Bas van de Haterd
Speaker, Consultant, Author

Bas van de Haterd is a self-employed professional that helps companies recruit smarter by using the right technology. He is mainly known for his in-depth knowledge of pre-screening assessment technology. He also runs a research, award, and event called Digitaal-Werven that focuses on the candidate experience.

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On today’s episode of the RecruitingDaily Podcast, William Tincup has Bas van de Haterd in the virtual studio to talk about the current state of innovation in talent selection.

Bas is a speaker, author, and talent acquisition consultant from the Netherlands. He is also the co-host of the Talent Savvy podcast. We’ve had him in the hot seat before, and he has written many articles for us here at RecruitingDaily as well.

He has some really interesting and compelling stories to share with us today related to innovation in talent selection. We’re gonna jump right in.

In the interview, they discuss some really fascinating new types of assessment technology, including:

  • Assessments based on mental ability as well as psychometrics to increase placement and diversity of talent.
  • Using cognitive games that build a brain profile assessment for stock market trader positions before the candidate even applies for the job. (This led to the hire of their first female stock market trader.)
  • Matching candidates based on characteristics and work preferences at a law firm rather than judging candidates on their resumes, GPA, or alma mater.
  • Hiring for potentiality rather than prior work experience based on a profile and assessment test.
  • Building brain profiles of the best soccer players in the world to measure new player abilities.

Tune in for the conversation.

Listening Time: 25 minutes

 

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William Tincup:
Ladies and gentlemen this is William Tincup and you are listening to The RecruitingDaily Podcast. Today we have Bas van and we’re going to be talking about the current state of innovation and talent selection. And he’s got some stories that he’s going to take us through, which is going to be really, really interesting and compelling. And so, we’re just going to jump right into it. Bas, introduce yourself. You’ve been on the podcast several times, but let’s just make sure that folks know who you are, where you’re at, what you’re doing.

Bas van de Haterd:
Well, my name is Bas van de Haterd. I am from the Netherlands. I consult with companies under talent acquisition, and I am the co-host of the Talent Savvy podcast, which was recently launched. And I have among other things, an award on innovation in selection. And we had some awesome nominees and I would love to share their stories with the world.

William Tincup:
Well, let’s walk through them. Let’s start with, in alphabetic order. No, I’m just kidding. Just start with your favorite story and we’ll just move through.

Bas van de Haterd:
Well, let me start with one which is really internationally based. It’s an agency called JustArrived and they’ve started using assessment technology to assess basically refugees. And we all know that there’s a refugee crisis and at least here in Europe, we have a lot of people coming from Syria, from Afghanistan, from all the places which have been not that great to live for the past couple of decades probably. And what they said is, “Listen, these people have talents, but how can you show talent when it’s just, we don’t recognize their education because we’ve never heard of those, basically those colleges, we’ve never heard of their majors or minors.” So what they started doing was actually testing both mental ability as well as psychometrics. So, characters based on a big five. And the beauty of this case was, is that they are using an assessment partner, which is actually able to deliver it in 170 languages. I don’t know about you, William, but I didn’t even know we had 170 languages in the world.

William Tincup:
Right. Well, that depends on if you use cursing and slang and other things. No, but there’s at least 170.

Bas van de Haterd:
Yeah so-

William Tincup:
But that’s fantastic for their audience. I mean, everyone that they reach, because now you’ve opened up the aperture for everyone in the world. Now language isn’t a barrier.

Bas van de Haterd:
Exactly. And the thing is your data improved so much if you can do the assessment in your negative language.

William Tincup:
Right.

Bas van de Haterd:
And especially this company was out of Sweden and they also had a [Dutch ship surgery 00:03:40] that’s why they were in a Dutch market as well. But Dutch and Swedish are usually not the language you learn at school unless you’re in the Netherlands or in Sweden. So, and with using their local languages, their data improved so much. And the beauty of this was the agency was able to five-fold so, not 50%, but 500% increased the number of placements they did.

Bas van de Haterd:
They were able to place five times as many candidates raking up five times as much agency fees, because they now had data on the candidate. Just simply saying to the hiring manager, “Listen, you said you wanted a person with these characteristics with this type of qualities. Here’s the report. This person has it. Give him a chance, even if his Swedish isn’t perfect. Even if he is from Afghanistan. We can show you in this tight label market, this person has the quality.” And I love that case. I mean, and as an agency, increasing the number, your volume with the same level of recruiters, by a factor of five, that’s just an amazing case, right?

William Tincup:
That is a beautiful case. And again, opening the aperture, doing it in their language, having better analytics, great usage. Great, great usage. All right, next story.

