There’s a problem with how organizations hire talent via traditional recruitment processes. The solution? Job simulations.
A 2017 CareerBuilder survey found that 74% of organizations admit to hiring the wrong person for a role. To make matters worse, two in three employees acknowledge that they’ve accepted job offers that weren’t the right fit, resulting in 50% quitting within six months.
What exactly does this mean? Well, in real-world situations, this data equates to the fact that the existing methods many organizations are leaning on to hire so-called top-tier talent are broken, and no longer serving candidates or hiring managers alike.
From inaccurate measures to predict performance to unconscious biases influencing critical decision-making, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that traditional hiring methods — such as resume screening, phone screening, interviewing, and psychometric testing — no longer cut it, and how job simulations can help solve some of the most significant recruitment challenges.
What does the data tell us about existing recruitment methods?
The short answer? That they lack accuracy, efficiency, and quality and, unfortunately, are proven to be costly. Don’t believe us? Recent hiring statistics sourced from the United States all but prove it.
- They’re expensive: The average cost of a bad hire is up to 200% of an employee’s annual salary.
- They’re unnecessarily time-consuming: On average, it takes organizations 42 days to recruit, interview, screen, and hire a new employee.
- They’re inaccurate: For organizations that hire the wrong person for a role, it’s estimated to take an average of 10 hours out of a manager’s 40-hour work week to support underperforming employees.
- Poor quality hires have a flow-on effect: According to a 2018 survey, 44% of CFOs believe a bad hire significantly impacts team morale.
Yet, according to Zippia, the reason why employers make bad hiring decisions generally comes down to five key factors:
- The employer was aware they didn’t have the required skills but believed they could be easily obtained on the job
- The applicant lied about their accreditations
- The employer took a chance on an applicant who had the right attitude
- The employer felt pressured to fill the role quickly
- The employer focussed too heavily on hard skills (i.e., technical ability) and not soft skills (i.e., their attitude)
These factors lead us to our next point: traditional recruitment processes lack validity.
Unfortunately, most hiring processes assume suitability based on what a candidate says they can do, rather than verifying first-hand what a candidate can do.
4 different types of traditional recruitment processes
As a general rule, there are four main recruitment methods organizations have historically used to source, assess, and hire talent — resume screening, phone screening, interviews, and psychometric testing. While the aim of the game is to streamline the hiring process, it doesn’t necessarily mean that these functions perform as they are meant to.
What is resume screening?
Resume screening is a common pre-hiring method many recruiters and organizations use to determine whether or not a candidate is a suitable match for the role. Assessing candidates’ suitability for the role is generally based on their education, experience, and any other supposedly relevant information outlined on their resume.
How is resume screening performed?
Two different methods are used to screen resumes: manual and automated screening. As the name suggests, manual resume screening refers to the hiring manager individually reviewing each resume. In contrast, automated screening uses technology to match keywords (i.e., their skills) to those outlined in the job description.
Why is resume screening ineffective when hiring top talent?
- Resume screening is time-consuming and ineffective
For most organizations, it’s ineffective to screen a large volume of candidates adequately when relying on resume screening. In many cases, it either results in inconsistencies in the screening as recruiters can’t afford to give all candidates’ resumes the same attention, or it’s a costly and time-consuming process that most organizations cannot afford. According to an Eye-Tracking Study, recruiters spend just seven seconds reviewing each resume — barely enough time to assess an applicant’s suitability thoroughly.
- Resume screening is riddled with bias
While often unconscious, biases present themselves in several ways in resume screening. Recruiters make an assumption about an applicant based on factors that don’t predict their success, such as their name (i.e., this can provide hints about someone’s race or cultural background), age, education, and experience.
As an example, a Canadian study found that resumes with English-sounding names were 39% more likely to receive a callback. Likewise, male applicants are generally more favored than female applicants with identical resumes.
The point is that several factors contribute to our belief system, yet when it comes to screening applicants, these factors become more apparent than ever, moving us further away from merit-based hiring.
- Resumes aren’t a good predictor of success
The issue isn’t just how recruiters screen applicants — it’s the idea that we allow a one-sided document to dictate important hiring decisions. The unfortunate truth is that, as a whole, resumes are an ineffective and inaccurate indicator of suitability or performance.
This means hiring managers are assuming eligibility based purely on a list of experiences and accomplishments. The catch is that none of this data is verified, nor does it showcase a candidate’s complete skills or how they align with your role. Simply put, resumes show a candidate’s eligibility, not their suitability.
