Despite the availability of computers, the benefits of statistics, and dozens of canned organizational diagnostic tests, many hiring managers still insist on making hiring decisions based on personal interviews. Most will agree that forms and statistics can capture details they will never discuss in an interview, but the push to be personally comfortable with a person face-to-face still trumps all, as if somehow a given manager has a magical power to see through fluff and make a good hire based on gut feel.
In reality, the best interviewers have a 50/50 success rate in finding good employees. That’s because interviewing alone is a fundamentally poor way of rating candidates for a job. Yet managers persist with interviews anyways because they seem tangible and personal.
The problem with using interviews alone for hiring decisions is that most do nothing to actually rate or identify a person’s skills, experience, knowledge, or abilities. It’s a judgment based on the word of the candidate alone, without any verification involved. And a good salesperson or talker can shine their way into the jobs they have no qualifications for, simply because they look good and talk well.
Hard, detailed information can actually be gained in at least two reliable ways: by form and by agreement. The form controls the information asked for and takes the criteria of production out of the hands of the applicant. Where information provided can’t be verified independently, it should be suspect. The second approach is through agreement to have an independent verification of background records. This can include access to a detailed criminal background search, federal court background search, sex offender registry search, most wanted background search, DMV report, credit records, and an SSN trace.
While some data can be erroneous or tells only half a story, it often signals major potential behavioral problems that can affect the workplace. It also highlights many issues that won’t come up voluntarily in an interview.
Interviews can still be extremely helpful in gauging a person’s potential to fit in with a team, but they should always be coupled with background screening intelligence and related data products when possible.
Disclaimer Statement: All information presented is never intended as legal advice and is for information purposes only.