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3 Ways to Slim Down Your Hiring Practices in The New Year

January 14, 2020

3 Ways to Slim Down Your Hiring Practices in the New Year

In the new year, people make many resolutions. One of the most popular resolutions is getting stronger and healthier. Gym membership rates soar at this time of year, but while most people are trying to slim their bodies down, maybe it’s time to take a look at how to implement efficiencies and processes to “slim down” our hiring practices as well. Here are a few key things to think about.

Eliminate Subjectivity

Subjectivity in hiring practices can come in many forms and is often there totally unintentionally. For example, let’s say you review a candidate’s resume, and I review a candidate’s resume. Let’s also say that you have previously worked in the role we are hiring for and I have not. Even with just these two circumstances at play, there is a good chance that I will have different opinions about how qualified a candidate is for the job versus you, the reviewer with previous experience. Taking this example further, the other reviewer may not put as much weight into credentials, whereas I may not spend much time on the resumes if the candidate doesn’t have a certain certificate or degree that a job description says they should. Subjectivity can also come into play during the interview process, especially if you are using unstructured and inconsistent interview practices. Without knowing what to ask and how to ask it to uncover a candidate’s interests, abilities, strengths, and weaknesses, you may find out the hard way that your new hire was a bad hire.

Ask yourself the following questions: What are you basing your interview decisions on? Is it a standard set of criteria, all of which is related to success on the job? Do you hold that same criteria to all candidates? If the answer is no, subjectivity is likely getting the best of your interview processes.

Remove Invalid and/or Irrelevant Testing Procedures

Validated, predictive, and relevant assessment practices are a key component of a healthy selection process. Using home-grown assessment tools without any validation evidence or that are largely focused on highly cognitive concepts such as a math test or technical test can be hard to defend, especially if they are showing adverse impact in your candidate pool. Using behaviorally based assessments that measure competencies that are required for successful job performance is the best course of action. Of course, taking the necessary steps to establish job relevance, such as holding focus groups with job content experts of the role you are hiring for, is recommended.

Omit Unnecessary Application Questions

Have you ever been in the process of completing an application and thought to yourself, “Why are they asking me this question?” I wouldn’t be surprised if that response was warranted. Many times, organizations want to ask everything and anything in applications to get as much information about a candidate as possible. This is not a great strategy for several reasons. From a legal standpoint, companies should only be collecting job relevant information in an application process. More specifically, companies should stick to asking questions strictly related to the basic qualifications of the job. Basic qualifications of the job must be advertised or established in advance (e.g., part of an existing org policy), non-comparative, objective, and relevant to the position. Less is more: weeding out the “fluff” and unnecessary questions in your application is really in your best interest, and also saves candidates time.

When we make our resolution for the new year to make hiring processes “slimmer,” this saves not only the time of our hiring managers and HR professionals, but also can help create a better candidate experience.

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Lindsey Burke Lindsey Burke is a Senior Consultant based in the Pittsburgh office of PSI. She is largely responsible for client support and managing clients in industries including manufacturing, sales, and healthcare. Lindsey completed her M.A. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Xavier University and earned a B.A. and B.S. in Psychology from Kent State University.