“How many gas stations are there in Manhattan?” Recently, Google realized that asking job candidates this sort of question did little to predict employee performance. This has made HR managers sit up and take notice.
Here are three ways to use this research in your business…
Google is, after all, the Mecca of Big Data. Every interview is pored over. Every employee’s performance is analyzed in the hunt for correlation. Its findings have the potential to reshape the entire hiring process.
Big Data Holds Dual Promise For Recruitment
Big Data can revolutionize how business is done:
First, it promises better matches to positions, based on merit.
Second, it reduces employee turnover and recruitment overheads.
Both of these are critical requirements for any business in the 21st century.
Why? Happier, more committed employees can deliver significantly better service, which leads to increased customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. Employees that stay put invest more of themselves and their talents into the business, delivering above the measure of their pay grade.
In the era of the social web, where businesses struggle to be more human, more responsive and more personable, this is the kind of knockout combination that delivers a huge competitive advantage.
The Google study used tens of thousands of its own employee recruitment records to discover that neither recruiter recommendation nor qualifications were good indicators of employee performance. Despite Google’s former practice of interview panels and cognitive testing with brainteasers, recruitment is still a hit and miss affair, with luck playing a significant factor.
Even though this is an industry that prides itself in its use of metrics, Google’s findings run against conventional wisdom. Getting the right people to the right jobs within a company is more critical than ever—and so is the type of process used to get them through the front door.
If traditional hiring is no longer delivering the expected quality results, what do you do? Here are three steps to better results, according to Google’s study:
1. Make Sure You Have Structured Behavioral Interviews In Place
Do you have the wrong people in the wrong places, high staff turnover, or poor employee performance? Perhaps the blame is with your hiring process.
When it comes to assessing people, it becomes easier to identify interviewer performance, matching it to the hiring of great employees. (This assumes that everybody is working off the same rubric—as opposed to making up their own.)
This approach also helps enhance internal alignment of company values. Regularly reviewing the quality of your hiring process, and a comparing it to the actual performance of your staff ensures you catch discrepancies early enough to do something about it.
2. Use Behavioral Interviewing, Not Hypothetical Questions
When candidates respond to questions like, “Give me an example of a time when you dealt with a project that missed its deadline,” they provide two different sorts of data:
First, you find out how they really performed in a situation they actually dealt with. This allows the interviewer to ask specific questions and get further, real data.
Second, you get the metadata. By listening to them, you get a good sense of how they respond to a challenge, what they find challenging, and what they consider to be easy.
You discover whether they’re a good team player and/or if they can manage other people well. This provides a more accurate, in-depth look at their personality than any brainteaser or GPA score.
3. Measure Consistency And Fairness In Your Leaders
Managers used to be hired for their flair and experience: You want their teams to feel relaxed and confident. But studies have shown that managers who fail to operate within specific parameters create the exact opposite feeling in their charges.
Ask behavioral questions designed to elicit information on consistency and commitment to being fair. These are qualities that team members prize the most and allow them to perform best.
When you have all that data make sure you actually use it. In the enterprise, nothing should be left to work on autopilot.
Success in the marketplace comes down to a business having staff that are every bit as knowledgeable, empowered and vocal as its social-media-savvy customers. No business can afford to be filling its vacancies with the wrong people.
Add to that the significant savings in recruitment costs that can be made when staff turnover drops, plus the increase in productivity that comes with having happy staff, and you suddenly have a compelling proposition.