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screening RSS feed Tag: screening

Like it or Not, You Are Testing Applicants (Part 2 of 2)

by Sep 20, 2013, 6:44 am ET

In Part 1, I explained that job skills walk around on two feet; past achievements are less important than the skills used to accomplish them; employers rent two-legged skills to do specific jobs; and headhunters produce about the same hiring quality as internal recruiters. I suggested readers Google “Principles for the validation and use of personnel selection procedures”and follow the SIOP.org link; and, read how applicants feel about organizations that follow best-practices.

In Part 2, I’ll continue the discussion.

Proficiency Test

If you want to learn whether HR is doing a good job screening candidates for critical job skills, ask the hiring manager. keep reading…

Like it or Not, You Use Tests (Part 1 of 2)

by Sep 18, 2013, 6:38 am ET

Two comedians are talking…

“Do you test applicants?”

“We don’t use tests.”

“Oh. You hire everyone who applies?”

“No … just the ones who pass interviews.”

“You know, interviews are tests.”

“We don’t use tests.”

You see, it’s a crazy conversation you hear in the corporate attorney’s office as often as the HR department. Everyone seems to forget that testing and assessment are just different terms for evaluating whether someone is job-qualified … like interviews. And, if an organization has more than one candidate lined up for a job, by definition they will use some kind test to separate those they think can do the job from those who cannot. FYI … research shows everyone’s favorite tool, the interview (aka test), tends to discriminate against minorities.

Remember: If you have more candidates than jobs, you use tests. keep reading…

Hackathons Are Today’s Most Powerful Recruiting Tool

by Sep 4, 2013, 6:45 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-08-30 at 3.27.24 PMThe secret weapon in tech recruiting today is the hackathon. Most notably on college campuses the mega-hackathon has emerged as the top event for sourcing quality engineers. What started as friendly meetups organized by on-campus tech clubs has evolved into massive and disruptive hackathons with more than 1,000 students participating and companies like Facebook and Google swarming to shell out tens of thousands of sponsorship dollars. But not everyone has bought into the frenzy and some are maintaining an autonomous and even purist approach.

Hackathon as Recruiter keep reading…

The Top 10 Best Approaches for Winning The ‘War For College Talent’

by Aug 26, 2013, 6:00 am ET

3381_Wyatt Hall WindowStudents 2011College recruiting has been in the doldrums during most of the economic downturn, and as a result there have been few strategic changes in it, even though the rest of the recruiting function has undergone major shifts during the downturn. And just in case you haven’t seen it yourself, I am predicting that college recruiting demand is about to explode and the competition will soon reach previous “war for college talent” levels.

This resurgence of interest in college hires is due to a reviving economy but also because of the urgent need in a VUCA world for employees who are creative, innovative, fast-moving and who are comfortable with new technology.

If you are one of the corporate talent leaders who want to get and stay ahead of the competition, the time is ripe for re-examining your college program to see what needs to be done to update it. Start with the college recruiting staff. Make sure that it is staffed with data-driven, experienced recruiting professionals prepared for real change, rather than simply enthusiastic young people whose primary qualification is that they themselves are recent college grads. I’ve put together a list of the top 10 categories of strategic change that could literally propel your program into dominance. They are listed with the most impactful strategic changes appearing first.

Action Steps to Win “the War for College Talent” in 2014 keep reading…

A Simple Guide to Interviewing for Attitude

by Aug 20, 2013, 5:51 am ET

Bad attitude signMark Murphy wrote a terrific book on interviewing for attitude, which I highly recommend (also see this interview). His company, Leadership IQ, conducted an impressive survey discovering that 46 percent of new hires failed within 18 months, and that 89 percent of the time it was for attitude, not a lack of technical skills.

Interviewing for attitude presents a dilemma: Most people are on their best behavior when interviewing and even during their first 6-12 months of employment.

You may not realize you have a problem on your hands until the new hire has been trained and is a fully functioning part of your team. Knowing you’ll have to begin the selection process all over again — a long and costly procedure — makes it harder to part with the employee. Meanwhile, the good-natured people on the team have to pick up the slack, putting strain on your best people and leading to harmful side effects. Burnout, discontent with management, and customer service deficiencies are likely to develop.

Since this is a major problem in many organizations, guerrilla tactics are needed. keep reading…

The Many Perils of Interview Handshakes — and Why They Cause You to Lose Top Candidates

by Aug 5, 2013, 6:15 am ET

You’ve probably had it happen to you at the start of an interview. You extend your hand and in return you get a wimpy handshake, a “fist-bump” substitute, or a wet clammy handshake that is an intermediate turnoff. Although weak hiring handshakes are quite common, to most they may seem like an insignificant part of interviewing. But everyone involved in the hiring process needs to take notice and be aware of the high negative business impact of handshake bias.

