In my experience consulting with organizations about their hiring processes, there are plenty of “gaps” that create potential hiring problems and inefficiencies. Some of these gaps can be filled with reliable, and valid, tools. However, if you are going to invest in a hiring tool or two, you should be sure that you are getting the best return on your investment – both in time and money. There is a huge amount of time and effort that goes into hiring capable and competent employees, and organizations need to protect the time investment by ensuring they are hiring the right employees.
Although my list below does not encompass all of the potential gaps that I have encountered, it does summarize the key themes I have seen in the last 10 years.
Structured Interviews – At this point most organizations understand the value of using a structured and behavior based interview and also use them regularly. If your organization does not have a structured approach to interviewing, this would be the easiest “win” in order to increase the accuracy of your selection decisions. For organizations that have used structured interviews for years, you also need to think about what positions/levels are the biggest users of this tool. My experience has shown that although most organizations use interview guides, it becomes less structured when you start looking at leadership positions (particularly C-Level positions). In high stakes selection situations for leaders we need to ensure the process is consistent and that we are measuring the critical skills and abilities needed for successful performance. Just having informal discussions with candidates for high level leadership positions is not going to give us the data we need to make good decisions.
Use of Online Personality Testing – Probably the #1 change a company can make in their selection process is the inclusion of online personality testing that measures the critical components of the candidate’s skills and abilities. You might be thinking, “Of course you’re suggesting including tests, you’re a test provider.” However research conducted over the last 50 years proves that these types of pre-employment tests can quickly and easily increase your “hit rate” on those candidates you hire. It is a more consistent and unbiased step in the process as compared to an interview. The idea here would be to let the online test do the heavy lifting for you. Instead of reviewing 100 resumes and conducting 25 interviews, you can focus your attention on the candidates who have “passed” the assessment thus making the process more efficient and reliable at the same time.
Application Questions & Basic Qualifications – Sometimes I encounter organizations who complain that they have to spend hours and hours reviewing applications and resumes to determine who will be progressed to the next stage of the process. When you start asking questions around this issue there are usually 2 reasons for this. First, the organization has done a poor job of documenting the basic and minimum qualifications needed for the open positions. Second, they don’t have an online application that affords them the flexibility to flag candidates who do not meet their minimum criteria. Ensuring that you have documented the qualifications needed and leverage software that flags these individuals will save you more time than you could probably imagine.
If you work for an organization that does all three of these things well – you might not have gained much from this blog, but there is always room for improvement. It is always important to review your current processes to see where you can increase efficiency, accuracy, and ultimately ROI.