Past behavior is supposed to be a good predictor of future job performance. That’s why behavioral interviewing became a popular hiring method. Unfortunately, behavioral interviews are labor intensive. Plus, job seekers have learned how to beat these interviews. Just plug the words “beat the behavioral interview” into a search engine and you’ll come up with thousands of posts, articles, and books on the topic.
How can you accurately determine whether or not a candidate is a good fit? There’s a better way of interviewing. Also, there are more accurate ways to measure behavior. I discussed both of these topics with Bill Johnston, President of Insight Worldwide, based in Salem, Oregon. Insight Worldwide has pioneered improved methods for assessing a candidate’s integrity and fitness for a job.
Scott: Why’d you get into the business of behavioral hiring assessments?
Bill: There is so much employee turnover in today’s companies. It’s costing these companies millions each year. Also, turnover creates stress and frustration for managers. I knew there had to be a better way of hiring. We researched the problem, discovered patterns in behaviors, and developed tools to accurately determine which employees will do well in a job and those that will not.
Scott: Hiring, for many business leaders and hiring managers, is a challenge. In particular, I’ve often heard complaints that the person they ended up hiring was not the same person they interviewed. From your experience, why does this happen?
Bill: Hiring is one of the most difficult tasks a manager has to perform. Even those who have experience in hiring can find that choosing the right candidate can be a challenge, and that it is equally as easy to make a bad hire as a good one. Most job candidates are presenting themselves in the best possible light on their resume and during the interview. Knowing more about the applicants, digging beneath the image they put forth, is an effective way for hiring managers to make informed decisions. That’s what a behavioral hiring assessment does—it digs deep into who the candidate really is as a person. That information, combined with an effective interview, lets hiring managers make the right choice when deciding whether or not to make someone a job offer.
Scott: In my book from McGraw-Hill, High Velocity Hiring: How to Hire Top Talent in an Instant, I share a process for filling jobs more quickly. How can behavioral assessments help hiring managers hire faster?
Bill: Imagine knowing who is likely to perform better and which candidates are at high risk for behaviors that drive workers’ comp claims, professional liability issues, and absenteeism. Would having this information allow you to make informed and faster decisions on whom to hire? Absolutely! This is the type of reporting a thorough hiring assessment provides to hiring managers about job candidates. Managers use this information to make quicker and better hiring decisions.
Scott: Also in my book, I share a new way of interviewing, called the experiential interview. This hands-on form of interviewing lets a hiring manager see someone action. Instead of talking about doing work (the conventional way of interviewing), the hands-on interview allows them to see first-hand whether or not someone can do quality work. How can companies combine behavioral hiring assessments with this improved way of interviewing to enhance the objectivity of employee selection?
Bill: Experiential interviewing is a great example of an innovative way to learn the important details about a job candidate before making a job offer. Behavioral hiring assessments add to these details, uncovering information you would not find with conventional hiring approaches. These assessments help remove subjective decision making (which often leads to bad hires) by providing deep insights into a candidate’s potential for success in the job as well as disruptive behaviors that he would bring to your workforce. Combining experiential interviews with behavioral hiring assessments helps you vet talent quickly, accurately, and efficiently. This type of “bulletproof” process is vital in a tight labor market when you can’t afford to make mistakes.
Scott: What’s one last piece of advice you’d like to offer to anyone involved in hiring?
Bill: People are the heart and soul of your organization, making hiring one of the most important things you do. Give your hiring managers the best tools available to ensure they make accurate hiring decisions. You’ll be empowering them to spot the good hires and then make job offers quickly before a competitor snaps them up.
Bill’s company, Insight Worldwide, was founded in 2000. Since that time, they’ve amassed information from millions of potential employees on everything from their integrity, ethics, and capabilities, to their use of illegal drugs and their work habits. That’s why their approach goes a step beyond many assessments. Insight Worldwide’s clients get a clear picture of which candidate is the best fit for a particular role based upon their job behaviors. Visit insightww.com to learn more.
Contribution to this blog made by Scott Wintrip.