In selecting candidates for job roles, there are many factors that recruiters use to determine suitability. Some recruiters tend to focus on one or two areas, such as what experience appears on a resume, or how well the candidate interviews. Others focus on factual data, such as assessment results. Others take the stance that even if someone isn’t experienced in a certain area, as long as he or she has a good attitude and fits in well with the corporate culture, a hire can be successful.
Is there a reason a company or hiring manager may want to prioritize one of these factors over another?
Very often, the way that a recruiter approaches candidate evaluations comes down to past experiences with successful candidates. If it was effective before, the logic is that it will be effective again. The goal of any recruiter is to avoid making bad hires and to increase the chance of making a good hire. We know statistically, however, that businesses make bad hiring decisions at a high rate (as high as 62% of the time according to a Monster survey).
Many times, bad hiring decisions are impacted by things such as lack of available talent (one JobVite survey says 65% of recruiters report this as their biggest hiring challenge), false information given by the candidate, or a poor onboarding process that leaves the new hire overwhelmed and frustrated. Recruiters can get too caught up in beating their own metrics that they forget to focus on the quality of candidates.
A better way to approach recruitment is by leaning on factors that make the best sense for the organization’s goals. For example, it’s easy to have all candidates answer the same interview questions so that they can be compared more easily. Another example, is having all candidates take the same pre-hire assessment. These results can also be measured and compared without bias or personal opinion getting in the way. Take it one step further and let all recruiters save time and avoid bias with an AI-enabled candidate screening process that matches them to job qualities.
Why is deciding on a priority sequence important?
To help recruiters stay on track and base hiring decisions on the right factors, each organization can put together a priority sequence. This is a based on job priority sequencing and how people should perform tasks. An accounting manager will use priority sequencing to accept payments, credit accounts, send out invoices, and make collection calls to customers. The first job in is the first job out. The higher importance clients are the first to be attended to.
In recruitment, priority sequencing could look something like this:
- Job posting added to career board and ATS
- First candidate applications screened by ATS delivered to recruiter
- First screened candidates contacted by recruiter in order received
- Candidates set up with phone interview then in-person interview
- Candidates sent assessment to complete before interview
- Non-compliant candidates eliminated from hiring process
- Compliant candidates pass to the next interview phase
- Final small group of candidates compared based on all previous data
- Decision made on who to hire, with a backup in case of rejection
How can this help with comparing candidates?
When it comes down to it, having a set of candidates who have been carefully evaluated using the same consistent process, and measured against the job requirements first makes it easy when the time comes to compare them in the final phase. This enables recruiters to compare candidates based on hard data, not on opinions, impressions, resume garble, or looks. Everyone gets a fair chance at being considered.
Not only is this a chance to get better matched candidates in front of your decision-makers, it also increases the likelihood that the company will hire more diverse candidates. Recruiters can get stuck in their ways, mostly due to lack of time or being stretched too thin. A recruitment priority sequence that all recruiters follow will become the new habit that produces better results.