A Data-Driven HR: Standardizing the Hiring Process

“Tell me about yourself”, “What is your greatest weakness?”, “What is your greatest strength?”, “How many golf balls would fit inside a Boeing 747?” We’ve all been through the classic interview and such questions are the archetypes of all other interview questions. 

But research has shown that traditional, unstructured job interviews are bad at predicting how a candidate performs once hired; most interviews are ineffective because 99.4% of the time is spent trying to confirm whatever impression the interviewer formed in the first ten seconds. So what should you do? How do you prevent the interview from going from assessing a candidate to hunting for confirmation biases?

Where Should You Start? 

The most important step to take is to, first of all, understand the position you are hiring for. Involve the relevant department managers into the hiring process so that they can give you insight on what exact requirements need to be fulfilled. Only then can you structure your interviews. 

Engaging in structured, standardized interviews helps you compare and contrast candidates. Asking everyone the same set of questions helps you reduce bias and practice equal opportunities in hiring as they allow for greater objectivity. Reducing ambiguity and providing clear metrics through which you and your team can make clear decisions at each hiring stage.

Unstructured interviews, on the other hand, lack defined questions so interviewers have to rely on candidates to provide their experience and expertise through conversation. Research has shown they are ineffective and unreliable for predicting job success. 

Finding the Right Tools

To support you and your team, there are other strategies you can use to bolster your hiring process. Prior to the interview, you and your team can also consider using job-fit, team-fit or skill assessments to evaluate candidate skills and knowledge. It’s used as a pre-screening tool to help you confirm that a candidate is qualified for the position and has the skills they’ve indicated on their resume. 

Another important thing to remember is to evaluate the success of the new process through the quality of your hires. Figuring out how long it takes for them to become fully functional on their own, how they perform relative to other team members, and whether or not they’re a cultural fit are all good determinants of whether you made a good hire. 

The goal of any interview process is to predict how candidates will perform once they join the team. It’s tempting to stick with the same process you’ve relied on thus far, but can you afford a chance on a bad hire? With enough time and effort, you and your team can design an interview process that provides a thorough, objective evaluation of a candidate’s skills, aptitude, and potential for culture fit.