If you had to pick just one step in talent acquisition as the most important one of all, which step would you choose?
I’d choose the interview. Not only is this where a final decision is made, but it’s also because interviewing is still a bit of a dark art.
But what about this next question: Where in talent acquisition is technology and data collection at its weakest? The answer is also likely to be interviewing.
The data collection gap:
The technology and data collection gap in interviewing is not new, and there’s now a whole host of vendors like Quintela, VidCruiter and Interviewstream all aiming to fill this gap by creating what’s known as “Interview Guide Platforms” (IGPs).
IGPs do a lot of things – including providing tools for everything from scheduling interviews, preparing interview questions, and integrating data from various assessments. However, what I’m most interested in is improving the quality of interviewing and gathering data about the interview itself.
Improving the quality of interviewing
Technology can help improve the quality of interviewing by ensuring the structured interviewing process genuinely follows the structure. If you’ve done a lot of structured interviewing, you’ll know it takes effort to keep things on track and some interviewers tend to meander away from the plan. As Joel Quintela, founder of Quintela Group says: “Training doesn’t always work as well as expected. It’s much more effective to help hiring managers and panels conduct better interviews and make better decisions in real time.”
IGPs can encourage structure either synchronously (that is, the traditional live interviews), or asynchronously (automated video interviews). With the synchronous approach, the tools allow interviewers to fire up their laptops and be walked through the structured process in a disciplined manner, giving them a place to enter their ratings and take notes. With the asynchronous approach candidates take a standard automated video interview where each candidate is asked the same questions in the same way.
Whichever approach is used, it adds more rigor to interviews which will improve the quality of the decision-making.
Gathering data on interviews
Interview Guide Platforms can also gather data on the interview such as
- Who was on the interview panel?
- What questions were asked?
- What ratings did each interviewer give?
- What comments did each interviewer make?
With this data the people analytics team can begin investigating:
- Who are the best interviewers? (ie the ones whose ratings match later measures of performance)
- Where interviewers need coaching? (if someone’s ratings of competencies seem odd then perhaps, they haven’t been adequately trained)
- Are there clues in the interview data that will let us know where we went wrong in making bad hires? (ie if we look at the data from interviews where the candidate who was hired didn’t work out, were there any signals about the candidate’s ability or fit that were overlooked?)
- Did the interview panel meet our diversity guidelines?
Is it worth it?
Analyzing interview data might seem like a lot of work, but when you consider the importance of hiring decisions then there is a strong justification for doing this kind of data gathering and analysis.
When you look at sales functions, which have much in common with talent acquisition functions, you’ll find them using tools like Chorus.ai and Gong.ai to improve the quality of sales calls.
The talent acquisition team should be doing the same thing. In larger organizations, it’s useful to have a talent acquisition operations manager who can investigate the technology, processes, and data to continually improve the effectiveness of the function.
Interview Guide Platforms are an important part of your talent acquisition technology stack and if you don’t have one, then it’s time to start looking into what they can do for you.