Interviews are an integral part of the talent acquisition process. While recruiters love reach and focus heavily on scouting the right talent, they tend to take the interview stage for granted. Talent acquisition today is competitive and evolving. The inflow of millennial and Gen Z employees has changed the hiring landscape – it has become challenging to attract and retain top talent. 

 In this article, we’ll discuss why interviews are crucial to the overall hiring process, the issues with most hiring processes, how companies can mitigate these issues, and lastly, how you can stay updated on the best hiring practices. 

Attrition is costly 

Ever been left scrambling to fill a position after an employee quits? At a record pace, more than 4 million workers quit their jobs each month in 2022. Resignations peaked in March 2022, with approximately 4.5 million employees quitting. The primary reason for this is the mismatch between employee and employer expectations. Increasingly, apart from wages and perks, employees are looking for a renewed sense of purpose in their work. Interviews are an excellent mechanism to lay forth company expectations to ensure only the most relevant and appropriate candidates are hired, minimizing the chances of bad hires and attrition.

Critical Component of Talent Acquisition

Apart from the financial cost of hiring a new employee, attrition also poses an opportunity cost and emotional cost (both for the employee and the employer). According to new data from Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the average cost per hire was nearly $4,700. However, Edie Goldberg, founder of the talent management and development company E.L. Goldberg & Associates, estimates that the total cost of hiring a new employee can be three to four times the position’s salary.

It is now more critical than ever for TA practitioners to understand and implement top interviewing techniques to ensure fairness and alignment of expectations to reduce the chances of bad hires. Interviews and TA practitioners’ ability to conduct interviews can no longer be taken for granted. 

Current issues with the hiring process

Hiring is not just about numbers. It makes no difference if you can process a thousand applications and hire candidates in record time, only for most of them to leave your company. In fact, this is inefficient and costly in the long term. It is crucial to ensure your interviewing process is qualitatively superior. These are some of the problems TA practitioners should reflect upon: 

  • Bias in hiring – this is not about explicit discriminatory practices; rather, it is about subconscious biases that plague interview decisions even with the best intentions. TA practitioners can let their inherent biases impact hiring decisions. Hiring bias occurs when an interviewer's underlying prejudice impacts their decision to hire an applicant, which is not guided by objective factors relevant to the specific position. Biases can occur during resume screening as well as interview rounds. An interviewer can judge a candidate based on multiple factors such as their gender, race, age, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, accent, looks, and more.

Current issues with the hiring process

Different forms of bias include, but aren’t limited to: 

  • Confirmation bias: when interviewers disproportionately prioritize information that confirms their beliefs and ignore other factors.
  • Status quo bias: when interviewers make decisions based on the current state of affairs to avoid changes to the status quo. This hinders employee diversity as interviewers might prioritize candidates that have historically been represented in the job force. 
  • Similarity bias: when recruiters hire candidates who they judge to have similar characteristics as themselves that are irrelevant to the job. 
  • Eliminating candidates too quickly – it is no surprise that each position receives a massive number of applicants. To improve efficiency employers frequently use automation softwares that can shortlist resumes from a large pool of applicants. According to a survey conducted by Harvard Business School, which surveyed 2,250 executives, more than 90% of employers use RMS (recruitment management system) to filter or rank potential middle-skills (94%) and high-skills (92%) candidates. Additionally, 94% of employers agree that “high-skill candidates” are vetted out of the recruitment process as they don’t match the exact criteria defined by the job description. 

These software eliminate resumes that do not meet predefined criteria, such as a minimum GPA or the right university. This could potentially eliminate a large pool of strong candidates simply because they don’t meet a predefined (sometimes arbitrary) criteria.   

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Best interviewing techniques 

To mitigate the issues discussed above, recruiters should employ top interviewing practices. Specific screening techniques have higher predictive validity than others. Predictive validity measures how well the candidate does at a job after being hired through a particular method. It ranges from -1 to 1, and 1 implies that the screening method would find a great hire every time. 

These methods have higher predictive validity than 0.5, which is quite good:

  • Structured interview – an assessment method that measures a candidate's competency by systematically assessing their skills. Candidates are asked a set of predetermined questions in a fixed order. It is especially appropriate for skill-based, technical, and case interviews. Next, their responses are judged on a predefined scale (for example, on a numerical scale of 1-5) to compare candidates objectively. 

The most significant benefit of a structured interview is that it is more personalized than other assessing methods yet allows interviewers to judge candidates objectively. Because all candidates are judged by the same questions, in the same order, using the same scale, the chances of an interviewer's bias impacting their hiring decision are minimized. Structured interviews are an excellent way to ensure you get top candidates while also improving your hiring process's fairness, diversity, and equity. 

  • General Mental Ability (GMA) tests – GMA tests are a quantitative method to measure a candidate’s analytical and mathematical capabilities. These tests can include generic numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, and analytical problem-solving. Cognitive ability has consistently been correlated with success across job types and industries. Again, their most significant advantage is that their quantitative nature makes the hiring process more objective and less likely to be impacted by bias. 

  • Panel interviews –  these are conducted by a group of interviewers, as opposed to a single person. It is critical to ensure that you have a diverse panel in terms of gender, seniority level, and skills for multiple perspectives. Greater variation in panels reduces the chances of bias, which is more likely for an individual interviewer. Additionally, panel interviews also assess a candidate’s ability to handle group dynamics and people skills.

Keeping TA practitioners updated 

It is highly likely that your hiring process closely resembles the general culture of your organization. Hiring processes, priorities, and techniques are constantly changing. In this phase of record resignations, it is all the more necessary to make sure you follow the best interviewing techniques. 

  • Make sure you have the skill set they’re hiring for – in the context of rapidly changing skills and the focus on upskilling, it is vital that recruiters are updated on the jobs they are hiring for. In addition, recruiters must be proficient at the skills they're testing, to judge candidate responses effectively and objectively in a structured interview. 

  • Train your recruiters to work well in panel settings – in a diverse interview panel recruiters must complement one another. It sets a precedent for the candidate and allows the panel to assess the interviewee’s skills. 

  • Have regular meetings and seminars – given that a significant component of structured interviews is predetermined, such as the questions and grading scale, ensuring everyone is on the same page is essential. The grading rubric, order of questions, and hiring objectives should be discussed in detail to standardize the recruitment process. 

FloCareer has more than 3000 experts and freelancers who you can leverage to assess a candidate’s technical and behavioral skills to get the best hires. Additionally, our experts are proficient in conducting structured, unbiased, and fair interviews, ensuring the best talent for your company. Contact us to learn more!