Think interviews are the best way to find the perfect candidate? Think again.

Studies have shown that personal bias in the interview process can lead to bad hiring decisions, and that objective evaluations of ability are a much stronger indicator of hiring success.

In a study conducted at the University of Michigan, way back in 1984, interviewing was shown to contribute less than 2% to a successful hire. The only valid predictor of hiring success is the candidates’ ability level. This is hard to assess in a face-to-face interview, and requires objective measures.

Since a bad hire can have such a high cost in both time and money (more than $100,000 when you add in salary and replacement costs, by some estimates), it is well worth reassessing your hiring process in order to add quantitative data. Implementing a pre-hiring assessment program that consistently tests the skill levels of potential hires has been proven to reduce the likelihood of hiring someone who is not capable of doing the job.

And while it’s important to meet candidates before you hire them, you need to guard against giving too much credence to personal chemistry. Having the ability to present yourself well and to make the interviewer feel at ease is a wonderful trait, but it’s not always the most important skill needed in the position.

Today’s candidates are much more savvy about the interview process, thanks to a wealth of information on the web. Managers, on the other hand, are often so busy with current work priorities that they don’t have time to prepare as well. Unless the interview process is supplemented by a detailed skills assessment, it may carry too much weight in the hiring decision.

A structured approach starts with identifying the skills needed for the job, as well as the additional skills desired in the ideal candidate. Independent assessments, whether online or on paper, with comparative results that can be measured against current employees or other applicants, can go a long way toward qualifying your job candidates objectively and independently. And this will significantly up your batting average when it comes to hiring winners.

Adina Miron

4 Comments

  • Avatar Mary says:

    It’s always a challenge for me to find an ideal candidate for the open position. That’s why I try to be prepared for the interview as good as possible. Having a strategy and keeping to it raises our chances to find a perfect candidate and eliminates the possibility of a blind choice.

  • Avatar Jessey Freeman says:

    The most important thing about recruiting process is shortlisting good candidates to the best ones. And it’s where you’ve to use not only the results of some technical knowledge tests, but your intuition as well. Try to drink in every single detail of candidate’s behavior – it’ll lead to the right choice.

  • Avatar Paul says:

    There’s no enigma about the way of catching the best candidates. Salary and benefits – the higher they are – the better candidates you get.

  • Avatar Courtney Williams says:

    Paul, I’m afraid there’s a mistake in your equation, as bright light attracts lots of small insects too. Recruiting is an art and the most creative part of it is excluding the misfits!

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