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Measure Twice, Cut Once - Thoughts on Candidate Assessment

We have just posted a chapter from Steve Hunt's book, Hiring Success, in the tools section of this site.   The book is a great read for any manager interested in improving his/her skills in selecting candidates who can do the job at hand.  Candidate assessment - and specifically the use of science based tools to help with assessment - remains somewhat controversial.  One of the key questions facing recruiters and hiring managers is " what is the right blend of art and science in candidate assessment?" 

The proliferation of internet enabled hiring technologies - from job boards to applicant tracking systems to science based predictive tools - provides organizations with a growing arsenal of tools they can use to attract, screen and hire employees.  While many of these tools have massively increased hiring efficiency, we still need to ensure that the hiring process will be effective in delivering candidates who can fit the position at hand.  My experience with a large array of buyers of these technologies suggests that companies that balance a sound recruiting process with an appropriate level of hiring manager flexibility will always trump those who expect that technology alone will provide them with an edge.    

I'm not talking about anything too fancy.  Start with the basics.  When a hiring manager invests time in a conversation with a recruiter about the unique requirements of a position, that recruiter will deliver better fit candidates to that hiring manager.  When the recruiter and the hiring manager take the time to develop an interviewing strategy - preparing screening questions, choosing the right interview team members, deploying sound assessment tools and exercises - they will likely get a better result from the process.  When they take the time to not only check candidate provided references, but also to pursue unsolicited references through the many Web 2.0 alternatives (LinkedIn, ZoomInfo, etc.), they will have more complete information on which to base a decision.

I'd love to hear from you about what's working - and what's not - in your organization when it comes to candidate assessment.  And do take the time to checkout Steve's book.... 

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