Are job interviews really the best approach to finding the right candidate?
Sifting through CVs and selecting the best potential to interview is standard procedure when recruiting for a role. The process may consist of no more than an informal chat with the manager, or it may be a more drawn out process of multiple interviews.
One of these interview trends that employers use is to throw seemingly unrelated questions – I. e ‘if you were to identify yourself as a Microsoft Office programme, which one would you be?’ or ‘explain a reason why we shouldn’t hire you’. These questions are designed to test how fast a candidate can think their feet and how they’d deal with the pressure of being on the spot.
The problem with these style of questions is that they don’t accurately test a candidates ability to perform the job.
The theory is that people who can handle stress in an interview can handle stress on the job. The problem is, the theory is wrong. There is absolutely no evidence that the ability to deal with a stressful interview situation is an accurate predictor of the ability to deal with job stress. – Interview Edge
There is some belief that the traditional interview process is simply not effective. A survey conducted by Leadership IQ showed that ‘46 percent of all new hires fail within 18 months.’
Here are some alternative practices employers have put in place to try and create better recruitment methods.
Trial Shifts & Practical Tests
Having an informal interview or just a ‘chat’ with the general manager, then being put for a trial shift is a great way to test a person’s practical ability on the job. It’s most common in hospitality industries such as bar work and waitressing – but also making its way into other sectors.
Additionally, some individuals struggle answering questions on the spot and verbally selling themselves – but would do well on a math or computer competency test. Having a practical assessment in place is a great method to ensure talented candidates aren’t overlooked due to interview nerves.
An alternative approach for some employers is to leave it down to coworkers to decide whether someone should be employed as opposed to the hiring manager. This involves getting the candidate to come in for a trial day and by the end, it is up to the candidate’s potential future colleagues to anonymously vote as to weather the candidate is suitable. Of course – the candidate is not aware that they are being judged. The benefit of this method is that sometimes the employers make better judgement than HR or management – They are the ones who know exactly what requirements it takes to do their job on a daily basis and what sort of person would fit in to the company dynamics.
Using virtual reality as part of online application forms are becoming more popular. Lloyds bank have integrated this into their recruitment process; they use VR to simulate situations that happen daily in a bank and test the candidate’s responses. The employer uses the results to decide weather to proceed to interviews. The benefit of this method is that the candidate can clearly see the working environment. Sometimes written job descriptions can be vague and misinterpreted, leading to many candidates applying for roles they are not suited for or may not even desire.
This stands for ‘Bring your own team’ – An experimental hiring process built to ensure that a company is team oriented. The idea is to recruit small talented teams of 3-5 individuals who are already well connected to each other.
‘Stripe’ – a mobile phones payment company based in San Francisco was the first to trial this, stating that
“The basic notion that hiring should be oriented around individuals rather than teams is actually a surprising one, when you think about it”
“We’re trying to construct teams, yet we’re only looking at individuals. That’s an odd mismatch.”
It has since been reported that the trial did not work and has been discontinued – claiming that it failed due to many of the applicants still applying as individuals, and the logistics of coordinating multiple career moves at once was more complicated than originally planned.
It does, however, encourage other employers to re think the traditional recruitment process – possibly bringing more innovative ways to hire candidates in the future!
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