Bas van de Haterd:
Next story is actually from a stock market trader. They’re called IMC. They’re a massive stock market trader all over the world. And what they’ve done is they started using a brain profile, a really next level cognitive game. I’ve played it. It’s basically three or four, yeah, I call them shooting games, but they’re really sophisticated shooting games. I actually loved playing them. And they build a brain profile and they’ve also got all their current traders in the database so they can match with the current traders. And what they’re now doing is what they call screening in as well as screening out. So everybody is literally allowed to play the game on their website and just say, “Okay, do you have the brain of a trader?” So even before you apply, you’re able to see, am I going to go to the second round. Because if your brain isn’t the one of a trader and for example, stock market traders need almost formula one driving reaction speeds.

Bas van de Haterd:
I mean, you need to be fast. You need to be analytical. They map that and they are now seeing people from all kinds of different universities. They used to only go to like Oxford and INSEAD and all the major. But, and now they’re like, well, why do we actually care about your university? Because you are not learning how to trade. We’re teaching you that. You just need to write quality and you need to write mental capacity. And they’ve seen their increase diversify. And they’ve actually, which might sound a low number, but they’ve actually recently hired their first female stock market trader.

William Tincup:
And they did that because it was, they’re based on scales-

Bas van de Haterd:
Exactly.

William Tincup:
…and potentiality. Was that a mixture of IQ and EQ or what exactly were they measuring?

Bas van de Haterd:
Well, IQ and EQ are both measure about four cognitive skills and then these guys measure about 60.

William Tincup:
Oh, fantastic.

Bas van de Haterd:
So they measure, or technically they measure over 50 building blocks, which come back to about 16 different cognitive skills and IQ is about three or four. EQ is about three or four. So they measure a lot more. They build a complete cognitive brain profile.

William Tincup:
And again, that’s useful for them and they, and people can do that for different roles, different jobs, different industries et cetera. They can build unique things to then fit.

Bas van de Haterd:
Yeah, and it’s used in several cases. Actually the last case I’ll mention is built on this same software. Third case I want to mention is a law firm called De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, which Blackstone was, I think New York based once and they merged at some point. I don’t know the exact history of the firm, but it’s a law firm. I mean, we’re talking a law firm. Let’s be honest here, William. It’s probably one of the least innovative types of organization you’d expect, right?

William Tincup:
Right.

Bas van de Haterd:
And they’ve been using AI and assessment tooling and they did away with resumes and your GPA. So they said, “We’re not going to select on GPA. We don’t care how well you did at school. The only thing we want is did you finish your law degree?” Because, well, if you want to be a lawyer, you need a law degree. But that’s a checkbox. And all the rest, were you from the same fraternity as our partners? Let’s stop asking that because that’s just bias data, which has absolutely no predictive value if you’re going to be an awesome lawyer.

Bas van de Haterd:
So they changed it with tests based on characteristics, but also based on the way you would love to work. And they matched that to the company culture. And they’re able, with the feedback system, the AI has to now, with 80% certainty say, “You will fit in this firm.” And they’re not measuring it as much on the, will you be an awesome lawyer? Because according to them, it’s really difficult to know that. If you have a law firm or a law degree, you will fit into a law firm. The question is, will you fit into this law firm?

William Tincup:
Right. So you might be competent and again, you’re going to get to the competence and you got the certification of their degree. So you know that they can practice law. So those are all good things. Now you’re looking at inside of this team or inside this firm and getting myopic around what works inside of, what’s truly unique about our firm and how, what you do and your personality and all of these other traits, how it fits.

Bas van de Haterd:
Yeah, and I know a little bit about this company from the past. I did some work for them and they are basically more to the cut throat than, oh, we care about your personal life.

William Tincup:
Sure.

Bas van de Haterd:
But there’s a lot of people who love to win. And they want people who will love to win. Who do, they do mergers and acquisitions. So it’s going to be long nights. It’s going to be everything. And if you are, if you prefer a work life balance, there are other law firms which teach you better. Period.

William Tincup:
Don’t come here. It’s a recipe for failure. And again, knowing that upfront is half of it for candidates and for the company. The companies that market work life balance and then behind the veil they have no idea what work life balance is. They fail because they go through attrition. And same thing goes for candidates. Candidates that don’t care about work life balance go into firms that do, and they’re seeing as workaholics, again, it’s not a fit. And it’s selection for me and you’re the expert, but for me, it’s all fit. You can be the right, everything’s perfect but you’re just for that time, at that particular time for that team, for that company, it’s just not the right fit.

Bas van de Haterd:
Yeah, no, and that’s the thing. If you are honest about it, for me, I don’t mind if people are selecting out. But right now they’re saying, “We’ve changed our biased approach on how well do you, how much do you look like our current partners? And did you go to the same fraternity as our current partners?” Which is actually the biggest predictor of being hired at a law firm in the Netherlands right now to do you actually fit this culture? And do you have the qualities for that? Second to last case is actually a local city. And it’s a small city, it’s called The city of Rosendale. And what they were looking for was, they call it a digital information processing guy. Basically, these were the people who used to work in archives and since archives were digitalized, they are now in responsible for the digital archives of the city. Meaning everything from the history of the city, but also who owns what plot of land, how often should something be mowed? What kind of trees do we have? And that’s all digitalized, right?

