every level. Our robust library of skill-based questions identifies candidates beyond just resume qualifications, better defining what they can actually do for the agency.

Interview: Structured Interviewing ensures a fair and friendly virtual interview and coordinates with auto-scheduling to eliminate calendaring bottleneck.  

Leveraging competency frameworks

In the discussion, we found that many agencies want to leverage their own competency frameworks based on their  agency’s specific needs.

Builder gives you science-backed, validated questions specific to the competencies necessary for your role. And now Builder for Live brings consistency and structure to the live interview process in addition to on-demand. In addition to O*NET competencies, HireVue also supports custom-competency frameworks, so teams can ensure they’re also evaluating the skills and competencies that mean the most for their needs. 

Incorporating Builder into your tech stack makes hiring fairer by adding structure, meaning you’re asking and evaluating candidates on the same questions. By doing so, you’re helping candidates showcase their skills beyond just what their resume shows—which reduces unconscious bias (for example, making decisions solely based on alma maters). 

This also creates a better experience for the candidates because they’re being asked questions and evaluated on things related to the role for which they are interviewing— so no more crazy, “if you were an animal” questions.

Transforming panel interviews

One of the topics discussed centered on structured interviews and making hiring fairer for candidates. By standardizing your ratings and ensuring all candidates are asked the same questions, HireVue mitigates bias and subjectivity that can occur from different hiring managers. Plus, automation makes the process quicker and easier to manage. 

How HireVue Live and automation cut 100 days from time-to-hire

When the pandemic hit the United States in March 2020, private and public sectors alike had to reimagine not only their working environments but their hiring as well. For one DOD agency, a summer hiring event was already planned, forcing organizers to think through another solution to ensure hiring did not suffer—despite needing to interview over a thousand candidates in 5 days. HireVue Live video interviewing and automation provide real-time evaluation tools, interview guides, automated candidate routing, self-scheduling, and shareable recordings—all while enhancing the recruiter and candidate experiences with flexibility. Because of their results, HireVue has become the new standard for DOD’s hiring processes going forward: 

  • 100 days removed from time-to-hire (including security clearance)
  • 4 hour time-to-offer after interview
  • ~90 OnDemand interviews a week
  • 500 interviews a week during events

Today, interviews at the agency are formed with at least 3 people from the DOD team per panel. The panel hosts sessions all day for over 7 hours—filled with 30-minute interviews for each candidate. After each interview, the panel has 15 minutes designated for just the evaluators. Using the HireVue Live wrap-up window, panelists can stay in the platform since they don’t need a separate virtual platform—saving time by streamlining the process. In addition, panelists can jot down their notes within the HireVue platform which are then shared with downstream interview evaluators.

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