The War For Talent: Your Interview Process Isn’t Helping

The War on Talent

News flash: the war for talent is over.  Talent won.  It’s time to identify, assess and hire talent differently.  20 years ago, my mom told me never to meet people on the internet and never get into strangers’ cars.  Today, I literally summon strangers from the internet to get into their car (not in a weird way, Uber).   Things change.  So why is the interview process archaic, highly transactional, and largely ineffective?

Have you ever said (or in my case, been told) “it’s not you, it’s me”?  Well, in the case of interviewing – you’re right, it is you.  But don’t worry, you’re not alone – nearly 75% of companies/hiring managers admit to making a bad hire.  And the cost of a bad hire?  On average, about $15k.  Oh yeah, and up to 80% of new hires fail.  It’s time to do better.

I think it’s fair to conclude that people are overly confident in their own ability to build an accurate picture of someone from the traditional interview process.  Despite their popularity, traditional interviews have been largely discredited. It’s been shown they can even undercut the impact of more useful information. Attractive and charismatic interviewees aren’t necessarily more capable, for example, but we unconsciously assume they are.

First, when we say “traditional” interview process, we largely mean solely using an unstructured interview as the primary data point in making a hiring decision.  Traditional hiring is imperfect and costly.

While it’s important (critical, in fact) to be smart and methodical when hiring someone, a rigid/lengthy process will cripple your hiring efforts.  If you asked 100 recruiters what’s the one thing that companies are doing wrong – I believe an overwhelming majority would say – “speed”.  A few data points:

  • 42 days is the overall average time it takes to fill a given position
  • The interview process takes an average of 22.9 days
  • It takes five to six weeks on average to get a job offer

But there’s hope.  It’s encouraging to see new interviewing techniques are gaining favor as ways to augment traditional interviews, but adoption is still early.

At Carex, we’re looking ahead to be more innovative and are reimagining the process.  Here’s a few things we’ve implemented that are helping improve the critical “quality-of-hire” metric:

  • Structured interviews – aligning questions with company culture and technical aptitude
  • Video Interviews – additional data points to help further assess and engage candidates
  • Predictive Assessments – helps us go beyond screening past experience or education to measuring our candidate’s aptitude, fit and/or potential
  • Speed & Agility – We work with our partners to create a targeted, transparent and fluid process