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The Most Common Hiring Methods Don’t Work

Source | | P.K. MARIC

What does your typical hiring process look like? If you start by looking at resumes and then invite or call some candidates for an interview, you might have a problem. These hiring practices are very common, but they can easily lead you to hire the wrong people or miss great candidates.

Measuring the Effectiveness of Hiring Methods

The effectiveness of a hiring method can be measured by predictive validity, which is a correlation between screening test scores and actual job performance. It’s not easy to calculate, but there is plenty of research on the predictive validity of various hiring methods.

Predictive validity has a range from -1 (negative correlation with job performance) to 1 (positive correlation with job performance). And as the table below indicates, the most commonly used hiring methods have such a low predictive validity that they’re basically useless. Worse, they’re counterproductive.

Method Validity
Age -0.01
Interests 0.1
Education level 0.1
Job experience 0.18
Reference check 0.26
Conscientiousness test 0.31
Interview (unstructured) 0.38
Job trial 0.44

Why Are These Methods So Ineffective?

Note that age, interests, education level, and job experience are all things that candidates typically put (or somehow indicate) on resumes. This makes resumes themselves useless, given the amount of information contained in them has almost no value in determining the quality of a candidate.

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