Hiring practices of highly successful organizations

An organization can see success or failure based on their specific hiring practices and tools.

The most effective hiring policies for businesses included the following:

  • Job interviews where candidates were asked to describe specific examples of their skills
  • Automated resume screening and search
  • Assessments that predict whether candidates are motivated by the factors associated with a particular job or a company's values and ways of doing things
  • Simulations that gauge specific job-related abilities and skills

Some have seen that preferring external candidates over internal candidates seems like a weak selection process.

The job description must be well thought out. It needs to be used for hiring and employment purposes.

When creating a job description, the following should be considered:

  • List the duties and responsibilities from general to specific
  • Cite the job qualifications and prerequisites objectively
  • Include language saying that you are an “Equal Opportunity Employer”
  • That nothing in the job posting or description should be seen as an offer or guarantee of employment
  • Do not use language that tells a preference for a particular gender, race, age, or other such quality

Attract diverse and qualified applicants from a variety of sources for the company's hiring needs (e.g., recruit at a broad range of college and technical schools, attend minority-sponsored job fairs, advertise in relevant community newspapers, seek partnerships with organizations that are a source of diverse employees).

If you already have a diverse workforce, it’s OK to ask employees for recommendations. Otherwise, you will need to make sure you are going outside of the box to diversify your business.

Avoid issues with applications and interviews. You can fail to recognize and address some of the usual recruiting mistakes that create liability for your company.

Personal interviews and applications are the most common tools when choosing the most qualified candidates for employment at your firm.

The interview process needs to be well thought out, as do the applications. Every person involved in the process should be familiar with the “do’s and don'ts” of legal and quality interviews.

The law says that all questions asked on an employment application or in an interview will be used in the hiring decision. Therefore, you should limit the interview topics and only ask the questions that are needed to evaluate an applicant’s qualifications for the particular position.

When preparing managers and interviewers on how to perform interviews, include suggestions like:

  • Asking open-ended questions that will require the candidate to discuss his or her qualifications
  • Critically evaluate responses
  • Make no promises or guarantees with regard to the job or future employment
  • Take notations that will help the interviewer to remember each applicant

Ideally, more than one person should interview each possible employee. The EEO statement and a statement that the application is not an offer of employment or an employment contract should be included in the application and the interview process.

Tips to improve your hiring process - manage all your hiring in one place

If you automate applicant tracking, then you will be able to consolidate your hiring data for the optimal usage.

Automation allows you to store past and current data in one location and even keep track of candidates for future openings if they don't meet your immediate needs. Automation also lets you track candidates during the hiring process and manage their information consistently and securely. That way you don’t have to worry about lost paperwork.

Tips to improve your hiring process - analyze best places to find talent

Also, keep track of where your candidates are coming from. This includes job search websites and social networks. For example, LinkedIn is a social network that has job opportunities listed. These are important for understanding what avenues work for your organization and where you're finding value in paying for listings or spending time searching and posting.

Identify which sources bring in the largest candidate volume and where you find your hires by position type and location.

Tips to improve your hiring process - build a robust careers webpage

Your website is an applicant's first impression of your business and your brand. Be sure to integrate the hiring and applying process into your website’s jobs page and focus on usability and reliability so that you don't lose top candidates due to technical issues or a poor user experience.

Your careers page is a direct reflection of your company. This page should tell users what positions are available, what the company culture is, benefits packages, and more. This tells potential employees what it's really like to work at your organization.

Tips to improve your hiring process - make decisions electronically

If you use technology to track applications, then you won’t lose resumes. This will prevent missing out on a good new hire. There should be a yes/no decision process that the interview team uses. This way, no candidate is placed in a “maybe” class and potentially forgotten about.

Tips to improve your hiring process - understand bottlenecks in your process

Analyze your hiring process by tracking the metrics of staffing success, such as: duration of process from application to interview; status of candidates in the process; open requisitions; timeframes in filling up positions; turnover rate.

Tips to improve your hiring process - monitor compliance

Avoid Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs regulations violations. These can bring major fines.

Use consistent, legal processes to hire or reject potential employees, and accurately document everything you can to show why a candidate was or was not chosen.

Assessment techniques used to predict job performance of applicants

In 1998, Frank Schmidt and John Hunter did a meta-analysis on 85 years of research about that assessments can predict performance. They looked at 19 different assessment techniques and discovered that standard, unstructured job interviews were poor at indicating how someone would perform once hired.

