Ever wonder how employers select a perfect match for a job? In our research, their secret lies in using certain hiring methods to select the right employees, specifically these four practices.
1. Behavioral Interviewing
Behavioral interviewing is one of the most accurate hiring techniques and ideal for evaluating skills and competencies necessary for effective job performance. Behavioral interviewing, as opposed to traditional interviewing, evaluates candidates' past performance by having job candidates describe specific stories, examples, experiences, and results that indicate their ability to perform certain job tasks and responsibilities.
Examples of behavioral interview questions include:"Provide an example of...", "Tell me about an experience when...", or "Describe how you did...". Typically, a candidate is asked to provide a description of the situation, task, action, and result in response.
Tips for behavioral interviewing:
- Train managers, supervisors, and any employees in a hiring role on behavioral interviewing.
- Review job information (job descriptions, performance objectives, etc.) and identify certain behaviors that a candidate needs to perform the job successfully.
- Use tools like behavioral interview guides, question banks, score sheets or forms, and note-taking sheets when interviewing.
- Ask the same core questions of each candidate (though probing may vary).
- Know your potential biases as an interviewer, such as relying on intuition and credentials or favorably viewing applicants similar to yourself.
2. Selection Assessments
Selection assessments can aid decision-making in the selection process, however should be used with other selection methods like interviewing and not by themselves. These assessments can help quantify skills and competencies, provide context on a candidate's interpersonal style, measure the likelihood that an employee will perform or fit into a job/organization, and objectively narrow the number job candidates.
Depending on the role for which you are hiring, different assessments can be chosen. For example, for technical roles, skill and ability-based assessments can be helpful. For management or leadership roles, style, soft-skills, or personality assessments are more ideal, although these types of assessments may be appropriate for any level depending on how crucial a soft-skills/style fit is to success on the job.
Tips for using selection assessments:
- Make sure whatever you are assessing is related to the job for which you are hiring. Select assessments especially for skills or traits that are difficult to measure using interviewing.
- Any assessment used for hiring should hold up to certain reliability and validity standards.
- Properly introduce the assessment candidates will take, the reason they are taking it, when they will take it, and if/how they will be provided feedback on results.
- Use a trained professional to make decisions about cut-off scores and interpreting results.
- Never base a hiring decision solely on the results of one assessment.
- Internally evaluate tests to make sure they do not discriminate against protected groups and correlate with performance.
3. Job Tryouts
Job tryouts are increasingly being used, especially for high-turnover positions. Sometimes these take the form of virtual simulations, while other times they are job shadowing experiences, sample exercises or work activities, role plays, video tours, realistic job previews, or interactive games. Job tryouts can be very effective in showing employees what a job entails and evaluating whether they can actually do the work. They are also effective in reducing turnover.
Although job tryouts can be used for any level of employee, they are more effective for non-management-related jobs, such as call center, manufacturing, technical/computer, and sales employees. Typically, replications of job duties or job shadowing experiences can be more accurately constructed for these types of jobs than managerial or leadership roles which assess more complex behaviors, knowledge, and characteristics.
Tips for using job tryouts:
- Use job tryouts mainly for complex, technical jobs or difficult positions with high turnover.
- Ensure that job tryouts accurately depict and replicate core job duties.
- Try to make the job tryout engaging and interesting to complete.
- Consider off-the-shelf solutions that are already validated and reliably measure skill.
- Develop and use scoring criteria for the job tryout to evaluate job candidates.
4. Background screening
Lastly, employers typically conduct a comprehensive background screening on employees to reduce the risk of negligent hiring. Background screening is often not limited to just a criminal background investigation, but also includes references, employment verifications, and drug testing.
Tips for using background screening:
- Use background screening as a final step in the hiring process since it can be costly.
- Don't unnecessarily eliminate a candidate because of a criminal record, per EEOC guidance earlier in 2012.
- Use a third-party provider that specializes in background screening services.
- Don't measure provider effectiveness based on cost alone. A higher cost may indicate a more thorough assessment.
A successful new-hire depends on how well your selection methods evaluate a candidate's abilities, skills, and culture-fit with your organization. If you regularly struggle to hire the right fit or want to improve your probability of doing so, consider using these hiring practices.