Screen Shot 2013-08-01 at 11.17.29 AMAssessing a candidate based on their handshake is a major problem because we know that many interviewers make an initial decision on a candidate within the first two to three minutes, and we know that the handshake and their appearance are the two most powerful elements that contribute to that powerful first impression. The fact that assessing handshakes is a major hiring decision factor is not just conjecture; research from Greg Stewart of the University of Iowa demonstrated that those with the best handshake scores “were considered to be the most hireable by the interviewers.” Handshakes also proved to be more impactful than “dress or physical appearance.”

Handshakes become a high-impact problem because handshakes occur in every interview, and a single bad handshake can immediately eliminate a top candidate, especially in entry-level jobs. You should also be aware that handshakes with women candidates leave a bigger impression and have their own unique set of biases. No one has ever been sued over handshake bias but the loss of top candidates as a result of it is real. keep reading…

Too Many Applicants, Too Little Time?

by Aug 5, 2013, 6:04 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-07-30 at 7.01.21 AMSome organizations are just lucky … they have a huge, Niagara-like, flow of applicants knocking at their front door. They hire teams of people to scan paper resumes. But any experienced recruiter knows resumes contain a considerable amount of fiction; bad applicants often have good resumes; and, good applicants often have bad ones. I’ve even heard of clever applicants seeding their electronic resumes with keywords printed in background font colors to hide them.

There are several ways to effectively screen. For now, though, we’ll concentrate on a few characteristics of an effective screen. They include a realistic job preview; job related items; and, items that predict performance (remember at this stage, the main task is to screen-out blatantly unqualified applicants). keep reading…

Sacred Cows and Silly Practices Die Slowly in Recruiting

by Jul 29, 2013, 6:11 am ET

Recruiting is full of practices that seem to last forever. Unfortunately, many practices endure for years despite the fact that they add no value to the hiring process. I call these well-established practices “sacred cows” because many lon-gtime recruiters and hiring managers vigorously defend them even though both company and academic data shows that they should be discarded.

The need to identify and then kill these sacred cows was reinforced recently by some compelling research data revealed by Google’s head of HR, Laszlo Bock. For example, extensive data from Google demonstrated that five extremely common recruiting practices (brainteaser interview questions, unstructured interviews, student GPAs or test scores, and conducting more than four interviews) all had zero or minimal value for successfully predicting the on-the-job performance of candidates. But despite this hard data, practices like brainteaser interview questions will likely continue for years.

Recruiting Has a Long, Checkered History of Silliness keep reading…

Hiring for Both Attitude and Aptitude

by Jul 18, 2013, 6:30 am ET

Lately there has been a push to hire based on cultural fit, over skill set. There are several reasons that this makes sense. When you hire for cultural fit you end up with a more cohesive workforce, and it improves engagement and retention rates. Leadership IQ performed a three-year study of 5,247 hiring managers and tracked 20,000 new hires; 46 percent of them failed within 18 months.

But even more surprising than the failure rate was that when new hires failed, 89 percent of the time it was for attitudinal reasons and only 11 percent of the time for a lack of skill. Bad attitudes or attitudes that aren’t in line with the company culture will lead to high turnover. High turnover then leads to low morale, upset productivity, and high talent acquisitions costs. It’s clear then: hire the smile!

But wait, there’s another side to this equation. keep reading…

What Businesses Can Learn From the Recent NFL Character Problems

by Jul 17, 2013, 6:20 am ET

Aaron RodgersJust like in the NFL, businesses decide to take on risks based on how potentially rewarding they perceive their business ventures to be. The New England Patriots knew there were some risks associated with renewing Aaron Hernandez’s contract for substantial gains. It had to weigh the pros and cons, like many NFL teams who bet on players who don’t produce the expected economic and prestigious team rewards. Ricky Williams, Pac Man Jones, and Chad Ochocinco are examples of great players who did not live up to the expectations of those who gambled on their character. There are plenty of examples of teams with talented players who terrorize their organizations with negativity.

Business leaders face these issues too — weighing the benefits of having a superstar versus the potential for destructive behavior. In business, though, we have it a little easier … plenty of raw talent without baggage. keep reading…

Maybe a Facebook Photo of Someone Drinking a Beer Isn’t So Bad

by Jul 3, 2013, 2:27 pm ET

ncsuEmployers who screen out people because they’re pictured on Facebook drinking may be screening out perfectly fine people, according to one new study.

Lori Foster Thompson, a North Carolina State University psychology professor, co-authored a paper about Facebook screening. A Ph.D. student, Will Stoughton, is a lead author. “Companies are eliminating some conscientious job applicants based on erroneous assumptions regarding what social media behavior tells us about the applicants,” Stoughton says.

Being “conscientious” and “responsible” isn’t directly correlated, the study finds, to whether you’re captured on a social media site with a Corona.

The problem — weeding out people for perhaps the wrong reasons — is worse for companies looking to hire extroverts.

keep reading…

Is Your Background Screener Doing the Job? Here’s How to Tell

by Jul 1, 2013, 5:34 pm ET

Background screen - freeChoosing and monitoring your background screening vendor is as important — and maybe more so even — than the interview you conduct with candidates.

