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Ever been on the edge of a hiring decision, but unable to pull the trigger? The answer is to get more information.


Ever been on the edge of a hiring decision, but unable to pull the trigger? The answer is to get more information.
February 28, 2017, 7:00:00 PM EST   By Mike Russiello

Ever been on the edge of a hiring decision, but unable to pull the trigger?

If that’s how you feel, I bet your story goes something like this:

You’ve got an open position you need to fill. After procrastinating a bit, you advertise, get some resumes, and conduct phone interviews. Next you bring in the best candidates for an interview. They go pretty well. Each candidate has different strengths, but none are perfect. It’s hard to say which is the best choice. 

One thing you do know is you need to find someone soon. Your employees are stretched too far. Plus, you have other stuff to do. Perhaps your boss, a customer, or your spouse is pressuring you as well.

So what do you do?

Probably 90 percent of us will go ahead and make an imperfect decision just to move ahead. We’ll feel uneasy about it, but then we’ll rationalize it was the best way to go - until the new employee shows up for work. Then we’ll start to wonder all over again, especially if it doesn’t seem to be working out.

However, the other 10 percent of us will collect more information before choosing. For instance, we might have someone else in the company interview the candidates. Or we might run a background check on them, or call references. Or, we might purchase an assessment for each candidate to take. Then, armed with more data, we’ll make a more informed, more confident decision.

If I am going to gather extra information about a candidate, which approach should I use?

Assessment, or background check, or interview, or reference check? These are the main techniques.

So, which do you use? Most experts would say you should use as many as you can. However, that may not always be practical. So, now what?

In full disclosure, I need to point out that my company is an assessment provider, and I believe assessments are the clear choice. But hear me out just a bit. First, the other methods have serious issues:

  1. Additional interviews don’t really add new information.

  2. Background checks don’t provide data related to job performance.

  3. Reference checks are less reliable because references never want to say anything bad about a former employee, for fear of getting sued.

Next, assessments offer a number of important advantages:

  1. They provide the objective, comparable information on each candidate, which allows for apples to apples comparison.

  2. They are quick (usually under an hour) and convenient to both you and the candidate since they are administered, and managed online.

  3. They are cheap (usually under $50).

Further, today’s whole person assessments, such as those offered by HR Avatar, cover all of the human dimensions that most affect performance on the job. For example, they cover cognitive ability to determine how quickly the candidate can learn on the job. They also measure knowledge and skills needed for the work - objectively. And they measure personality factors that determine how seriously they take their work and how well they will get along with the rest of your team. Finally, they evaluate past behaviors and habits to determine if the candidate is reliable and likely to stay on the job long enough to justify training. All of this information is tough to evaluate in an interview.

Anything - just do something

Sure - I recommend pre-employment assessment, and in particular whole-person assessment. But it’s your decision. The real key is to do something to get more information before you make your choice.

Doing "Something" turns your transaction into a process

I've already written about how using supplementary selection tools (like tests, background checks, reference checks, etc) makes your hiring transaction more of a process. There is simply no other way to turn your hiring into a strategic weapon for your company. Over the long-term, your new 'process' will become a recognized key to your success.

Luckily it's pretty easy

The beauty of today’s world is that is that no matter which approach you choose, it’s only a few clicks away. Many providers offer free trials, as does my company, HR Avatar.  For instance, if you choose assessment, you can register for a trial account and be testing within 60 seconds. After trying a few tests with no restrictions, you can decide for yourself if assessment is the way to go. Give it a try at https://www.hravatar.com/freetrial

Regardless, make a decision now to be one of the 10 percent. Get more information before you decide who to hire, to eliminate doubt and sleep more peacefully at night. Good luck. You won’t regret it!

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