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How we can make the most of this less than ideal situation

The change to semi-permanent working from home scenery has certainly proven a big challenge to many of us. Even for us less sociable people who thought we didn’t need much ‘people time’, are now looking forward to accidentally bumping into someone we know on our walk time for a 5 minute catch-up.

But is there any good news? The change in environment is inevitably going to bring about more innovation which is something exciting to sit and ponder. But for now, I think it is forcing us more than ever to consider the importance of doing things right. We don’t have the time, nor the resources to make mistakes.

People are (at least in my opinion) our most important asset. We need to be doing everything possible to make sure that we get the right people, nurture them well and harness their potential as much as possible. Even if recruitment and selection aren’t at the top of your priority list, now is a good time to take stock and review your process. Can you make improvements?

With this in mind, our team of organisational psychologists have some ideas for you to consider.

  1. Try not to over-emphasise using resumes and application forms to screen out candidates. This is often when a lot of your good candidates are lost. They are most effective when used only on eligibility criteria, and with software which can do this automatically for you. This might sound a bit “what the” but trust us on this. They rely heavily on biographical information the candidate gives you. While these are important, they really aren’t the best way to identify suitability criteria – especially when you consider the ease of “tweaking them”. The newer technologies out there which claim to analyse your candidates and rank them are largely unproven. We suggest sticking to methods which we know work.
  2. Consider using both a cognitive ability assessment and behavioural style questionnaire at the beginning of your process to get at that suitability criteria. They both have a proven history of predicting work performance. It might sound strange to put personality up there with cognitive ability but what’s the point of hiring a super smart nurse who hates working in a team and has difficulty empathising with others? You’re much better off finding them straight away to give yourself the best shortlist you can. Finally, by using these more objective measures you have a much better chance at improving the diversity of your applicant pool, and reducing negative impact. And it’s much more efficient.
  3. You can improve your efficiency further by using a report which does the interpretation for you! Don’t get me wrong, deep dive interpretation of personality data is probably one of my favourite tasks. But I can imagine many of you are much too time-poor for that. We have a range of reporting options which can give you hiring recommendations and save your precious time for other tasks.
  4. Re-consider position descriptions and competency frameworks. These are incredibly hard to keep current, especially as roles are changing so quickly (think about all of us who have had to very quickly adapt to online training for example). There are easier ways to identify your success criteria. Pick up one of our card decks with our competency framework. This will be a really easy way to determine what’s important and our assessments measure everything on the cards!
  5. Review how many interviews you need in your process. While it has been commonplace to interview preferred candidates 2 or 3 times in the past. Research shows that this doesn’t add much value in finding better performers and now is a good time to re-think how efficient that process is.

If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s how to adapt and change when the situation arises. Personally, I think the time has arisen to shake up our recruitment and selection processes. When we get the first part right, everything falls into place (much like the puzzle I’ll be completing on the weekend).

Let us know what changes you are considering, and if you have anything you’d like to add! We’d love to hear from you.