“The worst thing you can do,” says Fred Giles, chair of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners, “is to treat it (your background screening) like a commodity and choose the lowest bidder.”

Once you have made a selection, monitoring the performance and maintaining regular contact is also a  must. And, says Giles, “Most significant, most important, is that employers make sure to review the process, their process … Have a clearly defined process for evaluating the results … and an opportunity for the candidate to explain (any negatives).” keep reading…

Before You Require Poem Writing, Take These 7 Steps to Ensure Your Hiring Matches Your Culture

by May 22, 2013, 6:45 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-05-19 at 10.17.15 PMDuring a trip to a suburban mall near Cleveland, I saw a man wearing a jacket with a logo for Hyland Software, a business-to-business software developer whose global headquarters are located nearby. In the B2B world, Hyland has a reputation of being a stellar employer with a fun streak. As evidence, it has a giant tube slide in the middle of its headquarters and has earned several top workplace awards in recent years.

Hyland also has a quirk in its interview process. Candidates applying online are required to write and submit a poem. Not an essay, not a biography — a poem. How does that strike you? keep reading…

Employment Tests Are Becoming Irrelevant for Predicting Job Success

by May 8, 2013, 5:35 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-05-06 at 1.42.47 PMLet’s talk about the future of predicting job success and why the world’s biggest evangelist for pre-hire assessments thinks tests are in danger of becoming extinct (and is OK with it).

There are a number of emerging trends in hiring right now that center around the currency of the new millennium: data. The impact of our ability to collect, organize, and interpret data is rapidly changing all areas of the economy. Should employment be any different? There are three ways in which data is slowly killing the employment test as we know it. keep reading…

Revealing 3 Leading Edge Talent Practices From the Silicon Valley

by Apr 29, 2013, 6:18 am ET

Practices: The return of talent agents; HR owns M&A; and hiring without degrees

Anyone who tracks advanced trends in talent management knows that many of them  originated in the Silicon Valley. However, you probably also know that many of the publicized practices that start in the Silicon Valley are so unique and even outrageous (like the free Sweets Shop that is part ice cream parlor and bakery at Facebook), that no firm outside of the Valley ever copies them.

The three Silicon Valley practices that I am highlighting today probably won’t require immediate action at your firm, simply because they are so bold and outrageous that conservative talent managers will not even consider them. As a result, I am labeling them “leading edge practices that you should simply be aware of.” keep reading…

What Not to Ask In an Interview

by Apr 19, 2013, 5:11 am ET

stoolYou have read all about what to ask in an interview as well as magic questions that will solve all your hiring problems. What about what not to do?

Make no mistake. An interview is not an opportunity to GetToKnowYa, but rather a verbal test. It has subject matter, questions, and answers that are scored. But you need to ask yourself: just exactly what are you testing for? The ability to answer silly questions? Whether you want to be friends? Whether you can trip up or intimidate a candidate? Haven’t you seen the thousands of books candidates read to fake their way through an interview?

How about learning whether the candidate has the right set of job skill s? You know, so you don’t have to waste everyone’s time?

If You Don’t Know What You’re Looking for, Any Question Will Do keep reading…

Jobvite’s Big Social-media CRM Launch Leads List of New Tools

by Feb 7, 2013, 8:00 am ET

JobviteReferAn IT recruiting tool. An internship community. A new branding/careersite company. A video interviewer.

A website for “challenges” students can take, leading to a job.

And, two big new launches from the applicant tracking company Jobvite.

All below. keep reading…

What’s New: Better Weekdays; HealthRecruit; TrueAbility; CareerSonar; Tomigo; GoodHire; Vitamin T; HireVue

by Jan 29, 2013, 7:49 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 2.32.36 PMStartups and new products handling employee referrals, screening, sourcing, background checking, healthcare recruiting, and resume-reading. All below. keep reading…

Recruiters Must Demand Their Hiring Managers Prepare performance-based Job Descriptions

by Jan 23, 2013, 12:33 am ET

Since we promote people based on their performance, why don’t we hire them the same way?

Amazon willing, my next book, The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired, will be available as an eBook on January 31. The book is written for everyone involved in hiring: recruiters, hiring managers, and candidates. This story, and many others like it, inspired me to write the book and articles on ERE, and elsewhere. The technique described as part of the intake meeting helped my win the hearts of my clients and make more placements than I could ever have imagined. It might help you the same way. keep reading…

Talent Diversity Isn’t Just About Demographic Data

by Jan 22, 2013, 6:45 am ET

On the way home from the diversity career fair, while writing job ads for the diversity publications, hiring the diversity consultants — while taking those positive steps forward you may, meanwhile, be doing things that cause you to take two steps back.

Some examples:

The Cliquishness keep reading…