William Tincup:
Right.

Bas van de Haterd:
The problem with this job is that everybody who used to work in the archives went into it and they’re all between the ages of 55 and 65. So almost retiring. So it’s really difficult to find new people. And they haven’t been innovative in for ages. So they said, “Listen, if we hire from other organizations, we’re just going to hire somebody who’s going to retire in four years as well. So we might need to find young people who are interested in, but we can’t very well select on having done the job before, because everybody who’s doing the job is basically nearing retirement age.” I mean, it’s, it’s just one of those jobs where nobody was looking at it and then whoops, they all, we forgot to refresh, replenish the candidate pool. And what they did was really cool.

Bas van de Haterd:
They built a test based on skills and psychometrics. So what cognitive traits do you need? What psychometric traits do you need? How do we think somebody would fit in here? And they actually said, “We’re not going to ask you for a cover letter. We’re not going to ask you for any sort of resume because we don’t even know what type of education you need for this job, because it’s mostly learning on the job. You should have a college degree, but hey, if you can show us potential without a college degree, what do we care that you never finished, that you have never graduated?”

Bas van de Haterd:
So they built this test and they simply said, “We’re going to interview the five best people applying.” And all of a sudden, they got so many people applying to this job because it was open for everybody. They interviewed five amazing candidates, and now they hired a 24 year old woman. And all of their current staff is saying like, “Wow, what a breath of fresh air. She really thinks different to all of these things. Hey, we’re serving the public better.” If we… Completely based upon a profile and an assessment test, which just looks at what should you be able to do? What skills do we require from you? What cognitive skills do we require? What psychometric skills do we require? And let’s see who fits.

William Tincup:
Right. It’s a mixture of both what you have done, your experience and what you have the ability to do. So that’s potentiality, et cetera with the capacity. They used to, years ago, they would call the aptitude and attitude, right. So they’d try to figure out like, okay, do you have the passion? Do you have the interest, et cetera, the desire to do this job, whether or not you’ve done it or haven’t done it. Do you have that? Do you have that drive? And then the other is, do you have the capacity? And do you have the experience? Which would be great. If you don’t, can you learn it? Which is, then the onus is on the company to then train you up and get you to a place to learn it. But you already, you have the desire and the passion, so you will learn it. And then you have the capacity to then, to learn it. Well, tell us about the fifth case.

Bas van de Haterd:
And the fifth case is actually the winner. So, and I know you will love this as I know you love European type football. It’s actually a football club, which is really strange for winning a recruitment award and recruitment selection award for a football club. I was surprised judges came out with this one as well, to be honest. But their case is awesome. So in 2018, a club called AZ, A-Z, started with structurally measuring cognitive capabilities in their scouting of youth. So for the American listeners of this podcast, we don’t have the college or the high school system where you play sports on your college or your high school. You play it at clubs and the professional clubs grow their own future players for [crosstalk 00:17:24]. And this club started not just looking at how well are you doing on the pitch, but also, how does your, what does your brain look like, and how does your brain compare to the very best soccer players in the world.

Bas van de Haterd:
And they were actually able to build brain profiles of some of the champions league winners in the past. And so, they’re now measuring youth against, on a cognitive basis. They’re measuring youth against the very best in the world. And next to technical and physical ability, they’re now using cognitive ability. Is this going to be a smart player and what a few things which made this such an amazing case study is first of all, they’re literally putting players on different parts of the pitch because their brain fits better. And if you are young and talented, you probably always want to be a striker in soccer. And because you’re not playing against the very best defenders or the very best in others, you will probably score a lot and be awesome because you’re just that much better in everything.

Bas van de Haterd:
But as soon as you go to the higher levels, you might not be. And by actually changing positions, positions that fit them better, brain wise, they’re already training them to be better players. The other thing, which is amazing about this case, two of the players, they sold this summer as transfer fee. And they actually, this has the best ROI I’ve ever seen in a selection case. They made 16 million euros in transfer fees on player, on homegrown players last summer. And two of the three that they sold actually until the age of 16 were not coveted by any other team. They were just not good enough. And they said, “Based on those brain profiles, listen, as soon as these little guys start growing, and right now both of them are over six feet tall.” So everybody’s like, how do you mean they were weren’t big enough?

