Making Better Hires: Tools for the Trade

Making better hires

There is a seemingly endless supply of alternative routes on the path to making better hires by recruiting qualified, committed new candidates for your firm. And while having options can be a good thing, too many choices can simply be overwhelming. So what’s a hiring professional to do?

You could wait for your fairy godmother to come down and wave her magic wand, making all your hiring dreams come true.  Another option, and likely the more productive one, is to start implementing tools within your recruitment methods that make the entire process easier and more effective.

Pre-Employment Tests

The first step in acquiring strong recruits is to develop equally resilient pre-employment testing.  The hiring process is no longer completely based on gut instincts or first impressions.  Rather, it has been turned into a scientific and quantifiable endeavor for which there is considerable research.

Initially, recruiters should investigate what their pre-employment tests are measuring.  Different assessments measure different things. One important overarching question: Do the desired candidate attributes appropriately match up with the goals of the position, the department, and the overall company?

It’s critical to understand the various aspects of your organization, including the culture and values, as well as how certain personalities and behaviors will function within such a setting.  What skills are essential for each specific role? What experience is necessary?

In determining the answers to such questions, recruiters can better assess the technical devices software vendors’ utilize and whether they provide appropriate assessment. However, be sure to find out what the tools evaluate against. In other words, it’s important to compare candidates to your firms’ top performers and not simply against normative, or societal, data.

One of the best options available for pre employment testing is Chequed. The Chequed system includes a front end tool for assessment as well as an automated reference checking tool for after the interviewing process. Their assessment tool does a behavioral assessment provides simple scores and then provides questions to ask candidates saving considerable time.

Video Interviews

Video interviews are a fantastic way to streamline an otherwise time-consuming, cumbersome practice. A positive development from the dismal video resume, video interviews allow companies to interact and engage with candidates in a way that far surpasses the static atmosphere garnered by phone interviews and one-way communication.

Video interviews are often predated with video portfolios, in which candidates are guided by a computer wizard to answer a series of strategic interviewing questions that have been scientifically tested and tailored to the position. Candidate answers are video recorded and submitted to the recruiter to function as an additional prequalification tool that further refines the candidate list.

Video profiles are a wonder in that candidates can complete the interview in accordance with their own busy agendas, eliminating the hassle of coordinating recruiter(s) and candidate schedules. For companies trying to attract top talent, such a convenient process will likely provide faster access to otherwise in-demand individuals.

Once the most promising candidates have been identified, video interviews can be set up with incredible ease. Perhaps the greatest benefit of the video interview is that it allows multiple company stakeholders to attend and participate in the interview process regardless of their geographic location. Thus, panel interviewing is considerably more feasible without overextending already stretched travel budgets.

However another added benefit of the video interview that should not be overlooked is that these interviews can typically be recorded. Thus, candidates’ responses to questions can easily be reviewed and compared any number of times without placing significant burden on recruiters’ memory recall.

There are a number of good options available but I would recommend checking out these 3 options:

All 3 of these are very good options if looking into video interviews. For more info check this piece from Inc on the tools.

With All Recruiting Tools

While picking the right tools is critical, there are there are a few important points that carry across the board, regardless of the specific technology one uses.

  1. Be sure that the assessments are appropriate to the role being filled. Do not overwhelm or irritate entry-level candidates with excessive pre-employment testing. Similarly, do not extend assessments that are successful in one area to all other areas. No singular tool will work for all positions in all departments.
  2. Ensure that your assessment tools are legal and protect the company from legal liability. Any tool used to select a workforce can come under scrutiny for bias if it fails to use job-relevant questioning to predict performance. Always ask vendors how their product monitors for bias in accordance with EEOC compliance.
  3. Finally, do not overlook the assessment of your assessments! In other words, remember that filling a vacant position is only half the battle. How well has the candidate worked out? Was your pre-employment screening predictive of the candidate’s success? Use such ROI feedback to continuously improve hiring procedures.

In the end, we all know that recruitment can be a costly endeavor that, when done ineffectively, drains already limited resources. However, if you can strategically evaluate your firm’s assessment process and identify specific assessment tools that can improve candidate screening, you’re guaranteed to see sweeping improvements.

Budgets will remain intact, employee turnover will diminish and supervisors will be tickled. As a recruiter, you have the power to generate such synergy. And in fact, maybe you won’t even need that fairy godmother after all!

How are you making better hires in your organization? Share your tips with us in the comments!

Photo by DepositPhotos.

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Gerad Hoyt is a marketing consultant, paperless advocate and document management blogger.


  1. Eric Scott on the 6th September

    We’re a small web developer that’s grown from 2 people to 16 over the last four years. Hiring is always on our mind and we thought we did pretty good at it. Looking back at our results recently, however, we found that only about 60% of our hires were of the “really good” variety.

    The one tool we found that I now swear by is Lou Adler’s book, “Hire with Your Head”.

    He talks about why conventional hiring tactics don’t yield the stars you’re looking for, how to write better job posts, ask better questions on phone screen, do better interviews, and check references more thoroughly to significantly improve your chances of a top notch hire.

    Our three most recent hires have all been great and we’ve even seen the system weed out folks we thought might be good, but turned out not to be as amped about the job as they seemed in the phone screen. Highly recommended.

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