4 Ways to Improve Your Interview Process and Results  

Entrepreneur magazine states that recruiting and hiring a new employee can cost around $4,000. This will be higher for technical, specialty, managerial and professional positions.

Weighing the costs of hiring . . . . 

Weighing the costs of hiring . . . . 

Staffing a company is a difficult process because it involves on-going screening, interviewing and communicating. However, the good news is that HR professionals can reduce costs, minimize turnover rates and streamline their interview process by following the tips below.

The Application

Businesses should be careful to avoid application questions that can unlawfully discriminate against job seekers.

Businesses should be careful to avoid application questions that can unlawfully discriminate against job seekers.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) states that organizations must carefully select application questions in order to avoid EEOC violations and discrimination complaints. However, there are always legal exceptions for job safety or efficiency, such as the bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) clause. This means that public safety agencies may implement age cut-offs for jobs and that gyms may only hire females to work as women’s locker room attendants. Applications may inquire about military discharge status, but it is not advised because the Uniform Services Employment Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) protects veterans against discrimination. Requiring applicants to disclose employment gaps is a safe way to indirectly find out about potential criminal history.

Background Checks

Be aware that class-action lawsuits for Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) violations are on the rise. Improperly conducted background checks may contain both false positive and negative allegations that misrepresent a job candidate’s background. Background checks cannot be conducted without written permission. Most states require employers to inform job applicants through disclosure forms and fact sheets.

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Some states require employers who do not hire applicants based on specific background check results to release the name of the company that conducted the check or allow job applicants to request a copy of their report. The FCRA has decreed that background checks may include credit, criminal, driving, property and associate histories. After seven years, tax, court and arrest records may be out of bounds.

Actively Engage Job Candidates

Brannon Professionals utilizes computerized testing to assess applicants' skills.

Brannon Professionals utilizes computerized testing to assess applicants' skills.

There are many rules that restrict topics and questions, but there are no rules against performance-based interview tests. This is one of the best ways to separate the unqualified, mediocre and high-performing candidates. The safest way is through standardized tests, such as explaining how to solve a technical problem or performing a work task like creating a simple spreadsheet.

Asking predictable questions in the comfort of an office breeds complacency and false impressions, so some HR professionals conclude second interviews with final candidates through an informal tour of the facility. This is the best chance to see how job applicants interact with the environment, socialize with potential co-workers and ask intelligent questions about the company.

Professional References

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) states that reference checking should be used to verify information, predict job success and uncover background information. Behavioral consistency of past performance is an excellent risk management technique.

It’s best to check references after the interview; otherwise, it may create inaccurate expectations and affect the interpretation of objective qualifications. Always ask permission to talk with the current supervisor and past supervisors not listed. It’s best to use a standard questionnaire and set of job-related questions for legal documentation. Similar to interview questions, questions should focus on job competencies and work performance.

Many organizations train supervisors and HR managers never to provide references because of lawsuit concerns, so take advantage of receptionists and employees who are willing to talk.

First interviews are necessary, but it is often the second interview which determines if the candidate will truly be a good fit with an organization.

First interviews are necessary, but it is often the second interview which determines if the candidate will truly be a good fit with an organization.

It is best to follow the HR recommended practice of using objective and documented rating systems for interviews and final hiring decisions. However, valuable clues and informal information can be gleaned from the impressions of supervisors and coworkers who spoke with and interacted with the job applicant. Finally, hosting a second interview involving a supervisor or manager can help further clarify if the individual will be a good fit for your team and business culture.

For assistance in locating the perfect fit for your office, contact Brannon Professionals today at 662-349-9194.