US companies have doubled the number of interviews they conduct — despite inflation and worries about recession, as indicated by June 2022’s hiring numbers. The US Department of Labor recently reported that employers added 74,000 white-collar jobs in June 2022. These gains were concentrated in management roles, software development, and office administrative services. Such white-collar employers had 880,000 more jobs on their payrolls in June than in February 2020, before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the U.S. economy.
Even a stall in the growth of the US economy will not relieve the US labor shortage as it is caused by long-term structural issues, such as baby boomer retirement, too few skilled and unskilled immigrants, low US birth rates, and the difficulty with automating many office jobs.
Employers must not only continue their stepped-up hiring efforts, but they must also improve three aspects of it: recruiting technology, interviewing, and hiring processes.
New research shows that employers have not improved their interviewing, communications with job candidates, hiring processes and measurement of the interviewing process ROI.
The new findings are from Aptitude Research and they show the following:
- One in three companies are not confident in their interview process.
- Employers may have doubled the number of interviews they held, but half of them have lost quality talent due to having poor interview processes.
- One in four candidates drops off at the interview stage.
- Communication is the biggest missed opportunity, as 82 percent of candidates surveyed stated they want more feedback during the interview process.
- Video interviewing is not meeting needs. Only 17 percent of organizations are satisfied with video interviewing solutions, and one in two candidates stated that they are not comfortable in front of the camera.
- Fewer than 50 percent of organizations measure the ROI of their interview process.
But, there is also good news!
Aptitude Research’s findings identified two steps companies can take two improve recruiting success.
AI tools can improve recruiting
Aptitude Research found that Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools improve the interviewer and candidate experiences. Companies can use AI in interviewing to deliver scalability, reduce time, and provide consistency. Blind interview solutions can also reduce bias. (Please see my post on AI and blind interviewing to prevent bias with Angela Hood of ThisWay Global or the video below).
Aptitude Research also reports that candidates are embracing automated interviews as every candidate receives personalized learning from the experience. Thirty-nine percent of surveyed companies stated that AI provides a positive experience in the interview process and can support managers and candidates by providing guidance and a fair process.
Structured interviews improve results
Aptitude Research findings also showed the power of structured interviews. Companies with structured interviews improved experiences, increased efficiency, and elevated the quality of hires. Additionally, some employers looking to reduce bias are turning to blind, automated and structured interviews as their top strategy.
With structured interviews, the company creates a set of questions to ask each candidate to determine if they have the education, experience, technical skills, social skills, and emotional intelligence to do well on the job. As a result, a structured interview is based on the knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies to perform on the job and align with company values.
In my book, Hack Recruiting, the Best of Empirical Research, Method and Processes, and Digitization, I noted the long history of strong empirical evidence supporting structural interviews for improving the likelihood of hiring great employees with less bias. Additionally, structured interviews stand up well in court if the hiring process is ever challenged.
Empirical studies conducted in the 1980s and 1990s have shown the strength of structured interviews over unstructured ones. Structured interviews have higher reliability and predictability than unstructured ones. A more recent meta-analysis on structured interviewing, conducted in 2014, arrived at the same conclusion as the earlier studies. The 2014 study says: “Twelve meta-analyses have been conducted on this topic, and they have consistently found strong evidence for the superiority of structured interviews compared to unstructured interviews.”
Schmidt and Hunter’s 1988 meta-analysis found that structured interviews were the third-best selection method, with a validity factor of .51. It rises to .63 when used with a General Mental Aptitude Test. (GMATs are tests that measure various aptitudes depending on the job, such as logical reasoning and are very predictive when validated. Validation means that they have been statistically proven to predict great performing hires.)
Unstructured interviews — lacking a fixed set of questions to be answered, having no specified procedure for scoring applicant answers, and having no fixed format — do poorly in comparison. In many cases, different job candidates will be asked different questions. Unstructured interviews have a validity factor of .38.
Previous research has also shown that structured interviews work well with video interviewing allowing managers to engage with the interviewer by seeing facial expressions and making eye contact. And research shows that structured interviews hold up well when challenged in court.
Many employers have increased the number of interviews they conduct to fight the Great Resignation. However, they are not making the improvements they need to improve the recruiting and interviewing process, reduce biases, and shorten the time it takes to hire employees. The tools are here, from sophisticated AI tools to long-standing structured interviews. The time is now to invest. You will love the ROI they provide you.
About Victor Assad
Victor Assad is the CEO of Victor Assad Strategic Human Resources Consulting and managing partner of InnovationOne. He works with companies to transform HR and recruiting, implement remote work, and develop extraordinary leaders, teams, and innovation cultures. He is the author of the highly acclaimed book, Hack Recruiting: the Best of Empirical Research, Method and Process, and Digitization. Subscribe to his weekly blogs at www.VictorHRConsultant.com.