It’s important to hire employees who can be trusted to carry out the overall mission of your business. Structured interviews are one of the best places to start. In this post, we will explore how structured interviews help acquire the right talent and allow you to build a team of people dedicated to achieving your business’s goals. We’ve included insights from Jacqui Maguire, Director of Talent Acquisition at Greenhouse, a leading provider of applicant tracking and recruiting software.
A structured interview is a standardized method of evaluating job candidates based on the knowledge, skills, and characteristics required for the job.[note]http://corvirtus.com/four-key-advantages-to-using-structured-interviews/[/note]
Most of the time, each candidate applying for a specific role is asked the same questions and interviewed by the same people. This is different than unstructured interviews, in which questions are not planned and different candidates are measured on different traits that haven’t previously been established by the hiring and recruiting team. According to Jacqui, structured interviews yield better hiring outcomes and a transparent experience.
The practice of structured interviews helps acquire the right talent and brings great long-term benefits for your company:
As you incorporate structured interviews, you may find benefits unique to your business. At Ease, we’ve found that structured interviews help to reduce redundancy in questions for roles where we host several rounds of interviews with different interviewees. This provides a faster hiring process for applicants and minimizes the interviewer’s time commitment.
A structured interview entails determining what factors to assess and how to assess them, organizing the logistics of the actual interview, and collecting feedback.
What To Assess
The amount of time one has been working isn’t always telling of their skills or qualifications. Before writing a series of questions or assessments, it’s helpful to evaluate which factors you are looking to assess for a particular role. Does their past experience need to align perfectly? Are you looking for someone who is metrics driven and goal oriented, or is this something you’re willing to teach later?
Jacqui suggests starting by defining how you would like to see this role impact your business. From there, decide what long and short-term goals will be associated with achieving that impact. Then, determine the attributes that are necessary to achieve success in both the long- and short-term goals. That list of attributes is what you should measure for during the interview.
How To Assess
Once you decide which factors you want to interview for, map out how you will assess those factors during an interview. We recommend using a combination of questions and assessments to gauge the skill set of the candidate. For example, if you’re interviewing an engineer, the first round of the interview can focus on behavioral questions and learning about their past experience. The second round can be a series of technical questions or algorithms they are required to solve in front of you.
It can be helpful to create custom questions designed to assess for the specific attributes necessary for success in the position. This will keep your interviews focused, reduce bias, and create a better experience for the candidate, said Jacqui.
No strategy has to be set in stone, but you do want to measure against job performance. Stick with the questions and assessments where the score correlates with high job performance.
Structuring The Interview
Once you know what characteristics you want to assess and how you will assess them, consider how you want the interview to look. Then, design what the interview, including logistics, will look like. Factors to consider include:
The number of interviewers and length of the interview should be enough to cover all of the attributes without being redundant – so it can vary quite a bit from role to role. There is no magic number, but Google recommends 4, said Jacqui.
After the interviewing is complete, review the qualities you originally decided you wanted the applicant to possess. Determine whether the applicant had the qualities necessary to succeed in the role you are hiring for.
It’s pivotal to collect feedback from each person who interviewed the candidate. At Ease, we’ve implemented a scorecard system with Greenhouse to help minimize bias. Each interviewer scores the applicant based on the metrics set by the hiring manager before discussing the interview with anyone else. This prevents one person from influencing another.
Designing structured interviews is difficult and time-consuming, especially if your company is growing and hiring an increasing number of employees. There are tools, resources, and solutions you can use to help you create a structured hiring process.
Greenhouse is a leading talent acquisition software designed to help companies automate all aspects of their hiring process. With Greenhouse, companies can implement structured interviewing which will help to mitigate bias and improve the candidate experience.
Greenhouse allows interviewers to:
Greenhouse also makes it easy to refer applicants, a great tool especially if your company has a referral program. Both you and/or the hiring manager can see which employee forwarded the candidate’s resume, and the referrer can see where the applicant they referred is in the hiring process.
Interviewing for new positions your company may not be familiar with can be a complicated task. There are several free tools out there that can help you design questions and assessments for specific positions.
For example, Indeed has a bank of questions for several different specific roles and skills from a civil engineer to an accountant. You can use this as a starting point when designing what qualities you’d like to assess for a specific role. Glassdoor and LinkedIn have similar resources.
Additionally, re:Work by Google has outlined a free guide you can follow for implementing a structured interview. The guide includes a customizable grading rubric to help assess multiple candidates? answers. This is a great starting point if interviewing technology isn’t in your budget or if you want to test the structured interview strategy before committing to software.
No matter how solid your structured interviews are, you won’t be able to use it without applicants. Recruiting can be very expensive, but there are plenty of low-cost tools you can use to initiate the hiring process with applicants.
Structured interviewing enables you to grow your company with the right people to help you carry out your mission and achieve your business goals.
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