I’ve sat through a number of interviews both as the interviewer and interviewee. I would like to tell you that as an interviewer I’ve been 100% correct every time about the hire. But in fact, I’ve allowed at times my own bias to enter the interview and do what most of us do when it comes to interview assessments – we assess in terms of who is more like us.

Of course, there are many problems with interviewing for likeability. If you are anything like me, I will decide whether I like someone within the first few minutes of meeting them. Intuitively, I have a pretty good read on people, but this tells me nothing about how they will perform on the job. Laszlo Bock, in his book Work Rules, says, “Scenarios like this create an environment where we spend time trying to confirm what we think of someone rather than assessing them.”[1] This creates a workforce that can be predominantly sided towards one set of behaviors, increase personal conflicts, and result in overall poor work performance. Therefore, it is important, from recruiters to hiring managers to senior executives, to select candidates from comprehensive assessments that are equitable and unbiased, in order to provide greater diversity in the workforce.

Using interviewing assessments that are data-driven and measurable consistently across the board allows for predictive analytics. Predictive analytics is the practice of gathering data and using it to provide intelligence in your hiring to predict high performers. Combined with job benchmarking, you can secure the talent necessary for success while eliminating common biases often associated with the hiring process.

Think about it. Wouldn’t you rather hire the right person the first time? All too often we dive into recruiting for a job without everyone actually agreeing on what we are measuring. What do we expect the person to do? Are we hiring a diverse workforce in the organization? What competencies will be needed in the role? If we are lucky, we will get someone with the basic skill set but miss the target altogether when it comes to the aptitude for the job and organization. While more work is required up front, the time will be well spent, reducing cost-per-hire, increasing retention, and hiring an employee who is contributing on day one.

HR and Talent Management that are forward thinking will continue to lead the trend in talent data driven solutions because analyzing the right data will lead to a better hire.

Where do you start? A good next step is to start with creating consistent job descriptions across the organization. Decide who the key-hiring managers will be and establish agreeable interviewing questions that will be asked consistently in each interviewing stage. Begin capturing interviewing data that allows you to discuss which metrics are emerging to be most important to your organization and can be analyzed during the hiring process.

Does your organization provide clear and consistent interviewing assessments? Do you feel your organization provides the right tools for assessing candidates? Leave a comment!

[1] Work Rules by Laszlo Bock, “They create a situation where an interview is spent trying to confirm what we think of someone, rather than truly assessing them. Psychologist calls this confirmation bias, “the tendency to search for, interpret, or prioritize information in a way that confirms one’s beliefs or hypotheses.” Based on the slightest interaction, we make a snap, unconscious judgment heavily influenced by our existing biases and beliefs.” P. 88

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