Your position description is ready. You’ve posted it far and wide, and within just a few days, you have hundreds of applications that have passed through your applicant tracking system and a mound of resumes from which to begin your sifting. You begin to worry that by the time you discover the best, most qualified fit, your job seeker may have already moved on. Losing out on top talent is becoming a bigger challenge than ever before.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone! Research from Glassdoor shows that on average, each corporate job posting now attracts more than 250 resumes. In Yello’s 2020 nationwide survey of recruiting and talent acquisition professionals, respondents said their average time-to-hire across all industries was at least 4 weeks — with ⅔ of their overall hiring time spent on the interview process. Further, 60 percent indicated they regularly lose their top tier candidates. Add the $4,129 it costs per new hire (Society for Human Resource Management), and making the wrong hire could become an expensive mistake.
So whether you are just starting out, a small business, or a well-established enterprise, adding skilled and qualified candidates to your organization shouldn’t have to be a number’s game. When time’s not on your side, there are some tried and true tips for both streamlining and optimizing processes so you can be confident in finding and choosing the best candidate for the job. And when you leverage technology that uses psychometric data, the process of recruiting better hires more quickly becomes easier than ever.
Our Top Tips for Hiring the Right Candidate
Step 1: Target Your Outreach to Build Pipeline
We all know that if you want to come out ahead of your competition, you need to hire the best talent in the market to help you get there. Your problem: 52 percent of people who apply to a job are underqualified, while nearly 50 percent of companies report few or no qualified applicants for the positions they are trying to fill. And in today’s competitive job market, top talent won’t be falling into your lap any time soon.
So in addition to those who submit applications through your post, consider outbound efforts to strategically source the best talent. According to LinkedIn data, while only about 40 percent of the workforce is ever actively looking for a new opportunity at any given time, 90 percent of the workforce is willing to talk and learn more. To find those whose skills and background experiences align with your open role, here are few options:
Consider diversifying your sourcing channels. Candidates may be more receptive to outreach messages on less conventional websites, and profiles on such sites can yield unique information that allows you to make outreach more personalized.
Tap on your current employees to source their networks, and consider an employee referral program.
Like any good sales pitch, know your audience and customize your messages. As an example, mention offering a flexible work environment if you can (since that is coveted right now!), and always give enough information to pique their interest, focus on what might be most important to them in a role, and explain why you’ve reached out to them.
Continue building and leveraging a strong employer brand as way to move potential candidates into your talent pipeline.
Step 2: Recruit Intentionally & Screen Carefully
Once you have a strong pool of technically qualified candidates, you’ll want to assess and hire for fit. Following (or not following) this tip spells the difference between making the right (or wrong) choice.
Culture fit does not mean hiring who you or the team likes but rather being open to hiring people unlike you or any others in your organization. Resumes, LinkedIn, and educational backgrounds only tell some of the story. Besides being self reported, they are limited to only showing past experiences — whereas leveraging psychometrics more clearly reveals a person’s fuller potential when it comes to situational behavior, actions, opportunities for improvement, communication styles, and values — now and in the future.
For each role, region/geography, and department within the same company, the needs will be different and there is no out-of-the-box formula or one size fits all approach. Each individual you add or remove from the team will play a part in your culture’s evolution. That means it’s imperative to hire individuals who share or have demonstrated the values you have identified as paramount, believe in your vision, and are excited about the work your team is doing.
Avoid recruiting cookie-cutter replicas of your current employees and rather hire for culture adds and gap fillers — those candidates who will enhance your culture, as well as bring unique and valuable experiences and a diversity of thought to the team.
To do this, you’ll need to form a current vs target profile of the team’s culture and then hire in a way that allows you to achieve your target and the best balance of the behaviors, motivators, and work styles for the team in which the role resides — that’s hiring for fit and managing culture by intention.
The profiles are based on just a quick 12-minute psychometric assessment that unlocks critical information about a person’s behaviors, motivators and values, and work energizers. Once you have this information for your team and ask your candidates to take the assessment, you now have the capability to produce an ideal candidate profile, assess future success in the role based on fit factors, look at similarities and complements between your candidates and the team, and identify the candidate who will make the most significant positive impact.
