Hiring & Selection Practices Survey Results

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This report summarizes the results of ERC’s survey of 117 organizations in Northeast Ohio, conducted in February of 2011, on practices related to hiring and selection.

The survey reports trends in:

  • General selection methods
  • Reference, background, and credit checks
  • Drug tests
  • Employment tests
  • Pre-screening interviews
  • Hiring decisions
  • Sign-on and employee referral bonuses
  • Introductory periods
  • Hiring metrics
  • Hiring projections

 

11-Hiring-Selection-Practices-Survey.pdf (174.54 kb)

Preliminary Findings - Hiring & Selection Practices Survey

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The preliminary findings of ERC’s 2011 Hiring & Selection Practices Survey, which explored practices including background and drug screening, references, testing, and other hiring practices (including local hiring metrics), showed several clear trends in local employers’ hiring and selection practices.

  • Over three-quarters of employers plan to hire in 2011.
  • Over half of employers say that a job candidate’s current or previous salary (as reported on application) influences their decision to not hire an applicant.
  • About a quarter of employers report that a job candidate’s indication or request to not call a past or current employer influences their decision to not hire an applicant.
  • Over 70% of employers conduct reference checks, typically in-house versus using a vendor.
  • Employers most commonly use employment tests to evaluate administrative/clerical and management positions.

15 Ways to Reduce Hiring & Termination Liability

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Issues involving hiring and termination liability are two of employers’ most common questions and concerns. Here are 15 ways that you and your managers can reduce liability when hiring and terminating employees. 

  1. Conduct a thorough and documented job analysis to determine the essential functions of each position in your organization and provide a foundation for selection and hiring practices. This analysis yields information about which duties are essential and also identifies the knowledge, skills, and abilities required. Documentation of the essential functions for each position is necessary to comply with the American Disabilities Act (ADA).
  2. Identify the actual qualification requirements needed for the position. Studies show that employers tend to overestimate degree and experience requirements, in particular, which may not truly be necessary for the position and could screen out potential candidates. This can lead to discriminatory practices.
  3. Ensure that you know the types of disabilities covered under the ADA. These have expanded over time and include a range of conditions that many employers often do not consider (i.e. depression, allergies, obesity, etc.). Current or prospective employees with the following disabilities may be covered by this law.
  4. Know your accommodation options. The Job Accommodation Network provides a great deal of information to employers on the types of possible accommodations that are appropriate to provide for certain disabilities. The sample accommodations cited on this website are useful and practical for many organizations to employ in order to make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities.
  5. Make sure that employment applications do not request certain demographic information including graduation dates (or other information that would yield data about the candidate’s age), questions about physical appearance and characteristics (such as height and weight), credit history, sex, gender, religion, national origin, marital/family status, schedules, and disabilities.
  6. Create a selection plan for each job you plan to hire for using the same selection procedures or consistently apply the same selection practices for all positions if standardized practices are necessary (i.e. if you use a background check for one applicant, use it for all applicants). All job applicants for a position need to be evaluated using the same criteria.
  7. Design structured and objective tools or processes to score applicants on job-related criteria, such as rating scales or interview forms. These can help prevent personal and non-job-related information from being used in the selection process.
  8. Pre-determine hiring questions so that hiring managers do not ask or consider inappropriate personal information. Training hiring managers in interviewing is also beneficial so that they are aware of appropriate and inappropriate questions and interview protocol.
  9. Avoid using non-job-related criteria to make selection decisions. Specifically, avoid using unemployment status or age (young or old) as factors when hiring employees. The EEOC is currently exploring these discriminatory practices in greater depth.
  10. Evaluate employment tests for validity, job-relatedness, and adverse impact. Selection tests need to be evaluated in terms of whether they are causing adverse impact for protected groups.  In addition, usage of certain cut scores can also cause liabilities, if it results in adverse impact. Selection tests also need to be validated and directly related to the job. The Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures is a helpful set of guidelines on the use of testing in the workplace.
  11. Do not use genetic information for hiring purposes. GINA (Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act) prohibits the use of genetic information, such as family medical history, for hiring. 
  12. Protect against negligent hiring. Employers should consider using screening practices such as background and reference checks and credential verifications (such as education, licenses, past work, etc.). Credit checks and motor vehicle reports may also be necessary for some jobs.
  13. Monitor pay practices, per the Equal Pay Act, which prohibits unequal pay for equal work. Per the law, all employees should be paid equal pay for equal work on jobs which require substantially equal skill, effort, and responsibility and is performed under similar working conditions. Pay comparisons and statistical tests should be conducted for employees completing equal work to ensure fair and equal pay practices.
  14. Document performance and non-compliance with policies. All incidents of performance (including conversations about the performance incidents, non-compliance with policies, corrective action taken, etc.) need to be documented in the event that your organization needs to terminate an employee. It helps to have an established performance management system to support supervisors and managers in documenting employees’ behaviors. Should your organization need to terminate an individual, it will need to have verifiable facts to back up its decision.
  15. Keep processes transparent. By providing job applicants or employees with fact-based reasons for your hiring and termination decisions, they are less likely to believe that other personal factors played a role in the decision (such as their race or gender). Oral or written feedback is advised.

We often find that liability problems emerge when employment decisions are not based on job-related and objective criteria, when practices lack consistency and equity, and when documentation is not being used. It’s important for HR and managers alike to be educated about how to prevent these liabilities.

Should your organization need more information or education on this topic, consider accessing our resources, training programs, and services below.

Additional Resources

Job Descriptions & Selection Assessments
For more information about how ERC can help your organization with job description projects or selection assessments, please contact consulting@yourerc.com.

