It’s 2019, and trying to hire the right person is still guesswork at best.

For some hiring managers and recruiters, it may be educated guessing, but knowing you’ve found “The One” is still driven by an imperfect science.

You must pay keen attention to signals sent out by the subconscious and your gut, then tie in additional data like work and performance history, credit scores, and social proof, including references – which by the way- are only meaningful if from a reliable source. (Not your candidate’s pal pretending to be his last boss)

If you do all of the above well, you’ve become a good judge of character. If you have developed this good judgment through recognition of patterns and nuances that occur in many interviews, you might be tempted to say you’ve mastered the art of making great hires.

But what about those of us that know that no matter what, the unpredictability of human beings is guaranteed to surprise us sooner than later?

We know that a better way to measure the potential outcome of making a hire while basing our decisions on the information we collect during the interview process could truly make a positive difference.

This is where quantum theory comes in.

What is Quantum Theory?

I will explain this starting with full transparency: I am a layperson and learning about quantum theory is a hobby. As I write this article, it’s from the perspective of someone who is interested in it as technology because I believe I can it improve everyday life. Part of my everyday life is recruiting, and I believe that eventually, it will improve how recruiting is done.

So briefly, before we go into how, I have to explain to you what quantum theory is.

Quantum theory has been under investigation for just over 100 years and began with the question of tiny bits of matter being able to move as particles (think dirt), or as a wave (think light) and therefore being able to be in more than one place at a time, in more than one state. I’ll give you a simple example.

Since we’re talking about recruiting, our example will be a candidate named Joe.

Joe has interviewed for a job and he is waiting for a decision to be made. The decision will be made based on scores to questions he answered during his interview. His scores just need to be tallied up, or measured to see the pending outcome. At this moment there are two possible states Joe could be in: Hired or Not Hired.

While he’s waiting for the decision to be announced, we can consider him be in either state. We won’t know until we see the results.

But, what if after comparing scores, the interviewers are indecisive? They want to put him on a trial for two weeks. He will not be employed but he will be working and fully committed to proving himself. He will be in Limbo. That’s a third possible state.

These are the possibilities we’re aware of, and maybe there are more.

This is an extremely liberal example of quantum theory. Remember, the actual theory mostly deals with microscopic particles and their various possible states as a large part of the overall idea. There’s a lot of fantasy around this subject related to parallel universes or alternate realities, but we’re not talking about that now.

Although, it would be the ultimate scientific breakthrough if we could figure out how to put the theory into practice and be hard at work at the office and relaxing at the beach at the same time…

Anyway, as a reminder, this is about how computing with this theory can help us to identify and pick the best possible outcomes.

That’s how we can use it to help us make better hiring decisions.

Quantum Theory & Recruiting

I’m not reinventing the wheel as I dive further into imagination – machine learning has already helped with lots of recruiting tasks. From the very basic keyword-matching ability on resume scanning software to more sophisticated personality testing, they should be tools used during the hiring process and not be all we rely on. Again, much of this is already available.

But what if they can help us fine-tune hires even further to help us achieve business goals and make much better, cost-effective, workplace-enriching decisions?

Technology is already being developed and is in place to analyze candidates’ speech patterns, microexpressions, skills, and more.

My guess about quantum theory is if someday, the behavioral properties of particles acting as a wave are proven to be applicable to larger objects, i.e., humans (like Joe in our example from earlier), we can analyze an individual’s combined range of capability, destiny if you believe in such a thing, free will, or potential behavioral anomalies.

This information can help us to accurately guess how they will behave and perform at work, and decide if they will be a good fit for our teams. We can even gather data from their profiles to predict outcomes in specific situations.

Here are a couple of examples of predictive analysis we might put into use.

Sales Growth Contribution Assessment

An assessment of a candidate being screened at a company that needs to make sales immediately to avoid bankruptcy. Would you hire her to be the heroine?

Conflict Management Assessment

An example of a profile that could be created for a candidate that is interviewing for a position as a Team Manager. What is your take on her ability to handle conflict?

What About Quantum Computing?

I thought you’d never ask.

Quantum computers are still in early developmental, non-commercial stages.

To provide a simplified and non-mathematical answer, compared to traditional computing which is still in use today, quantum computing will give us the ability to perform more complex functions. This will be because of its method for computing which uses qubits instead of binary (binary is that traditiona computing language with all the 1’s and 0s).

Like particles in quantum theory, we may be able to eventually measure qubits in limitless states. This could be a big deal when compared to the underwhelming amount of characters (or states) in binary language: 1 or 2.

We’ll use the binary characters as an example and say that in quantum computing, qubits can be in state 1, or state 2, in both states simultaneously, or potentially in other infinite determinable or unknown states.

Artificial intelligence already exists, but on the basis of this theory predictive recruiting and countless operations enhanced by machine learning should become much more exhaustive and powerful than they are today.

Can you imagine?

What’s your perspective on quantum theory? Does it make you feel optimistic about the future of building teams of great people, other aspects of your career, or life in general?

I would love to hear the opinion of anyone ranging from being deeply familiar or very new to this topic. Please do not hesitate to share, and thanks for reading!