Traditional interviews continue even though no one enjoys them! There is little argument that traditional interviews are time-consuming for all parties involved, often repetitive, and highly subjective. Fortunately, recruiters looking to embrace a radical new approach and save countless hours of needless work not to mention misery and frustration can follow the lead of singles looking for love.
The companies use this process for experienced candidates and for college hires. The Power of Thinking Without Thinking HR traditionalists are probably wondering how anyone could gather enough information in a short burst of interaction to make a decision as complicated as whom to hire. After all, there are so many parameters to consider. However, if you pay any attention to the New York Times bestseller list, you might have heard about a book entitled Blink written by Malcolm Gladwell.
It is the act of taking an activity and breaking it down into micro segments, which then get coded and analyzed for trends.
Your mind then analyzes to help you make a decision about your next course of action. The capture and analysis of all that data takes place in seconds. Every activity can be thin sliced. While Gladwell introduces several examples of thin slicing, one of the most relevant to us in recruiting has to do with analyzing married couples to determine the health of their relationship. This is the most relevant example, because accepting a job with an employer is a lot like accepting a spouse in a marriage.
The enumerated emotions were then summed and added to additional biofeedback data producing a ratio of positive to negative. Today, Gottman only looks for four signs: Thin slicing works because the subconscious mind is very methodical and rational. In reality, it functions like a finely tuned computer program. The conscious mind, on the other hand, is not as methodical, rational, or unbiased.
As a result, decisions influenced by the subconscious, something that often occurs when time does not exist to evaluate things further, tend to be much more accurate and fact-based. Speed Dating Concepts Speed dating is a relatively modern process that is used to help singles rapidly screen a large number of potential dates.
The process has been used successfully by dating services, senior citizen groups, and even churches. The concept is simple and relatively straightforward. Individuals looking for a date sit at separated tables and do a five-minute interview with their first potential date. The concept is popular because it allows you to meet and then quickly determine whether an individual fits your selection criteria and is worth the time and the risk involved in an actual one-on-one date.
Speed dating advantages include low risks, a brief time commitment for each assessment, and an opportunity to meet and assess a large number of candidates all at once. Speed dating groups routinely report high satisfaction rates, as well as relatively high dating success rates, in spite of the relatively short initial assessment time.
If there is only one hiring manager, each candidate rotates through for a single timed interview. Another option is to have several interviewers present and each candidate rotates through each in order to get multiple assessments of the same candidate for a single job. Another alternative is having multiple managers from different departments present each potential candidate rotates among the interviewing managers , so that the candidates have the opportunity to get exposure to the diverse job opportunities throughout the firm similar to a corporate job fair.
Time the interviews so each is the same length, make all assessments on a scoring sheet, and set a time limit between five and 15 minutes. You may be skeptical, but consider that the traditional interview format you currently use also has dozens of inherent weaknesses. In fact, the speed interviewing process has some significant advantages you must consider, regardless of your view on quick judgments: Immediate comparisons between candidates. Stretching out the interview process makes accurate comparisons between candidates who managers have met over a several-week period extremely difficult.
Speed interviewing provides a significant advantage here because you see all of the candidates within a couple of hours.
Less total time devoted to interviews. An opportunity to see more candidates. Using speed dating, you get a quick look at almost everyone who is interested. Most managers dislike traditional interviews and many show their dislike by putting them off for weeks. In contrast, companies frequently report that managers who have participated in speed interviewing have high satisfaction rates.
Like it or not, many managers dislike the rigid structure and rules associated with behavioral interviews. In contrast, they actually enjoy using their intuition, first impressions, and the opportunities to make snap judgments.
Shorter time to fill. In addition, a side benefit to speed interviewing is that candidates may see this rapid decision-making process is an indication that the company itself excels at making timely decisions a characteristic that innovators and top performers admire.
An opportunity to assess other characteristics. Traditional behavioral interviews focus on assessing experience and verbal clues. However, because of time constraints, speed interviews almost force the interviewer to focus on a different set of factors including first impressions, body language, and emotional cues. Article Continues Below Accuracy. If you buy into the research on rapid decision-making, the speed interviewing process is the way to go.
You can then assess the accuracy of each by comparing the on-the-job performance and retention rates between the two methods. A byproduct to speed interviewing is that you may get more genuine and off-the-cuff responses.
Candidates are generally less apprehensive and nervous, and the interviewer might get a more accurate assessment of candidates who under-perform because of their anxiety. This is often the case in call centers or retail service. Potential Problems There are problems associated with any form of interviewing but especially with speed interviewing. The first is the possibility that snap subconscious judgments will lead to discrimination.
Third, the noisy interview room can make it hard for interviewers to hear and focus on their current candidate. Finally, many managers and those in HR firmly believe that the most accurate assessments are made slowly. Three Tips to Remember If you are bold enough to try an assessment strategy that leverages speed interviewing, here are a few key lessons to keep in mind: While it is possible for the subconscious mind to discriminate, the likelihood of occurrence can be reduced by completing the speed-interviewing process blind i.
Once candidates are assessed, the process can and should convert to selling them on the job, i. I suggest you try it and compare the results to your traditional interviewing process. You might just find that the ROI is higher than you initially thought possible. Peter Drucker once said that companies get it wrong 2: With a failure rate like that, tossing a coin would be a more effective measure!
Be bold, try new things, and rely on the data. John Sullivan, professor, author, corporate speaker, and advisor, is an internationally known HR thought-leader from the Silicon Valley who specializes in providing bold and high-business-impact talent management solutions. He has written over a dozen white papers, conducted over 50 webinars, dozens of workshops, and he has been featured in over 35 videos.
In addition, he writes for the WSJ Experts column. His articles can be found all over the Internet and on his popular website www. He lives in Pacifica, California.