Employers have so much on the line when they hire a new employee. A hiring decision can correspond to a $2 to $4 million capital investment. Thus, employee selection shouldn’t be haphazard. 15dots teaches how to repeatedly and reliably choose the right hires.
The 15dots Selection Process has eight basic parts, and each of these parts has been professionally developed to be technically sound. In our initial 15dots Selection Process Shortcuts blog, we presented the dangers of four shortcuts in hiring. These four hiring mistakes involved applicant pool formation, candidate screening, ability testing, and candidate briefing. Now, we’ll look at four more components:
- a realistic job preview
- a structured board interview
- computation of the data
- a final hiring decision
The Realistic Job Preview (RJP)
The Realistic Job Preview is a facility or office tour, typically guided by operators or office personnel.
Lesson #5 – Hiring Candidates Who Lack Critical Job Information
Situation & Behavior: Candidates enter the work environment so they can smell the smells, feel the heat, and see the jobs they are signing up for. The tours are mapped, scripted, and guided.
Shortcut Impact: In our experience, about 10% of candidates decline the job after an RJP tour. I remember one candidate, a young woman who didn’t participate in a Realistic Job Preview, who accepted a job at a mill. But on her first day of work, she sought out the Human Resources manager. She told the HR manager that she had no idea the mill’s equipment would be so immense, and she was afraid. Hence, this episode cost the mill the money and time devoted to her selection in the first place.
The Structured Board Interview
A structured board interview is an orderly, methodical process managed by a four-person board of interviewers who all meet the candidate at the same time. This process increases the reliability and the validity of the interview much more than a “series” interview or 1:1 interviews. Compared to 1:1 interviews, structured board interviews are easier to score, minimize bias that may result from a free-wheeling interview, prevent illegal/inappropriate questions, force consensus, and are less to likely to result in a risky hiring decision.
Lesson #6 – Abbreviating the Interview Process
Situation and behavior: Typical shortcuts are interviewing with only three interviewers, instead of four, and cutting the interview short when the candidate apparently has few redeeming features, which of course, is the result of bias.
Shortcut Impact: Structured board interviews with four interviewers have been proven to be 2.5 times more powerful than 1:1 interviews in creating the right match for a job opening. Three-person boards often lead to inflation in the interview scores. The reason: an odd number of interviewers makes it easier to reach consensus. We don’t want to make consensus more difficult, just more thorough.
In one case where three-person interview teams were used, the interview scores were so inflated that many candidates who were hired for mill jobs resigned soon after their selection. These candidates had not adapted to the world of work and weren’t motivated to work in the mill. The inflated interview scores moved them to the selected group. It’s likely that a more objective, four-person interview probably would have removed them from consideration.
The Computation of the Data
Computation of the data is straightforward. Demographic data, test scores, interview information, and other factors are entered into a spreadsheet. This spreadsheet offers a wealth of information for selection decision-making.
Lesson #7 – Failing to Trust the Process
Situation and behavior: Shortcuts to this phase include bypassing the spreadsheet or storing the data in several places.
Shortcut Impact: Hiring candidates who are the best match requires hard data, not just gut instinct. Misplaced, missing, or manipulated data leads to confusion when it’s time for candidate evaluation. I remember when a mill on the East Coast faced an audit by 15dots that discovered that the Final Prediction (a combination of the overall ability test and overall interview score) had been changed as the result of a change in the Overall Interview Score. A person in the Human Resource group “believed” that the candidate was rated too high and arbitrarily lowered the interview team’s consensus Overall Interview Score.
Was the Human Resource employee wrong? Yes, in arbitrarily lowering the score. The candidate might have been a fit but was eliminated from consideration because the data couldn’t be trusted. As a result of the arbitrary move, the HR person was admonished, and the organization likely missed out on hiring a good candidate.
The Final Hiring Decision
To make a final hiring decision, employers rank candidates according to their Final Prediction. The Final Prediction is a 9-point scale and is a combination-statistic of test scores and interview outcomes. The first decision rule is “top down” where all 9’s are selected first, then all 8’s, and so forth. The second decision rule is a tie-breaking rule where EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) and Affirmative Action considerations play a part. The third decision rule is “the path to the Final Prediction” (an 8 interview – 7 test candidate is selected over a 7 interview – 7 test candidate).
Lesson #8 – Inserting Bias in Selection Decisions
Situation and behavior: Shortcuts in this phase usually involve ignoring the Final Prediction and selecting candidates based on the decision-maker’s personal preference and personal bias.
Shortcut Impact: In a Midwest converting operation, several 6’s were omitted in selection in order to select a 5. This 5 was not a member of an affected class; however, some 6’s were. Since the system created adverse impact, the facility was fined $750K and was placed under a consent decree to hire the candidates who were not originally selected. Additionally, two individuals in Human Resources lost their jobs.
The true cost of a bad selection decision may surprise you. When we train interviewers, we tell them that their final hiring decision amounts to a $2 to $4 million capital investment. Surely, these million-dollar decisions shouldn’t be left to chance or the whims of a manager.
Tried-and-True Employee Selection System
Organizations that cut corners to speed hiring, cut candidates, or change selection process steps without knowing the implications of a change put themselves at risk of making a $2 to $4 million mistake. Certainly, it may be tempting to bypass some employee selection steps. However, by taking shortcuts, organizations can’t properly assess whether a candidate is a good fit or match for an open job. Our Selection Shortcuts blog series illustrates the negative impact of cutting corners.
We and our clients have consistently found that disciplined use of the 15dots Selection Process elevates employee selection success well above the industry norm. To learn a repeatable, scalable, and game-changing employee selection process, contact us today.