August 23, 2017 by

Hiring the right people is critical to an organization’s success. A poor hiring process can lead to increased turnover, poor work performance, decreased morale, worker compensation claims, and decreased customer satisfaction
and loyalty.

Hiring the right people is easier said than done. Unfortunately, bad hires are often made because people rely on their “gut“ or intuition. Perhaps the candidate wore the “right“ outfit on interview day or said the “right“ things to a series of random questions. In fact, making a selection decision based on an unstructured interview is about as predictive as flipping a coin—you may get a good hire, you may get a bad one. Who wants to leave such a critical decision up to chance?

Although no selection method or process can absolutely guarantee success, you can increase your odds of accurately predicting candidate success by using valid selection tools and taking a multi-method approach. By gathering information using multiple valid methods, you can create a more complete, reliable picture of a candidate upon which to make your selection decision.

Start by defining what knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics are necessary to excel in the role and fit into the organizational culture. The goal is to measure the characteristics (e.g., analytical, flexible, conscientious) that are likely to lead to effective job performance.

Then consider using psychological assessments to examine candidates’ characteristics and talents. It is important to use assessments that are appropriate, reliable, and valid for the position for which you’re hiring.

Next, consider using a structured, behavior-based interview to look for specific evidence of the required behaviors and skills. You can also use the interview to verify assessment results and probe further into any red flags or murky results.

Once you have collected information from the assessments, interview, and any additional selection techniques you have used (e.g., applications, phone screens, references, background checks, additional interviews), determine whether the candidates’ skills and characteristics match those needed for the job, and evaluate how the candidates will fit into the organization’s culture. Then offer the position to the one who demonstrates the best fit.   

Investing in a reliable, valid, multi-method selection system will increase the likelihood that candidates you hire will be successful in their roles. Although it may cost more money and time up front, the long-term benefits (e.g., higher retention, better employee performance, enhanced company reputation) of using a rigorous selection process greatly outweigh the short-term costs.

Lauren Weivoda, M.A., is a​ ​human​ ​capital​ ​strategist​​ at Solve Consulting LLC.