Improving the Hiring Process

Two psychologists, Dr. Justin Kruger of the University of Illinois and Dr. David Dunning of Cornell University, found in a series of studies that incompetence often accompanies overconfidence. Asked to rate their skill on tests of logic, grammar, and humor, subjects who scored lowest were also the most likely to “grossly overestimate” their performance, the researchers found. The knowledge necessary to perform competently is often the same knowledge required to evaluate competence. What does this mean to you as a Recruiter? The people who have tremendous confidence in their abilities are many times the most incompetent. How can you weed out the incompetent when it comes to certain skills necessary for the job? Use a variety of effective test measures in your hiring process. Each step in your current hiring process is a type of “test.” The best and most effective route to go when it comes to putting together a hiring process that involves job match testing, content valid simulations, and the highest ratio of effectiveness is to hire a professional Industrial Psychologist trained in selection and job analysis. If you cannot go this route currently for whatever reason but would like to increase the effectiveness of your hiring process there are several things you can do:

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  1. Use Behavioral Based Questions In Your Interviews

    Decision making and problem solving

    • How did you make the decision to go to Harvard and major in Business?


    • Have you ever been a member of a group where two members did not work well together? How did you handle this?


    • Give me an example of when you went above and beyond the call of duty.


    • Have you ever had to “sell” an idea to a group? How did you do it? Did they buy it?

    Interpersonal Skills

    • Tell me about the most difficult or frustrating individual that you have ever had to work with, and how you managed to work with that person.

    Planning and Organization

    • What do you do when your schedule is suddenly interrupted? Give a specific example.
  2. Test Individuals On Their Abilities and Knowledge of the Skills Necessary for the Job

    What do you do when Joe the Hiring Manager says the employee you hired who was supposed to be advanced in C++ programming and is at best, a novice? There are several good content based testing organizations out there but one I found particularly easy to use as well as cost effective is inc.

    They offer a variety of tests from Office Skills to Computers and Programming. A few things to keep in mind before administering these tests is to:

    • Decide what skills and levels are needed for the position. You can do this by printing out previews of the test and going over them with your hiring manager.
    • Make sure the scores relate to the performance on the job. You can do this by benchmarking people in the company who are performing the same job by having them take the test.
    • Make sure the test is not something an individual can learn in a short time.
    • Combine the test with other hiring methods i.e. behavioral interviews and reference checking to make an overall assessment on the individual. allows you to easily and efficiently administer tests online. You can even create your own tests for no charge as well as have the interface look and feel like your companies. Once the test has been taken and the user clicks on “Score It,” scores may appear instantly online, or they may be emailed directly to your administrator. Test scores are saved in a database each time a test is taken. Information inserted into the database includes your user’s name, the name of the test taken, the date and time the test was taken, the score, and the amount of time it took your user to complete the test, where applicable.

  3. Have a Strong Reference Checking Process
    • Questions must be job-related and comply with the Fair Pre-employment Inquiry Guidelines.
    • Focus reference check questions on knowledge, skills, and abilities required for your specific job.
    • Be consistent in the questions you ask about all applicants.
    • Ask for specific information – “How would you describe this person’s technical qualifications?” or “Tell me about this person’s attendance and punctuality.”
    • If the employer is reluctant to provide information, ask if they will just verify the information read from the candidate’s resume.
    • Contact the immediate manager. Note the name and title of the person providing the reference.
    • Check multiple references whenever possible.
    • Use a standard form, a good example can be found at:

      uwjobs/hire/telephone.check.form.html These are just a few different ways you can insure a better more reliable hiring process. <*SPONSORMESSAGE*>

Audra Slinkey is a leading Internet Recruiting Consultant who has designed the Recruiters-Aid PERS (Proprietary E-Recruitment System) to ensure Internet recruiting success. Recruiters-Aid provides Internet candidate sourcing and screening services, and guarantees results—or the clients do not pay. Recruiters-Aid manages one of the largest FREE recruiting resource sites online. Recruiters-Aid services were created specifically for recruiters who don't have time to source the Internet themselves.

ContactAudra at


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