Like a public holiday traffic jam, the hiring process can be long and tedious if not planned correctly. Especially, if you end up making the wrong hire and have to deal with the lost productivity and disruption of turnover. And so, finding new ways to ensure that every hire is the right hire is something that employers are constantly exploring.
One of the most debated parts of the traditional hiring process is the interview, with lots of evidence proving its ineffectiveness as some weak candidates interview really well and other strong ones always do a bad job at this high-pressure stage. Now traditional interviews won’t be going anywhere soon, but the evidence showing that it’s not an effective way to read candidates is leading to these new techniques being explored.
A survey done by Linkedin on hiring managers found that in traditional interviews, they’ve found it hard to accurately assess a candidate’s soft skills, they also noted that bias was an issue. For example, candidates that are charismatic and good looking may appear more competent but anyone that watches The Bachelor will know that’s not always the case.
“56% of talent professionals and hiring managers say that new interview tools are the top trend impacting how they hire”
As a result of this big push to improve the traditional hiring process, it’s time to think of what else you can add to the hiring process to gain further insights into the suitability of the candidates. Here are five techniques that are used to complement this outdated model:
Online Behavioural and Cognitive Assessments
You know those assessments you’ve had to do in the past that asked which triangle came next in the series? Well, this falls into these assessments.
Online screening assessments are best used for volume recruitment where a clear point of comparison is required between candidates that might look the same on paper. They are a popular HR tool for companies around the world as they are able to quantitatively measure traits without bias, such as teamwork and curiosity, where previously this was up to the hiring manager’s judgement. The goal of these skills assessments is to get a more holistic sense of candidates at scale using scientific methods. Cognitive assessments can’t be faked and it’s proven that it’s an accurate predictor of future job performance.
The three most common are:
Although used to work out if a candidate has the numerical skills for the role, numerical reasoning assessment isn’t testing mathematical skill because it also involves a level of logical reasoning. This test measures your ability to interpret, analyse and draw logical conclusions from data based in numerical form. It’s measuring your ability to use numerical data as a tool to make reasoned decisions and solve problems.
This assesses the ability of a candidate to interpret written information. Low-level tests are used to measures a candidates ability to use correct English language in the workplace. The more complex tests include reading passages and measure one’s ability to understand and think logically about written information, draw a logical conclusion, produce written reports, and convey information in a clear and simple manner.
The abstract reasoning test is also called the conceptual reasoning test. It measures lateral thinking skills or fluid intelligence, which is the ability to quickly identify patterns, logical rules and trends in new data. And then logically apply this information to solve problems. It is used to give an indication of what most people would refer to as ‘street smarts’ and the ability to ‘think on your feet’.
When you think about this, it makes a lot of sense, musicians and singers have to audition, actors have to audition to show off their skills. They don’t get their jobs by sitting down in an interview being asked questions, they prove that they can do what they say they can. And that’s why some companies are abandoning the interview and replacing it with real-life auditions. For example, when hiring Sales Reps, applicants are brought in for a day and practice selling to hiring managers. Anyone can say that they are a master of ‘Solutions Selling’ but showing it in a practical setting can tell a different story.
By doing this, you are able to see, firstly, if a candidate has the skills to do the job, but you also get an insight into how they go about tackling an issue and their problem-solving abilities in a real-life setting.
Taking it one step further, some companies are even paying candidates to do work as an audition. This ranges from paying applicants $50 for a small project up to paying them to work over a weekend. However, this obviously isn’t necessarily feasible for everyone.
Although not as engaging, video interviews can be useful for hiring entry level candidates where there is a large number of applicants. KPMG is one company that has implemented this for its entry-level hires and they have experienced increased efficiency in their hiring. The idea of video interviews is that instead of every candidate coming in for every stage of the interview process, early-stage interviews can be conducted over video to save time for both the employer and the candidate. As well as this, companies such as NAB use recorded interview answers to screen candidates. For example, a candidate is given 30 seconds to read a question, after which they have one opportunity to record an answer, this simulates real life and is also an easy way to filter out candidates that are not willing to put the effort in.
Introducing some of these new techniques into a hiring process can be an effective way to save time and money in the hiring process, but also to ensure that the right hire is made every time.
Last year we also included some tips that are still seen as bleeding edge. Download the ebook here