HR Help Desk
For more information and guidance pertaining to any of the content in this article, please contact hrhelp@yourerc.com.

6 Ways to Improve Your Hiring Process

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6 Ways to Improve Your Hiring Process

Job candidate engagement and relationship management, recruitment metrics and streamlining, selection assessment, and hiring manager relations are all key areas of opportunity for many organizations and some of the major hiring practice trends.

Here are some ways to improve these aspects of your hiring process.

Improve candidate engagement

Each conversation and interaction with a candidate is an opportunity to engage or disengage the individual and establish a positive or negative relationship or perception of your organization. Remember that declined candidates can be sources of other job applicants, and they are just as important to engage.

  • Establish a timeline for the hiring process regarding when candidates should expect certain stages to occur (interviewing, testing, offer, etc.). Communicate this to candidates.
  • Follow up with candidates in a timely manner by setting a standard for response time. For example, set a goal to respond to candidates who have submitted a resume to your organization within 3 business days of their submission.
  • Communicate expectations. Tell candidates when they will hear from your organization following a stage in the hiring process, such as an interview.
  • Communicate all decisions to candidates. Follow up with candidates after each interview and stage of the hiring process, and when the final decision has been made. Additionally, consider providing feedback to candidates on why they were not selected. Approach the conversation in a way that keeps the door open for on on-going relationship.
  • Make a good impression. Be sure that hiring managers or others involved in the hiring process act professionally, ask appropriate interview questions, are prepared and have reviewed resumes, and treat the candidate with respect.
  • Survey or gather feedback from the candidate about the hiring process. Applicants and candidates are your customers, and in order to improve your hiring process, their feedback can be helpful.

Manage candidate relationships

Staying in touch with candidates and building relationships with them over time can help improve the recruitment process and build a network of contacts for future positions. It also can save money on sourcing.

  • Connect with all great job candidates on LinkedIn so that you can maintain contact with them in the future, should staffing needs emerge.
  • Reach out to exceptional job candidates every once in awhile to “check in” and build a relationship. You never know when you may be looking for their talent.
  • Periodically call or email employees that have left the organization on good terms. Stay in touch with top talent that has left your organization.
  • Consider creating alumni groups or events for previous employees that have left the organization. Some organizations create these groups on social networking sites like LinkedIn or Facebook, while others initiate in-person meetings or events.

Use more effective selection methods

Selection problems typically occur when a) the methods used don’t match the skills, abilities, or knowledge that need to be evaluated and b) the process or people involved in the process approach it in an unstructured, untrained manner that makes decision-making subjective and error-prone.

A comprehensive selection process should be based on a thorough review of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for the position, as well as organizational and cultural fit. By analyzing your hiring needs in depth, your organization can create selection practices that best fit the requirements of the position.

For example, if your organization wants to determine whether a candidate’s style or personality fits the position, it is best to conduct an assessment versus asking personal questions in the interview. If other candidate traits should be evaluated, such as leadership style or problem solving abilities, assessments can be used to evaluate those traits.

By focusing on selection methods that fit the position, your organization can improve its selection effectiveness.

Additionally, your organization may consider improving its interviewing practices by providing more structure to hiring managers with an interview guide to ensure that they are asking appropriate, targeted, and consistent questions of all applicants and rating them according to objective criteria or by ensuring that managers are trained on interviewing practices.

Measure effectiveness

Your hiring process should be measured so you know how it is working. If your organization only has time to track a few critical hiring metrics, make sure these are the ones: time to fill, cost per hire, sourcing effectiveness, and quality of hire.

They will show how efficient and costly your process is, what sourcing is generating the most applicants and the best hires, and the quality of candidates whom you are hiring, all important to measuring your recruitment and hiring process’s effectiveness.

Additionally, linking or correlating quality of hire metrics back to the selection tools and sourcing methods can help your organization validate its hiring approaches and determine which ones are effective.

Enhance recruiter/HR and hiring manager relations

Recruitment of great talent can suffer when HR and hiring managers are not on the same page. This can create disorganization, inefficiencies, and inconsistent communication that candidates often pick up on during the hiring process. Positive and efficient recruiter/HR and hiring manager relations can be improved by enhancing communication in all of the following ways:

  • At the beginning of the process, identify the core people that will need to interview, partake in selection phases, and make the final decision. This will prevent the inevitable “reeling” of others into the process which can elongate the hiring timeframe.
  • Communicate the hiring process to hiring managers before recruitment for the position starts. You may consider including a timeline to manage their expectations, help them carve out time, and answer questions. This could be an introductory email or a meeting.
  • Manage their involvement in the selection process. If managers are to rate candidates in an interview, be sure that they have received rater training. If they design interview questions or conduct interviews, be sure they have received interview training. Also ensure that managers have the job description and are aware of any competencies or criteria they will need to assess.  Give hiring managers the tools and training to hire effectively.
  • Keep hiring managers abreast of the hiring process and where candidates stand. Maintain open lines of communication throughout the process.

Streamline

If technology isn’t being used in your organization’s recruitment process, it’s time to start integrating new systems of tracking applicant and recruiting data. One of the most challenging aspects of recruitment is managing resumes and applications. There are plenty of great systems and software applications that your organization can invest in to help streamline this process. Leveraging applicant tracking systems is important in making the process efficient.

Beyond social media, which is also technology your organization can use to enhance its recruitment and hiring process, some organizations have expanded their sourcing efforts to mobile technology like cell phones and texting.

Behavioral Interviewing Training

Behavioral Interviewing Training

Participants will learn the importance of proper preparation for an behavioral interview.

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