Refined selection tools give organizations more than
the ability to hire the best of the best -- it allows them to build
a culture of achievement and success.
When Glassdoor.com announced their fourth annual Employee's
Choice Awards for Best Places to Work, it was striking how many of
the companies listed are known for the rigor in their employee
selection process (i.e., Google, Apple, Salesforce.com). Is there a
correlation between the rigor of the interview/assessment process
and employee satisfaction?
A rigorous candidate selection process will, in most cases, assure
a skilled employee. But to what degree the skills tested are
relevant to success in the position, or whether the rigor accounted
for such things as "culture fit," we can't in all instances know.
However, it is safe to assume that all candidates who passed the
interview share an immediate, perhaps lasting bond based on a sense
of shared achievement-tantamount to making the top team or getting
into a prestigious college-and a respect that comes from knowing
your co-workers have, by dint of talent and smarts, cleared the
same high bar. Working alongside colleagues you respect, perhaps
even admire, goes a long way in promoting the espirit de corps that
makes a company a great place to work.
The question then becomes: what do we mean by rigor, and how do
we apply it in finding candidates with not just high general
aptitude, but those who are a good fit for the position and the
company culture? No matter what your interview process ultimately
becomes, rigor requires valid questions, consistency, and
objectivity; it can also require significant administrative
oversight and "baby sitting," depending on the system that Human
Three Principles to Achieve Rigor
Technology now exists that not only automates a range of
candidate screening and assessment processes, but also tailors the
solution to make decisions informed by your experiences, your
particular needs, and your organizational culture. In short,
organizations can now avail themselves of a new standard in
candidate screening and assessment-one that offers a rigorous and
holistic approach ensuring that the hiring process is valid,
consistent, and objective. Most important, automation does not
replace or diminish the primacy of human decision-making; it simply
gives HR or the hiring manager the time, luxury and freedom to
intervene in the process-i.e., the final face-to-face
interview-when their expertise is most needed.
Three principles constitute the basis of a rigorous screening and
• Validity: Selection assessments have been
shown to be valid predictors of job performance, job satisfaction,
commitment, turnover, career satisfaction, and career success
across a wide variety of positions, organizations, industries, and
countries. Embedded assessment tools address attitudes,
competencies, and skills, revealing both whether a candidate can do
the job and how well that person will perform within a particular
environment or organizational culture. These assessments round out
the 360-degree view of each candidate and complete each individual
profile. Coupled with prior screening data, and the resume, these
assessments then allow HR or the hiring manager to easily identify
the top candidates for the position and schedule final face-to-face
interviews with select individuals.
• Consistency: A key component of this model is
having a reliable process that provides repeatable results.
Consider that every organization has star performers that hiring
managers wish they could clone. Of course, they can't. However, by
using a web-enabled job analysis tool, employers can quickly
identify the requisite technical skills and salient behavioral
characteristics that are shared by top performers in an
organization. Once integrated into the overall assessment/interview
process, hiring managers can consistently and repeatedly identify
and hire those candidates who are more apt to succeed.
• Objectivity: In this new model, objectivity
is achieved by deriving information from a direct, real-time
interaction with the candidate-in contrast to conventional
processes that begin by gleaning information from a resume, which
by definition is subjective and carefully self-managed to present
the candidate in the best light. Assessments (i.e., questioning
process) guide a "screening in" process that gleans applicant
personality, ratings of applicant skill proficiency, and other
relevant applicant data via a direct, interactive process that is
natural and inviting.
The result for the employer is a complete and objective applicant
profile-one that assimilates an applicant's experience, skill set,
and behavioral characteristics, and provides a solid indicator of
potential performance and success within the organization matched
against objectively determined indicators of top performance.
View From the Other Side
A rigorous process must also be inviting and in certain respects
"accommodating" if you're to successfully -- and comprehensively --
Does your system promote a positive and/or meaningful user
interaction? Is it disjointed and time-consuming? Does the
candidate come away with a clear understanding of the corporate
culture, work environment, or even the nature of the job beyond a
description and list of requirements? Failing to account for
the candidate experience within a rigorous process can have a
negative effect and effectively place barriers to applying.
Flexible access options are also key to a positive candidate
experience, allowing candidates to enter the system via web, phone,
kiosk, smart phone, or any combination thereof-providing convenient
24/7 remote access to meet the needs and lifestyle of today's job
The Connection to Satisfaction
You've just been put through the paces of a rigorous challenge
and are elated to have made the cut. You look around at your team
mates -- or colleagues -- who've come through the same "baptism by
fire." There's an immediate and lasting kinship and admiration as
you are all part of an elite corps.
As the Glassdoor survey indicates, there's a clear connection
between a rigorous selection process and employee
satisfaction. The trick is in balancing rigor with a positive
candidate experience. Also, consider that the recruiting
system or process is the first point of contact a prospective
employee has with an organization. Top candidates --
including coveted" passive" candidates -- evaluate prospective
employers as much as employers evaluate them. It follows that top
talent is more likely to be attracted to those companies that
incorporate forward-thinking and innovative technology in their
hiring process, one that balances a positive candidate experience
with rigorous assessment.
Hiring organizations with the most refined selection tools give
organizations more than the ability to hire the best of the best --
it allows them to build a culture of achievement and success.
About the Author
Ron Selewach is a graduate of Cornell University's School of
Industrial and Labor Relations and the founder and CEO of Human
Resource Management Center, Inc. (HRMC), a pioneer solutions
provider of cutting-edge talent acquisition technology. For more
information, visit www.hrmc.com, or contact Ron at firstname.lastname@example.org.