Top 3 Hiring Practices of the Most Successful Companies

by Ryan Kohler

If the sum is only as good as its parts then a business is only as successful as its staff. HR professionals are acutely aware of this principle and emphasize hiring the right people to fill the right roles. In fact, new evidence suggests that sound hiring practices are not only essential to an organization’s overall functionality but also pivotal to its productivity, satisfaction, quality control, and growth-all of which leads to better financial performance.

This new evidence comes from a survey-based study conducted by Development Dimensions International and Electronic Recruiting Exchange, which found that a few specific hiring practices are tied to the most highly successful organizations. Results demonstrate that, thankfully, culling skilled candidates from a virtual onslaught of applications is more a science than an art. Web-based recruiting technologies have replaced employee referrals as the most effective tool in an HR professional’s belt; when used in combination with the following complementary hiring practices, they become even more effective.

1. Automated resume screening and search.

Applicant tracking software, common in even small businesses today, makes screening, organizing, and managing resumes a more streamlined process for hiring managers. Organizations surveyed stated that they plan to rely even more heavily on automated resume screening and searching by adding computer-assisted interviewing components to the selection process.

2. Interview techniques that elicit context-specific examples from candidates.

Asking candidates to describe their job skills in context-that is, to provide details about how they’ve used those skills in pervious jobs or other real-world examples-is the most accurate way to predict their potential performance at a new company. While a vast majority of organizations surveyed already use this behavior-based interview technique, nearly 40 percent stated that they plan to incorporate it into even more interview questions in the future.

3. Values-based assessments.

Identifying what factors best motivate a candidate to perform at his or her peak has proven effective in predicting whether or not the candidate will be a good fit in a particular position, company, or culture. At present, however, a majority of organizations don’t use any form of assessment during their hiring process. This could change over the next three years, as organizations begin to make greater use of testing methods that measure not only job knowledge but also how well a candidate’s values match up with the company culture.

Finally, just as HR professionals must find the right people to fill the right positions, they must also remember to use the right technique at the right time. While the techniques above have proven highly successful, they need to be tailored to the individual candidate and specifics of the job description on every occasion.


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