Unstructured interviews have an r2 of 0.14, which says they explain only 14 percent of an employee’s performance. This is somewhat ahead of reference checks (explaining 7 percent of performance), ahead of the number of years of work experience (3 percent).

The best way to see how a potential will perform in a job is to do a work sample test (29 percent). This includes giving candidates a test piece of work that is like what they would do in the actual job. Then you can see what their performance might be.

Sample tests can’t perfectly predict work, though, since actual job work also depends on other skills, such as how well they collaborate with others, adaptability, and learning ability.

The next predictors of performance are exams of general cognitive ability (26 percent). Different from interviews and brainteasers, general cognitive ability tests are real tests that have defined right and wrong answers. These are similar to what is on an IQ test.

General cognitive ability tests are predictive because they include the capacity to learn, and the combination of raw intelligence and learning ability will make most people successful in most jobs.

The main issue with general cognitive ability though is that most standardized tests discriminate against non-white, non-male test takers (at least in the United States). They consistently under predict how women and non-whites will perform in college. These results are because of the test format. There is no gender gap on Advanced Placement tests that use short answers and essays instead of multiple choice.  Test scoring also plays a part in this (boys are more likely to guess after eliminating one possible answer, which improves their scores). Even the content of the questions affects the scores.

Structured interviews (26 percent) are in line with cognitive tests. Candidates are asked a consistent set of questions with clear criteria to determine the quality of their answers.

There are two kinds of structured interviews: behavioral and situational. Behavioral interviews have candidates describing prior successes and place those next to what is required in the new job. Situational interviews present a job-related hypothetical situation.

A good interviewer will go deep to assess the quality and thought processes in the stories told by the candidate. Structured interviews can be good even for jobs that are unstructured themselves.

Structured interviews cause both candidates and interviewers to have a better experience and are perceived to be the fairest.

There are just a couple companies that do structured interviews since they are hard to create. They have to be written, tested, and the interviewees have to be sure to stay with the process. Then they have to be constantly changed to prevent candidates from comparing notes and coming prepared with all the answers.

Studies have shown that combining the techniques gives the best result, more than any one technique.

What is qDroid?

qDroid is a tool developed by Google that combines behavioral and situational structured interviews and assessments of cognitive ability, conscientiousness, and leadership. This helps their interviewers when they hire new workers.

In qDroid, an interviewer picks the job they are screening for, they check the attributes they want to test, and they are sent an interview guide that gives questions designed to predict performance for that job.

How to have an effective interview assessment

In usual job interviews, the applicant meets his or her potential boss and a peer.

Meeting one of your subordinates and making an assessment of their skills are more important than others doing that for the employee, since you are going to have to live with them at work every day. This gives a strong signal that the company is not built on hierarchy and this helps prevent cronyism, where managers hire their friends for their new teams.

The best potential employees leave subordinates feeling inspired or excited to learn from them.

Adding a cross-functional interviewer - someone with little or no connection at all to the group for which the candidate is interviewing - provides disinterested assessment since someone from a different function is unlikely to have any interest in a particular job being filled but has a strong interest in keeping the quality of hiring high.

Cross-functional interviewers are also less susceptible to the so-called thin-slices errors (small moments of observation that are then used to make bigger decisions), since they have less in common with the candidate than the other interviewers.

How to create your own self-replicating machine

Set a high bar for quality. You should determine which traits you want and identify those as a group what great looks like (a good rule of thumb is to hire only people who are better than you and do not compromise).

Use social networking sites, job search websites, alumna databases to find your candidates to make the search easier.

By assessing candidates objectively, you will be able to include subordinates and peers in your interviews. This will ensure that you have good notes written down and that you have an unbiased group of people make the actual hiring decision.

The interviewer’s notes should be reviewed often to see how the new employee is performing.

Make sure the candidates have a reason to join your company. Make clear why the work you are doing matter, and let the candidate experience the astounding people they will get to work with.

Importance of pre-employment screening process in the workplace

Placing too much emphasis in the resumes and interviews along can result in bad hiring choices that can have negative effects. Some results can be low morale, high turnover, and the high cost of doing the hiring process all over again.

Unfortunately, candidates sometimes are not entirely honest when they submit their information and experience.

If you need help with any issues surrounding hiring practices, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb