Sally looked at the young candidate sitting nervously in front of her twisting her fingers in her lap. ‘I have bought all my references and I have a sample of my work in this folder if you would like to see it’ she said. Sally sighed inwardly, she was looking for just one thing and had not found it in all the candidates she had interviewed over the past two weeks. ‘what star sign are you?’ she enquired. ‘Scorpio’ the girl replied. Bingo! Personable, autonomous, impassioned, independent, and unafraid to blaze their own trail no matter what others think – I have found my worker thought Sally … ‘welcome to the team’ she beamed.
Unbelievable! Unrealistic? Who would ever recruit in this way? What are the chances that this will work out well? Zero actually! No truthfully, the predictive validity of using the star signs to recruit is 0% (Anderson & Shackleton). You may just as well read their tea leaves or practice the art of Graphology and analyse their handwriting, because this will be just as useful. Are you surprised? Probably not. But did you know that some of the accepted standard recruitment practices are not much better.
Pulling in your individual candidates in off the street and firing a range of unstructured questions at them has only a predictive validity of 31% and talking to referees is even lower at 13%. Why are these statistics so low? It is because our product is human and can be effected by a huge range of internal and external stimuli which may give unreliable results. In the case of references, it is even harder as you are relying on the objective and specific standards of the previous employer. What one employer may happily accept another may view as way below the acceptable standard. Equally one employer might view certain behaviours as disruptive or unprofessional while another may not have a problem with them. The variables are just too wide to be sure.
If you interview your candidates and ask each candidate different questions depending on their background, experience, skills and personality, your interviews are unstructured and not efficient in correctly predicting the best candidate for your role. This is why recruitment is so difficult and getting the right staff such a headache for many businesses. Even personality testing has less than 40% success rate in prediction of job success. So what do the professionals do?
At CIRCLE Recruitment & HR, we use a scientifically based recruitment process we developed and call ‘Research Based Recruitment Process’ which combines a number of different tools that we can combine to give us the highest possible predictive validity of job success. Each tool on its own is not enough, you need to combine these so you have the greatest spread of assessment tools at your fingertips.
We use tools such as competency based matching techniques, behavioural questioning and structured interviews. This is complemented by personality assessments, skills testing and reference checking. Each recruitment program is structured to match the role we are working on, there is no one size fits all. By combining all these tools, along with our experience and knowledge we can offer our clients the highest possible outcomes in terms of person-job fit (how the individual fits with the role) and ‘person to organisational’ fit (how the individual fits into the organisation).
So next time you are recruiting think about the methods you use and leave the horoscope behind.
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