Businesses have evolved significantly in the past half-century. Technology factors into virtually every industry under the sun, plus increases in consumer choice and VC funding have transformed what it takes for a company to become — and remain — successful.

It has never been easier for an agile startup to cut a successful business off at its knees in today’s environment.

To thrive, every company — from Fortune 500 juggernauts to three-person operations  — must be able to adapt quickly to market changes.

The ability to adapt quickly is especially critical in hiring tech talent.

Reactiveness Won’t Cut It

The good news for businesses is that the next generation of talent already knows it needs to learn quickly and experiment often. Unfortunately, the bad news is that if organizations are stuck resolving old problems instead of attacking new markets, they’ll struggle to bring in new blood.

Instead of operating in reaction mode, employers need to develop a strategy that actively seeks out and attracts top talent.

They need to forecast where the market is most likely going tomorrow and identify the skills and talent necessary to get them there today. This proactive approach to hiring enables businesses to address opportunities head-on rather than continue to play catchup.

Why Predictive Hiring Is Good Business

The bigger the ship, the harder it is to turn it sharply.

This is a reality many corporations face as their scaling and synergy skills continue to make them non-competitive. Now, the name of the game is speed. From reducing time-to-market to shortening the window between R&D investment and payback, the companies that can swiftly capitalize on new sales opportunities will come out ahead.

To be one of those organizations, you don’t have to be a small startup or experienced entrepreneur — you need to have the right people on your team.

An agile and forward-thinking crew will better position your company for the future and boost employee retention and provide employees with a solid foundation to grow faster in their careers.

Build a Hiring Strategy That Keeps You Ready

So how do you identify the right skills?

How do you move from a more reactive hiring approach to one that gets you the people you need both today and tomorrow?

Here are three strategies that can help you create a team ready to handle whatever comes next.

1. Don’t get hung up on antiquated qualifiers.

Efficient recruiting is a vital component of predictive hiring. However, you can’t be efficient if you get bogged down by vastly irrelevant qualifications such as an applicant’s experience or GPA.

Years of academic research have shown that job experience has no causal relationship with job performance. The same is true for GPA. Yet, these are both still widely used to predict candidate quality. If you’re looking to create a predictive talent pipeline, that simply won’t do.

Instead, prioritize more practical criteria like passion, drive, and aptitude for the job.

Don’t paint everyone with the same brush, either. When it comes to hiring managers, prioritize different traits. An effective manager can create psychological safety, solidify structure, and make subordinates work meaningful. Looking for more? Google’s Project Aristotle study is a treasure trove of information on what to prioritize in a team.

2. Make it a team effort.

Predictive hiring can’t fall solely on HR — it needs to be a companywide initiative. To find out what the company needs, HR should speak with business, engineering, and product leaders about their strategic goals. Then, HR needs to work with those departments to identify areas of overlap where added skills can create high company value.

From there, hirers can work backward to create user personas that match the talent the organization needs. They can also use this information to create journey maps for candidate progress. These maps can help identify bottlenecks and develop high-value training programs that will pay dividends down the line.

3. Get into behavioral economics.

A lot of academic research exists on the criteria for correctly predicting job performance. Most HR departments aren’t using this research, even though 38% of candidates leave their new jobs (infodot workinstitute dot com) within a year or less. You don’t need to become an expert in the subject yourself, but you do need someone on the team with a background in behavioral economics or a similar field.

Embracing these metrics will help you make sure predictive research, not hunches, drives your interviews.

HR is in a similar position as marketing was five to 10 years ago. It’s going to become much more mathematical soon, but not all of that will be automated. That said, companies that start building models to predict performance sooner will be a step ahead of their competitors.

Collect and assess your hiring data as it relates to previous hires, including pre-and post-hire information.

Pre-employment assessment may better predict a candidate’s success than educational background and experience.

Technology has disrupted so many other aspects of the business world, and hiring isn’t immune to these effects. Businesses that want to adapt to a rapidly changing environment need people on the ground who can do exactly that.

That takes predictive hiring. Without it, you’ll always find yourself one step behind.

Image Credit: cytonn photography; unsplash; thank you!

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