Hiring based on interview performance is risky

If you read the stats, in the last century, we have added 30 years to our life span.  We are working longer with 20% of Australians over 70 reportedly still engaged in the workforce.  We have five generations working side by side and with that comes stereotypes.

In recruitment, I hear the concerns of employers about different generations (and many a job applicant has told me they think they missed out on a gig because they are too “old” or too “young”).  I have recruited thousands of people over the years and I’ve had my fair share of surprises (good and bad) from every generation but I try to avoid making assumptions.

I’ve met millennials with far greater emotional intelligence and commitment than their generation tag gives them credit for and boomers that have it all over gen y’s when it comes to technology.  I heard a story recently about the digital divide.  A group of kids were left with a cassette and a cassette player and told to go figure – these ‘digital natives’ didn’t adapt immediately and experienced frustrations adjusting to different technology.

So where am I going with all of this?  Avoid unintentional bias when you are recruiting.  Resumes can be bought (as can references) and statistics show that 1 in 2 resumes are likely fudged.  Sometimes the most polished interviewee is all style and no substance.  Apply a whole-person approach to recruitment selection by integrating interviews and reference checking with an assessment centre.

Recruitment assessments should be selected based on the skills required to perform the job and come in all shapes and sizes – from spelling and maths to decision making, technical checking, numerical estimation and mechanical reasoning.  If spreadsheeting is part of the job, a simple MS Excel assessment will soon highlight those that can from those that can’t and a keyboarding test will give you an indication of speed and accuracy when completing a range of office tasks.  A behavioural assessment can also give insight in to how a candidate is likely to act (and react) in the workplace.

Intuition may be a valuable trait but if you are relying on gut feel in recruitment because someone tells you what you want to hear at an interview, you are only really scratching the surface (and it could be a superficial surface at that).

Top Office Group offers a range of assessment centre options to compliment your recruitment process.  If you are interested in finding out more, connect today on 07 3812 2920 or email belinda@topoffice.com.au.

Compiled by Belinda Hermann, Managing Director of Top Office Group Pty Ltd and Inspired Career Planning.  An Accredited Career Practitioner, she has specialised in sourcing and recruiting talent for businesses across South East Queensland for 25 years.