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4 Ways to Demonstrate Success in Your Hiring Process

November 9, 2017

In a broad sense, we think of success as the achievement of an end goal, such as making it to the finish line, getting an A, or winning the bake-off. However, success is more than walking away with the blue ribbon. How well we achieve our goal also determines whether our efforts truly constitute success. Were we efficient or wasteful in the process? Did we cheat and lie or did we act with integrity? Were we gracious winners, showing respect to others along the way?

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When it comes to hiring, we tend to focus on one or two outcomes (like turnover and job performance) even though there are many indicators of success. Below are four measures which provide a more comprehensive look at your organization’s hiring process.

1. Utility

Utility is one of the most basic measures of success, but it is often overlooked. A first step in measuring the success of your selection process is to determine whether the selection tools are a) being utilized, and b) informing hiring decisions. The following data points can help you evaluate the utility of each step in the process:

  • Drop-out rate: Higher dropout rates may be a sign of inefficiency in the process, a lack of communication, or a process that is too lengthy altogether.

  • Target pass rate: If you are getting too little or too much applicant flow through the process, reviewing the pass rate (or throughput) at each step can help you isolate an area for improvement.

  • HR/Hiring Manager perceptions: Feedback from those who utilize the selection tools and manage the hiring strategy inform its effectiveness. Consider creating a survey or hosting focus groups with these stakeholders to see which tools or steps they find most valuable, if they are getting the right information in the right timeframe, etc.

2. Fairness

A successful hiring strategy is also one that is fair to all applicants. Fairness can be conceptualized in various ways, but within the selection context, there are a few key markers:

  • Standardization & Consistency: Evaluate the steps in your process in terms of structure, guidelines, and training provided. Is there room for the hiring team to make subjective judgments, and if not, are clear benchmarks and standards provided? Review your process for hiring referrals and temps, too. Our recommendation is to follow the same process you would for direct, full-time hires (after all, you are asking them to do the same job). Read more about the importance of consistency.

  • No Adverse Impact: Seemingly innocuous hiring criteria can inadvertently disadvantage a protected class. It is prudent to evaluate each step of the process for adverse impact, then adjust as needed – replacing or removing the problematic step when possible or providing evidence for job-relatedness and business necessity. Related: How to Minimize Adverse Impact in Your Hiring Process

  • Reasonable accommodations: Does your process provide opportunities for applicants to request reasonable accommodations? How do you respond to these requests? Can you provide accommodations in the hiring process as you would on the job? Defining a clear process for handling requests and proactively identifying accommodation options improves your fairness success meter.

3. Positive Applicant Reactions

A major goal of any selection process is to attract candidates. A process would certainly not be successful if it left applicants with a negative impression of the organization, especially in industries where applicants are also customers. The hiring experience sets the stage for organizational culture and is the first impression a potential employee has of the organization. During times of low unemployment and unfavorable selection ratios, engaging applicants and providing a positive experience is critical. There are a few ways that you can measure a positive candidate experience, including:

  • Survey questions at the end of your application or online assessments

  • Follow up email surveys at the end of the selection process

  • Qualitative feedback from new hires on their experience during the selection process

Check out our related research on applicant reactions to employee assessments. Do you need help convincing business leaders that a positive candidate experience is powerful? Consider this: a recent study revealed that 64% of job seekers admit that having a poor candidate experience makes them less likely to purchase goods and services from that company. A negative candidate experience not only impacts your company’s reputation, but it also effects the bottom-line.

4. Accuracy / Quality of Hire

The final aspect of measuring success is to tie the selection process to ultimate outcomes, such as quality of hire, turnover, safety, sales, and patient or customer satisfaction. Metrics like these typically take a bit longer to evaluate since it takes time to collect such data. Further, it is essential to remember that the hiring process is not the sole driver of these outcomes. Training, leadership, organizational culture, and market forces also influence success in this regard.  Nonetheless, it is important for us to review these outcomes in light of the process, for example, by gathering data in a pre-post survey designed to analyze key metrics before and after the implementation of a new selection tool or process. Additionally, you could conduct a criterion validation study comparing assessment scores with the key outcome or performance rating to show a relationship between those factors.

So, how does your current selection process stack up when it comes to utility, fairness, candidate experience, and accuracy?

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Bekah Regan Bekah Regan is a Consultant based in the Pittsburgh office of PSI. She provides client support across many different industries including retail, manufacturing, technology and healthcare. Her areas of expertise include developing selection tools and interview guides, providing training and support for PSI’s applicant tracking system, as well as assisting clients with requests and questions regarding tools and processes.