By Karina Margit Erdelyi

Taking the Guesswork Out of the Interview Process

Taking the Guesswork Out of the Interview Process

Job interviews are often incomplete, poorly recollected, and compromised by bias — here’s how to optimize your company’s interview process and maximize your talent acquisition pipeline.

It’s no surprise that recruiting the right people with the right skills and mindset for roles is vital.

No matter the company’s size, having a workforce that meets its needs is essential for a business to succeed and grow. Employers face the challenge of attracting and recruiting the right talent and making the right hire, each and every time. The truth is that the typical hiring process is not perfect. If you think the cost of hiring a good candidate is high, try hiring the wrong one.

With varying levels of rigor and uneven interview results, according to a Robert Half survey, nearly half of hiring and Human Resources managers estimate that bad hires have cost their companies thousands of dollars.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the price of a bad hire may be at least 30 percent of the employee’s first-year earnings. Ouch. For a small to medium-size company, a five-figure investment in the wrong hire can be a wallop to the business.

Hiring decisions are often influenced by hazy memories, vague impressions, random affinities, and unconscious bias.

Think: He seems too buttoned-up for us. She didn’t look me in the eye. He’s a Red Sox fan! She likes the Yankees! I don’t think he will be easy to work with. And by the time the hiring team convenes, the conversation with the applicant might have happened a couple of weeks back, and the person who conducted the interview may just have some hastily scribbled notes to jog their memory.

That’s not even taking into consideration the candidate side of the story. After all the time and effort that companies ask of candidates, it can reflect poorly on a company to have half-baked interview processes that yield a subpar experience.

But all is not lost — there are some simple ways to optimize how you interview to maximize your results.

The right questions, coupled with the right plan, will give you the right answers.

Create questions with your hiring team that address specific topics and parse the questions out amongst the different interviewers. That way, all the requisite ground is covered — but not covered repeatedly by different people.

Conduct your interviews on record.

Record interview conversations so that they can later be referenced and analyzed — this helps interviewers keep their initial impressions and unconscious biases in check and allows colleagues to listen to the conversation and form their own opinions.

Pay attention to the performance of interviewers as well as the interviewees.

During interviews, interviewers’ performance is also on display — it is a smart move to use interview recordings to assess how they are doing. Doing so enables companies to ensure that standards and benchmarks are being met in what is usually a behind-closed-doors affair. Pay attention to things like how often an interviewer is talking relative to the candidate. Are all interviewers saying congruent things about company culture or compensation? Are they successfully painting a compelling picture of the business?

Skill-based testing, e-assessments, and specialized software can help crack the code.

The proof is in the pudding — if you want to get a sense of how someone will do on the job, a skill-based test will offer a clear indication. A host of online assessment tests can further provide a way to qualify candidates’ professional knowledge and abilities clearly and objectively. Big tech has also stepped into the fray, and companies like BrightHire are leveraging AI technology for better, faster, more inclusive hiring.

All companies want to make stellar personnel decisions. By incorporating these tips into your interview process, you will be closer to taking the guesswork out of hiring.