Additionally, resumes highlight the positive, omit the negative, and, in some cases, embellish the truth entirely. According to a ResumeBuilder.com survey, one in three Americans admitted to lying on their resumes. This included lies about their years of experience (46%), educational background (44%), length of service (43%), and skills or competencies (40%).
What is phone screening?
Generally positioned between an initial resume screening and the first in-person or virtual interview, a phone screen is used to ask follow-up questions to assess which candidates you feel are suitable for the next stage of interviewing to avoid spending time on potentially unsuitable candidates.
How is phone screening performed?
While there’s no set formula for running phone screening, recruiters will often use these to ask more in-depth questions about information outlined on your resume, experience, and qualifications. They’re also used to gauge a candidate’s expectations (i.e., ideal working environment, salary, career opportunities, etc.) to ensure it aligns with what the organization is prepared to offer. Lastly, they can be used to get a better sense of a candidate’s personality to identify any soft skills that may hinder or add to the working environment.
Why is phone screening ineffective when hiring top talent?
- Phone screening is time-consuming
Phone screens typically take 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the depth of your questioning. If screening just ten candidates, that’s roughly 2.5 – 5 hours of your work day spent manually assessing applicants’ potential suitability. And the unfortunate truth? You often don’t get any closer to deciding who is actually the best fit because the questions asked are subjective and generally not predictive of performance.
- Phone screening is inconsistent and inaccurate
Unfortunately, phone screening often has no set structure, leaving them easily influenced by outside factors. Due to the time they take to conduct, they’re usually run over multiple days and at different times. Something as simple as the time of day could easily cause a recruiter to feel favorably towards one candidate over another.
Secondly, much like resume screening, they’re often susceptible to personal biases influencing the decision-making. Something as simple as someone’s tone of voice could easily sway a recruiter, as well as similarity bias (i.e., instantly warming to someone because they have similar traits to you).
What is psychometric testing?
Psychometric assessments are common standardized recruitment tests used to evaluate and measure applicants’ suitability for a role based on their personality, cognitive and intellectual abilities, and emotional intelligence. Psychometric tests should be used as part of a more comprehensive evaluation process rather than an all-in-one predictor of performance.
How is psychometric testing performed?
Psychometric testing is often used as a preliminary screening tool to assess which candidates are most suitable to make it through to the interview stage. They are generally completed online, although some organizations will require paper assessments. Likewise, depending on the role and what’s being tested, it may also be a timed assessment.
There are two primary types of psychometric tests: personality and aptitude. While personality tests assess your values, motivations, behaviors, and how your personality traits align with the organization, aptitude tests look at your reasoning and cognitive ability. This might include testing skills such as diagrammatic reasoning, error checking, numerical reasoning, spatial reasoning, or verbal reasoning.
Why is psychometric testing ineffective when hiring top talent?
- Psychometric testing doesn’t predict performance
Psychometric, personality and general cognitive testing do not predict on-the-job performance or test skills in context, but they may have a place post-hire. Once you know a candidate has the skills to do the job, you could use personality tests to see how candidates like to be managed, where they could fit within your team dynamic, what their learning style is, and even what sort of manager they are.
However, personality tests do not determine an individual’s skill level and discount an individual’s learned abilities. They may also sway you to hire similar profiles to your current team, doing little to encourage diversity and inclusion.
- Psychometric tests should be used alongside other testing methods
While many organizations may think they can rely on psychometric testing as an all-in-one recruitment solution, they’re wrong. Psychometric testing only tells one small piece of the story, meaning to gain an accurate portrayal of a candidate, multiple recruitment measures should be used. This adds unnecessary length and costs to an already time-consuming process.
Psychometric testing is often used to measure an individual’s mental abilities and personality traits. However, these tests must be used with other methods to provide an accurate assessment. This can be seen as a downfall of psychometric testing, as its reliance on other measures can lead to potential inaccuracies. In addition, psychometric testing is often only effective when used with a large sample size. This can make it difficult to obtain reliable results when testing a small group or individually. Overall, while psychometric testing can be a useful tool, its usefulness is limited by several factors.
