Leveraging Interview Guide Platforms for Better Hires

If you had to pick just one step in talent acquisition as the most important one of all, which step would you choose?

I’d choose the interview. Not only is this where a final decision is made, but it’s also because interviewing is still a bit of a dark art.

But what about this next question: Where in talent acquisition is technology and data collection at its weakest? 

The answer is also likely to be interviewing.

The Data Collection Gap

The technology and data collection gap in interviewing is not new, and there’s now a whole host of vendors like Quintela, VidCruiter, and Interviewstream that are all aiming to fill this gap by creating interview guide platforms (IPGs).

IGPs do a lot of things, including providing tools for scheduling interviews, preparing questions, and integrating data from various assessments. However, what I’m most interested in is improving the quality of interviews and gathering data about the interview itself.

Improving the Quality of Interviews

Technology can help improve the quality of interviewing by ensuring recruiters and hiring managers follow a structured process. If you’ve done a lot of structured interviewing, you’ll know it takes effort to keep things on track , especially as some interviewers tend to meander away from the plan. As Joel Quintela, founder of Quintela Group says: “Training doesn’t always work as well as expected. It’s much more effective to help hiring managers and panels conduct better interviews and make better decisions in real time.”

IGPs can encourage structure either synchronously (that is, during traditional live interviews), or asynchronously (via automated video interviews). With the synchronous approach, the tools allow interviewers to fire up their laptops and be walked through the structured process in a disciplined manner, giving them a place to enter their ratings and take notes. With the asynchronous approach, candidates take a standard automated video interview where each candidate is asked the same questions in the same way.

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Regardless of the approach, it adds more rigor to interviews, which consequently improves the quality of the decision-making.

Gathering Data on Interviews

IPGs can also gather data on the interview, such as:

  • Who was on the interview panel?
  • What questions were asked?
  • What ratings did each interviewer give?
  • What comments did each interviewer make?

Armed with this data, the people analytics team can begin investigating:

  • Who are the best interviewers? (The ones whose ratings match later measures of performance.)
  • Where do interviewers need coaching? (If someone’s ratings of competencies seem odd, then perhaps they haven’t been adequately trained.)
  • Are there clues in the interview data that will let you know where you went wrong in making bad hires? (If you look at the data from interviews where the candidate who was hired didn’t work out, were there any signals about the candidate’s ability or fit that were overlooked?)
  • Did the interview panel meet your diversity guidelines?

When you look at the sales function, which has much in common with talent acquisition, you’ll find them using tools like Chorus.ai and Gong.ai to improve the quality of sales calls. The talent acquisition team should be doing the same thing. In larger organizations, it’s useful to have a talent acquisition operations manager who can investigate the technology, processes, and data to continually improve the effectiveness of the function.

David Creelman, CEO of Creelman Research, is a globally recognized thinker on people analytics and talent management. Some of his more interesting projects included:

  • Conducted workshops around the world on the practical aspects of people analytics
  • Took business leaders from Japan’s Recruit Co. on a tour of US tech companies (Recruit eventually bought Indeed.com for $1 billion)
  • Studied the relationship between Boards and HR (won Walker Award)
  • Spoke at the World Bank in Paris on HR reporting
  • Co-authored Lead the Work: Navigating a world beyond employment with John Boudreau and Ravin Jesuthasan. The book was endorsed by the CHROs of IBM, LinkedIn and Starbucks.
  • Worked with Dr. Wanda Wallace on “Leading when you are not the expert” which topped the “Most Popular List” on the Harvard Business Review’s blog.
  • Worked with Dr. Henry Mintzberg on peer coaching, David’s learning modules are among the most popular topics.

Currently David is helping organizations to get on-track with people analytics.

This work led to him being made a Fellow for the Centre of Evidence-based Management (Netherlands) for his contributions to the field.