Meet the Leader: 4 mindset shifts for better hiring in 2023 

Mona Mourshed, CEO, Generation, explained why many current hiring tactics aren’t finding the talent they need.

Mona Mourshed, CEO, Generation, explained why many current hiring tactics aren’t finding the talent they need. Image: Generation

Linda Lacina
Digital Editor, World Economic Forum
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  • Subscribe to Meet The Leader on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
  • Meet The Leader is the podcast from the World Economic Forum that features the world’s top changemakers, showcasing the habits and traits effective leaders can’t work without.
  • Mona Mourshed, CEO of non-profit Generation, shares key hiring blind spots that might be holding their organizations back from finding solid hires.

Hiring has always been tough - but new shifts are making it harder than ever to bridge talent gaps.

In some sectors, 3 out of 4 companies are reporting talent shortages and a recent Manpower survey reported a 16-year all-time high in hiring challenges. Meanwhile, millions around the world struggle to find employment, thanks to everything from poor education opportunities, uneven post-pandemic economic growth, rapid demand for new tech skills and more. It’s all complicated by company hiring algorithms so carefully tuned they sift out all but the most classically qualifies candidates.

Mona Mourshed understands that old approaches and tools that won’t help employers bridge this gap. She’s the CEO of Generation, a global non-profit helping to tackle stubborn unemployment gaps around the world - and ensuring people with less traditional backgrounds and experience aren’t locked out of the economy.

In a recent interview for podcast Meet The Leader, she explained why many current hiring tactics aren’t finding the talent they need. Here are a few ways that leaders can rethink hiring and talent pools to build the teams they need.

Have you read?
  • The Future of Jobs Report 2023

Don’t wait to change hiring practices

Mourshed points to a ‘desperation index’ where companies most deperate for workers are most willing to try new labour pools and approaches. But employers don’t need to come to a breaking point to change their hiring practices and protocol. A simple willingness to explore new solutions can ensure you’re building the talent pipelines and teams you need. “You cannot make a statement that says hey, you know, I want to hire diverse talent, but you're still hunting in the same pools that you've always been hunting in for the last decade.”

A job continues to be one of the most important, if not the most important, way to change your life trajectory.

Rethink what you know for sure

Your own processes - and wisdom - might be holding strong hires at bay. In 2021, Generation conducted a survey across seven countries and 1,400 hiring managers regarding mid careers professionals (those 45 and older) moving into new jobs. While hiring managers interviewed only 15% of the applicants 45 and older, employees age 45 and older who did get hired were performing 87% better than their younger peers and had better retention.

Companies tend to pull candidates from a small pool of universities and similar firms in that sector. Algorithms at the HR level compound this by screening out candidates that don’t have the right trigger words in their CV. Mourshed suggests considering the performance of those ‘different’ hires who broke through your recruiting process. “Understand the implications,” she said, ‘and consider how you can do more of that.’


Show and tell

To expand your hiring pool, consider making interviews demonstration-based. This might include having a candidate take you through their portfolio or creating a scenario or test to better judge a candidate’s capabilities.

Have you read?

    “It's all about, let me show you what I can do, as opposed to you looking at my CV and assuming what I can do or cannot do based on where I went to school or based on what profession background I have.”

    Such an approach can ensure that your process gives equal consideration to those starting out, those with a deep background or those switching careers.

    Think beyond the buzz words

    While ‘quiet quitting’ and the ‘Great Resignation have grabbed headlines in past few years, they describe a very small portion of the labour market. Most people, said Mourshed, continue to see a job as transformational and a critical way to gain much needed financial independence.

    “A job continues to be one of the most important, if not the most important, way to change your life trajectory.” Many workers are still looking for ways to contribute and for jobs that can help them find security.

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