- Personality traits aren’t always indicative of performance
Psychometric tests — also known as personality profiling — assess a candidate’s personality, motivations, and attitudes to help understand whether a candidate is a good fit for your role and how they might contribute to the company culture. However, psychometric tests have two major faults:
- They don’t show you how a candidate’s soft skills (i.e., their personality traits) look in the context of an organization’s role
- They assume that certain personality traits are better suited to specific roles over others (i.e., introverts don’t make good salespeople)
Here’s what we know: someone’s personality does not pigeonhole them into a specific career. Let’s use the above example of how introverts and sales roles are incompatible. This archaic view is proven incorrect, as many organizations now understand the important qualities introverted people can bring to a sales-centric role. For example, introverted people generally are strong listeners and critical thinkers, allowing them to understand the client’s needs and preempt any objections.
What are interviews?
Interviewing is commonly used later in the recruitment cycle once the talent pool has been condensed to a shortlist of strong applicants. Two main interviewing styles, structured and unstructured, are designed to gain better insight into a candidate’s personality, potential suitability to the role and company culture, and their hard and soft skills.
How are in-person interviews performed?
Interviews can be conducted face-to-face, via video conferencing, or via phone and can be carried out one-to-one or in a group setting, based on the type of role you’re hiring for. Structured and unstructured interviews are popular methods used to assess candidates suitably, often in the final stages of assessments.
- Structured interviews: This style of interviewing includes asking predetermined questions in the same order for all candidates. The notion behind structured interviewing is that having a structured and systematic process ensures a consistent experience for all applicants and interviewers, which subsequently helps to grade more objectively.
- Unstructured interviews: In comparison, unstructured interviews are considered more like casual conversations. This style aims to create a comfortable and laid-back environment in the hope that the interviewer will get a more realistic view of the candidate, particularly when understanding their behavior and personality traits, meaning no two applicants will share the same experience.
Why are in-person interviews ineffective when hiring top talent?
- Interviews contain bias
Believe it or not, interviews are where biases most prominently present themselves. Yet, that’s not the only issue. According to LinkedIn, 42% of recruiters believe interview bias is a major problem for traditional interviews. Further research has shown that smartly dressed candidates are rated higher in interviews, even if they don’t have the skills to succeed in the job. Likewise, overconfident applicants are shown to perform better, too, even when their competencies are questionable.
- Organizations most commonly adopt an unstructured interview style
While interviews are most commonly used to assess a candidate’s soft skills and cultural fit, it requires a high level of structure and understanding of your company’s unique cultural placement to facilitate this properly. As such, many employers fall into the bucket of simply following an unstructured interview process.
Unstructured interviews are a common candidate selection tool that relies on asking open-ended, flexible questions with no set pattern or structure. The idea of an unstructured interview is that it should mimic a relaxed conversation where the direction of the conversation influences the interviewer’s questions.
The issue? This type of interview doesn’t allow employers to compare apples to apples. Due to the unstandardized nature of the interview, there’s no objective way to compare candidates’ responses, as questions vary drastically. Thus, biases come into play.
The chances of unstructured interviews accurately predicting a candidate’s suitability or performance are low, and here’s why:
- They’re unreliable as you can’t accurately compare candidates’ answers to assess who is most suited to the role.
- You’re more likely to ask leading questions, which biases the candidate’s responses.
- They’re more time-consuming as there’s no structure.
- You’re not assessing candidates based on specific skills and competencies.
- Interviews may be better suited to certain personalities
Not all personalities interview well. Whether it’s an introverted applicant or a candidate who is simply out of practice, many factors can influence someone’s interview performance. What’s more, is that 33% of employers admit to making up their minds about a candidate within the first 90 seconds of an interview.
How job simulations can help you hire better quality talent
A job simulation is a type of pre-employment test used for employee testing and selection. A job simulator test assesses candidates on their ability to perform realistic tasks and duties common to the role they’re applying for. Simply put, job simulations take applicants through a realistic day in the life of the position to assess how their hard and soft skills align with the job’s requirements.
Job simulations have become an increasingly popular online assessment tool for hiring as they help to accurately predict performance and suitability, particularly compared to resumes and interviews. When compared to the pitfalls of traditional recruitment processes, a job simulation allows organizations to understand which of their applicants has the skills required to succeed in the role while giving candidates a realistic job preview to help them decide if it meets their expectations.
Would you hire a head chef for your Michelin Star restaurant without first checking to see if they can cook as well as they claim to? Probably not. Using the same logic, not only do job simulations show you what a resume can’t, but they also validate the skills that a candidate claims to possess.
If you’re ready to ditch traditional recruitment processes and get familiar with the future of hiring, then book a demo today with us at Vervoe and let our experienced team run you through our full range of ready-made and tailored job simulation solutions.