Here’s Why the Best Predictor of Performance Isn’t the Interview

November 8, 2018
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It’s the interaction every candidate dreads: the job interview. They have snuck away from their current position for the day, dressed to impress and sat in a conference room doing their best to please one or several people who hold the power to hire them. They have made it this far, so you must be interested enough to meet them in person. In this period of time, the game begins. You ask the tough questions to weed out those that wouldn’t be a good hire.

But the thing is, you are not good at interviewing candidates. No, this isn’t hypothetical. I’m talking about you. Discover how the future of hiring is changing thanks to prescriptive analytics!

The hard truth

The truth is no one is good at conducting job interviews. According to a study used in Google’s Senior Vice President of People Operations Laszlo Bock’s book, “Work Rules!”, the judgments made within the first 10 seconds of a job interview could predict the outcome of the interview.

In a LinkedIn post by the author, Bock says, “Most interviews are a waste of time because 99.4% of the time is spent trying to confirm whatever impression the interviewer formed in the first 10 seconds.” He explains that interviewers do this by asking questions like, “Can you tell me about yourself?” “What is your greatest weakness?” and “What is your greatest strength?”

In other words, most of what we think of as “interviewing” is actually “the pursuit of confirmation bias.” And as we know, your subconscious biases do not result in dynamic, quality teams.

Employers often use unstructured interviews in an attempt to get to know candidates on a personal level. Research has been done showing the problem with interviews is worse than simply being irrelevant. They can even be harmful and can undercut the impact of more valuable information about the candidate. People tend to be overconfident in their ability to “just know” if a candidate is up to par. People are often wildly overconfident in their ability to judge how well a candidate would do in their open position from a short meeting. Plus, even if you choose what seems like a knock-out candidate, how do you know they will accept your offer or if they will stick around?

Failing alternatives

So, what about references? Previous positions are sure to give you a glimpse into how well a candidate will fit into your business, right? Frankly, no. 39% of recruitment managers believe reference checking in its current format is a formality which serves little purpose. Many corporate policies prohibit any conversation beyond confirming basic information such as the name of the employee and their dates of employment.

And that is wholly inadequate information when what you need is deep insight as to whether a candidate you are considering hiring is a high or low performer. Plus, even if their previous employer can give you the insight you’re looking for, not every position produces easily identifiable data which employers can use to judge candidates.

Enter prescriptive and predictive analytics

More than 50% of voluntary turnover happens within a year of the new hire’s start date and experts estimate 80% of employee turnover is due to bad hiring decisions. Even with the best efforts, companies are failing to accurately assess talent in unstructured interviews. But, the world of HR tech is changing and with that change comes more efficiency.

Prescriptive analytics uses data, statistical algorithms and machine learning to find patterns, which will lead to better hiring decisions. These patterns are used to figure out the likelihood of events occurring in the future.

But what does this mean for you? Data-backed predictions alone are interesting, but prescriptive statistics are what will completely change your hiring processes. Being able to predict if a candidate is a good fit for your business is just the beginning. With prescriptive data, you will also have insight into the likelihood of them accepting an offer and staying with the company long enough to have a strong, positive impact on the team.

Come to terms with the fact that you are not a good interviewer. It’s okay, no one is! With this breakthrough in HR technology, you can ditch the old-fashioned unstructured interview and get the crucial information you need in order to evaluate candidates in a fraction of the time.

This article was originally published on the Oleeo Blog by Charles Hipps.

About Jeanette Maister:        

Global talent acquisition technology leader with extensive experience in global talent acquisition, applicant tracking systems & recruiting technology, recruiting metrics and process. Deep insight into all aspects of campus recruiting strategy. Recognized for driving growth and helping clients transform their recruiting efforts.
Here’s Why the Best Predictor of Performance Isn’t the Interview
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