Bas van de Haterd:
Yeah well, until they started growing really, really late, which by the way, interestingly enough, they now found out that the later you start growing, the more your brain develops from training. So the more effect training has. So they actually became better because they grew late. But usually, we cut them if they don’t grow fast, because they’re just physically not up to the rest. And until their age of 16, every year it was, will we keep them on? Well, we might need to cut them from the squad. And every time they’re cognitive their brain test, this selection showed, no, these guys are going to be brilliant. And they have already played caps for the Dutch national team and they were sold for almost 50 million together.

William Tincup:
But what’s interesting Bas is, now with that, first of all, success with transfer fee and success with getting those players on the right place to pitch so that they could do their best work, but also it’s also recruiting. So for folks that are coming into it, whether that’s through transfers or whether or not it’s to building it up through the academy system, they’ve also now got a way of, again, skills testing is pretty easy. Can you do these things? And so, now they have another way to actually filter in and people that would’ve been repelled because for whatever reason.

William Tincup:
Maybe their skills were a little bit lacking, but their brain on the ball is actually what I’m thinking about is, is their ability to make decisions really high, fast decisions, to make the correct decisions and having the ability to do that. Now they can use that to select younger talent or even transfer talent in. So now when they look at a player that’s on another club, maybe even in their own league, or anywhere in the world really, they can have them do that test and then know exactly where they would fit.

Bas van de Haterd:
And they already are. And the thing is, for different positions, it takes different talent. So I did this test. For example, I have an extreme high anticipation and an extreme low inhibition, which basically means that I’m a really great play maker, but it also means that I’m a terrible defender because I have a low inhibition. And as soon as somebody makes me mad, I’ll be sent off because I’ll kick them down. [crosstalk 00:22:14].

William Tincup:
That’s a yellow card, you’re a yellow card waiting to happen.

Bas van de Haterd:
I’m a red card waiting to happen. And well, I’ve actually said because I used to be really fat. I lost about a hundred pounds over the years. And when I was a kid, I always kicked every body’s ankles. And everybody said, I was doing that on purpose, but I can now show that I actually anticipated their moves because I’m like in the top 10% of anticipation. I anticipated their moves. I was just so slow in moving that every time I thought I kicked the ball, the ball was gone and their ankles were there and I kicked them down.

William Tincup:
Something’s getting kicked. It’s either the ball or your ankle. And really, I don’t care which.

Bas van de Haterd:
I mean, my body was always slower than my brain. I mean, but-

William Tincup:
But again, every position to your point. Goalies need something, they’re going to, their brains are built differently.

Bas van de Haterd:
Exactly.

William Tincup:
The number 10 position, their brains are built differently. Have they had, or have you seen the Dutch national team take this on or think about this in a way of evaluating who should be on the squad?

Bas van de Haterd:
Yeah. Well, because of the successes, well, not in the squad because this is mainly about checking potential. So what they’re doing right now, and for the Dutch national team, you can just look at how a full grown person is playing. There’s no better way to assess that.

William Tincup:
That’s right.

Bas van de Haterd:
But if you’re looking at potential-

William Tincup:
Yeah. The under 19s, under 17s, under 21s et cetera.

Bas van de Haterd:
Exactly. And yes, the Dutch national football association is now using this as well.

William Tincup:
Oh, I love it.

Bas van de Haterd:
And almost a lot of teams are using it. They’ve grown a market in Germany and in England as well.

William Tincup:
Oh yeah. Everybody wants to win.

Bas van de Haterd:
Yeah and everybody wants the talent. But to change this to, for our listeners to recruitment, they’re also now using this, for example, in a Dutch hospital, where they’re looking at the potential of a person and actually coaching people on either their strong suits, like don’t you want to become, I don’t know, you have such eye for detail. You might want to become a cardio surgeon. Is this really your specialty? But also-

William Tincup:
And then tying it to training and development, potentially promotion.

Bas van de Haterd:
Yeah-

William Tincup:
Brother,-

Bas van de Haterd:
…but also, sorry to interrupt you one more time.

William Tincup:
No.

Bas van de Haterd:
But also, compensating for weaknesses so they can now see, okay, this person really is terrible at planning. So let’s give him a planning assistant instead of annoying the hell out of this person by telling him, yeah, you need to make your own schedule. And they’ve been able to decrease burnout rates by about 30%.

William Tincup:
Well, I could sit here and listen to these case studies forever. Thank you so much, Bas. I absolutely appreciate you and I’m glad you helped us telling these stories are good for folks to hear so that they can apply it to the things that they’re going through. So thank you for carving out time for The Recruiting Daily Podcast.

Bas van de Haterd:
Thank you for having me.

William Tincup:
And thanks for everyone that listens to the recruiting daily podcast, until next time.

The RecruitingDaily Podcast

Authors
William Tincup

William is the President & Editor-at-Large of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. He's been writing about HR and Recruiting related issues for longer than he cares to disclose. William serves on the Board of Advisors / Board of Directors for 20+ HR technology startups. William is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a BA in Art History. He also earned an MA in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.


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