A candidate’s psychometric profile can give you that multidimensional snapshot of a person, rather than a bulleted list of facts. It includes comprehensive data on a candidate’s critical behaviors, motivators, and work energizers, as well as sought-after skills like communication, creativity and adaptability. When you assess this kind of emotional intelligence data right alongside cognitive abilities, you’ll discover fuller representations of your candidates, be able to remove unconscious biases, and engage in a more inclusive approach to evaluating candidates — all of which can help you predict greater success in the role.
Added bonus! When you use a psychometric-based system to do this kind of analysis for you, you’re able to cut through all of the noise and eliminate hundreds of applications so you don’t waste time and resources. Your team and candidates will thank you!
Step 3: Optimize & Interview Fairly
Consider using an interview guide to structure a consistent interview experience for your candidates. When you use the same interview method, you can also use the same scoring to assess them. This reduces the risk of bias in the interview process. While the exact content of the interview guide will differ per organization and role, one of the most important components is the kinds of questions you ask.
A common interviewing question method is the STAR method. This method offers a structured way to retrieve information from the candidate. Asking all of your candidates a question using this method allows you to easily compare the depth of experience each has in key competencies. The next step in preparing the right kinds of questions is being able to dig more deeply into potential gaps but also alignments between your candidates and what the role calls for.
Using Psychometric-based Questions
Interviews alone are notoriously poor at predicting culture add or role success. To reduce subjective bias during the interview process, you can leverage psychometric-based questions that draw from the candidate’s own behaviors, motivators, and work energizers — that talent profile mentioned earlier — to highlight the most important gaps and alignments when compared with your ideal profile.
From here, the system generates focused questions to ask, along with interpretation guidelines, so you can quickly gain a deeper understanding of how a candidate will contribute to the team’s culture and perform in the role.
By leveraging psychometrics to guide your interviews, you’re making the most data-informed choice for your role. It’s why organizations that do infuse psychometrics into their recruiting and hiring process are able to:
Consistently evaluate candidate attributes
Automate competency, question, and evaluation criteria
Quickly begin interviewing and evaluating candidates against ideal profiles
Reduce unconscious bias & create fairer hiring outcomes
Increase diversity of thought for their teams
You can divide interview questions into several categories such as job-fit and organization-fit. The former involves questions that aim to determine how compatible a candidate is with the requirements of the job they apply for, while the latter involves questions regarding a person’s compatibility with the organization. The weight of each category will vary depending on your requirements but figuring out these scores is easy when you have a system in your hiring toolkit to do it.
Step 4: Involve Team Members
You could have all the data in the world, but if you don’t involve those who will work most closely with your new hire, you’re missing critical inputs. If your company is one that values people as your most important asset — the asset that sets you apart from your competitors — employee feedback is vital.
When you involve the employees who will collaborate most with your new hire both within and across functions, you’ll be gathering a pool of feedback that can help validate your own and the hiring manager’s feedback and the data. Involving your current employees in meeting potential new hires helps increase transparency, keeps communication open, and provides employees with an opportunity to have an impact on decisions that affect their jobs — all helpful for their own engagement and retention. If an employee is part of the selection process that picks their new colleague, they will be more committed to making that co-worker succeed.
Plus, when you use psychometrics to hire, your interviewing team members can see how the candidates compare to themselves! Combine your employees’ input with the psychometric assessment and culture fit data, and you’ll get to who’s best for the role faster and more easily than ever before.
The Result: Better Hires
In a now global workplace unconstrained by location or time zone, competition for talent is fierce, and your organization must focus on an integrated digital recruiting experience that incorporates deep analytics as well as intelligent automation capabilities. The result will be a more strategic HR function that propels the business agenda through the lens of an organization’s people agenda.
With psychometric-based recruiting technology (part of what is known as Culture-as-a-Service), you can leverage culture analytics about your teams to deliver talent more efficiently while you:
- integrate, modernize, and streamline employee experience platforms, starting from application all the way through to onboarding and retention
- eliminate subjectivity and streamline up to 80% of traditional recruiting processes
- reduce turnover costs caused by mis-aligned hires by at least 20% using predictive success factors
- ensure better organizational effectiveness by making personnel decisions based on data you can trust
- improve overall team and organizational performance through hiring
We all know that great talent isn’t available for long. By using psychometrics in your interview process, you can both increase the confidence of your hiring recommendations and accelerate your time-to-hire. When you combine these top tips with the traditional background and reference checks, work sample requests, and standard LinkedIn review, you’ll be well on your way to making more informed hiring recommendations that are a better fit for everyone.