Streamlining the Interview Process

Feb 19, 2013

Many recruiters have experienced the knock-down drag-out fighting of going through many rounds of in-person interviews. The main problem with having rounds upon rounds of these interviews is that new information about the candidate is rarely uncovered. Plus, the individuals involved in the interview process are taken away from their jobs to conduct these time-consuming interviews.

To get a better picture of the time taken away from a resource use perspective, think about having four people on the interview team. Each in-person interview lasts two hours and there are five candidates.

4 Interviewers X 2 Hours X 5 Candidates = 40 Hours for Each Round

Now, if there are four rounds of these in-person interviews to make a hire, this interview process costs an approximate 160 hours of resource use, which is equivalent to four whole weeks of PTO. That’s expensive!

X4 Rounds = 160 Hours (Four Weeks of PTO)

Obviously not all companies fall into that exact analysis, but some are even worse off. Take some time to figure out where your company falls in that calculation to see if interview process improvement is needed or not. There are two main steps to improving resource use when it comes to interviewing efficiently and effectively: time management and interviewer training.

Time Management

The first step begins with time management and replacing panel interviews with meet and greets and then one-on-one interviews the rest of the day. It is a good practice for the interviewee to meet the entire interview team at the beginning of the day if possible; however, having panel interview limits the time for each interviewer to be able to ask questions and it can make the atmosphere intimidating for a great candidate.

A better solution is to pair each interviewer and candidate for a 30 minute to one hour timeslot, allowing each interviewer to be able to have a more productive conversation with the interviewee with limited distractions.

Interviewer Training

The next step to interview process improvement is training the interviewers. Some Fortune 500 companies elect to implement interviewer training programs to try to cut down interviewing time and improve the quality of hire. Educating all interviewers, not just hiring managers, is a great way to help ensure each interviewer is able to elicit information more efficiently and effectively from a candidate in one interview. Often the biggest challenge for interviewers is their lack of ability to ask the right questions to get the information needed to make a solid hiring decision, which can be taught through an organized training program. This in turn helps allow a hiring team the ability to make a solid hiring decision after one or two rounds of interviews versus four or five.

Think about the math here. If there is only one round of in-person interviews with one-on one time slots, resource use for the current staff goes down significantly.

5 Interviewers X 1 hour X 5 Candidates = 25 Hours for Each Round

Even with two rounds of in-person interviews, resource use can be substantially reduced from 160 hours to only 50 hours per hire. If your organization does not currently offer an interviewer training program, interviewing and hiring may be a much larger expense than is necessary.

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