How to Hire Effectively in the 21st Century


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Are you looking to hire new employees? You have to remember, it is the 21st century and people are now being trained to put together resumes that show you exactly what you want to see, and to answer interview questions with exactly what you want to hear. So before you begin the hiring process, it is important that you be wary of first impressions. Keep in mind that great applicants and great employees are not the same thing. Do not let this discourage you, because although applicants are evolving with the changing times, so are interview types and assessment techniques.

Structured interviews have become the most effective type. These interviews can be either behavioral or situational. Behavioral structured interviews have the interviewers ask candidates to think back to prior strengths and achievements and apply those to what is needed for the current job. This is the kind of interview where you would say something like, “Tell me about a time when…”

Situational structured interviews, on the other hand, give candidates a hypothetical scenario for the current job and the interviewer assesses their responses to that. This is when you would ask questions like, “What would you do if…?” As the interviewer, you will have to thoroughly evaluate the thought processes of your candidate to gauge how they would handle this in real time. Now, behavioral structured interviews have been proven least effective on their own, but when combined with the situational structure the two set the stage for a very thorough interview. Just make sure you’re asking all the right questions.

As for assessment techniques that can be used inside of these structured interviews, tests of cognitive ability, work sample tests, and tests of conscientiousness are all included and have been proven most effective when used in combination.

For measuring cognitive ability, there are existing tests with clear right or wrong answers that many interviewers use to evaluate this; they are very similar to IQ test questions. Cognitive tests like these are effective because they show the candidate’s learning capacity, which will help determine how quickly and how well they will pick up the work given to them.

Work sample tests and tests of conscientiousness can go hand in hand. With a work sample test, candidates are given a piece of work similar to what they would be doing in the position they are applying for, and are then evaluated on their performance and their finished product. Tests of conscientiousness can be tied into work sample tests because one’s conscientiousness is their level of meticulousness and inner sense of what is right. While candidates with lower levels of conscientiousness will only work until a project is “good enough,” candidates with higher levels of conscientiousness will work on a project until it is finished to the best of their ability. This will give you a good idea of who is more likely to take responsibility for their own teams and the environment around them.

Now, hiring new employees can seem to take forever when you are doing it by yourself, and you may not have the time to interview each candidate as thoroughly as you would like. This is how many people end up making poor choices during the hiring process. If you feel this may happen to you, it might be a good idea to hire a recruiter. Recruiters are paid professionals who work to find you the perfect match for the open positions in your company.

The hiring process nowadays can seem like an endless guessing game. You’ll have applicants with stunning qualifications in writing, and even on the interview they might keep up the façade, but once they feel secure in their new position they will start to lose quality. If you are planning on doing the hiring yourself or having other employees of yours do it, make sure everyone is trained on how to hold a structured interview like the ones mentioned above and that you and your employees know to avoid any bias during the interviewing process. As mentioned earlier, great applicants are not the same as great employees. Just because someone looks good on paper doesn’t mean they’re going to look good in your company, and vice versa. Remember, hiring new employees is very time consuming, so if you don’t feel confident that you will be able to assess candidates as carefully as you should, hiring a recruiter may be the best route to take.

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