The hiring process can be a struggle for all involved: the employer, the hiring manager, the work team, and of course the job candidates. With the average cost per hire recently rising to a startling $4,000, (Undercover Recruiter) there is immense pressure on hiring managers to make certain they are finding the right person for the job. A 2015 Leadership IQ Survey showed that of the 20,000 new employees tracked over the span of three years almost half of those hires had failed within 18 months.
Often, hiring managers will become so overwhelmed with applications and interviews that they end up hiring someone compatible with themselves, someone that makes them feel at ease during an interview. It’s an understandable error; after meeting with dozens of personality types and scrambling to meet the business needs, who wouldn’t want to hire someone they could envision themselves chatting with at the water cooler?
So how can hiring managers guarantee that a potential candidate is, in fact, the person they say they are? By implementing and following a consistent and balanced hiring process such as the 30-30-30-10 rule.
30-30-30-10: A Recipe for Success
The 30-30-30-10 rule is a straightforward, easily adaptable foundation that any business can use as a template to build a successful hiring process. The concept is simple:
30% of the focus should be on resume review, reference checks, and background checks.
30% of the focus should be on multiple interviews with multiple interviewers present.
30% of the focus should be on assessments and skill tests.
10% of the focus should be on feelings toward a potential candidate.
Using this blend of hiring functions will not only ensure that a consistent approach is being used with every candidate but also allows for proper time allocation and management. Remember, the longer it takes to hire someone, the higher the cost to the company.
Resume, References, and Background
The article Why Hiring Managers Need to Stop Focusing on Resumes explains that resumes are a great snapshot of a person’s work history, but fall short of determining if a person is who they say they are. For example, someone might include “experienced in Microsoft Project” on their resume after taking an introductory course and never using the system again. Furthermore, the same job title at two very different companies can mean two very different things.
That’s where references come into play. Checking references and speaking with someone, rather than reading a letter or endorsement, is the best way to determine if a resume is accurate. Additionally, references are a great tool in assessing someone’s Whole Person Development blend. In a recent survey conducted by Society for Human Resource Management, over half of business participants reported finding applicants who had lied about the length of employment, past salaries, or college credentials. The companies in question were able to uncover these lies through reference checks.
Multiple Interviews, Multiple Interviewers
Conducting multiple interviews allows hiring managers to see more of a person before hiring them as an employee. It benefits employers by enabling them to assess consistency, and include a different blend of panelists.
Panel-style interviewing has various advantages, the main one being the diverse perceptions of each interviewer. A panel allows for less bias and more decision-making accuracy. This real-life example supports the need for multiple interviewers:
During a panel interview for an accounting position, the hiring manager who led the interview concluded that the candidate would be a good fit. Upon sharing this information with the other two panelists—a human resources assistant and an accounting department supervisor—they both responded with surprise. While the lead panelist took the candidate at their word when they said they had willingly left their previous job, the other two panelists who weren’t actively engaged in the interview were able to pick up on subtle clues that indicated the candidate was fired. The hiring manager was later able to confirm this occurrence with a reference check.
Had the hiring manager been alone during the interview process, he may have been too focused on conducting the interview to be able to pick up on subtle clues to get an overall picture of the candidate. Had he not followed a consistent hiring process, he may have found himself facing the same challenges of the candidate’s previous employer within a few months.
Assessments and Skill Tests
Resume wording like “experienced with” can be subjective and embellished. Businesses are shifting away from relying on resumes as an accurate depiction of one’s skillset and are beginning to implement skills testing in the screening process. For example, if you’re hiring a transcriber to record minutes during executive meetings, it makes sense to have a typing proficiency test in the hiring process. Different preliminary assessments help hiring managers to get a better idea of potential gaps that otherwise may not become apparent until months down the road.
Personality tests are an increasingly popular hiring tool, with an increase in usage of 12% over four years. (CEB Global) Personality tests allow managers to assess if the candidate will be right for a job by determining if one’s personality meets critical skill requirements. They can also determine how someone’s performance will vary based on if they are stressed, tired, bored, frustrated, or—an important yet often overlooked consideration—comfortable. These various components can also indicate if the candidate will fit in with the company’s culture. Some of the most popular personality tests include the Gallup StrengthsFinder, Myers-Brigg Type Indicator, the Chally Assessments, and the Hogan Assessments.
Feelings and Likeability
The 30-30-30-10 hiring process is meant to detract from hiring someone based on feelings and likeability. However, don’t discount feelings and intuition entirely; just don’t give those feelings precedence. If you’ve gone through the hiring process and have two equally proficient candidates with excellent references and skills, the decision may come down to who you feel would be a better fit.
Now it’s time to evaluate the hiring process in your company. Is there one? Does the current process need updating? Asking these questions will help a business save time and money in the long run. A structured hiring process is simple to implement when following the 30-30-30-10 rule. Why not start today and invest in your company’s most valuable asset: its people.
To learn more about our Human Resources series, click here.
Meredith Wailes is the President of Bloom Leadership, a cutting-edge platform for business growth. With a focus on Whole Person Development, Bloom Leadership develops recruitment and retainment strategies through tailored coaching. Meredith is a founding member and the Chair of Membership for the Private Directors Association- Charlotte Chapter. She is also the creator of “SeeD,” a scholarship fund dedicated to female leaders who manage, operate, and/or own for-profit businesses in Charlotte, NC. For more information visit Meredith on LinkedIn and Twitter.