The 4 Most Effective Diversity Recruiting Strategies

The 4 Most Effective Diversity Recruiting Strategies

Diversity has become a buzzword frequently used by organisations worldwide. Businesses constantly use it throughout their campaigns to keep up with the social changes. However, when it comes to really implementing it, things are less colourful.

Although companies recognise the importance of diversifying their teams, only 23% of HR professionals surveyed by Harver say their programmes are highly effective.

Why Diversity?

As a reminder as to why implementing diversity into your organisation is beneficial, let’s look at statistics.

1. Wider talent pool & better retention

Through the implementation of inclusive recruitment strategies, you’ll be able to attract a wider variety of candidates. To quote the previous Harver report again, 67% of job seekers see a diverse workforce as vital when evaluating job offers. In times when talent competition is fierce, and people are pickier about their options, diverse recruitment helps you cater to a broader audience and stay in the run.

On top of that, diversity helps you attain another recruitment goal – retention. Not only do you attract more candidates – but you also get to keep them more efficiently! Companies that rate highly for D&I can pride themselves in 19% higher retention rates.

2. Performance boost

It’s not ground-breaking to say that a company’s success depends greatly on their teams’ performance. As found by McKinsey’s research, ethnically diverse companies outperform industry norms by as much as 35%. It’s a massive improvement for your bottom line. 

3. Increased innovation & decision-making

One of the most valued aspects of a diverse team is the fresh ideas and mindsets they bring to the table. That leads to your teams tackling issues from various fronts and creating creative solutions to drive sales. To picture it with numbers, Forbes reports that inclusive teams can make better business decisions up to 87% of the time.

If that wasn’t great enough, Josh Bersin’s research found that inclusive companies tend to be 1.7 times more likely to become innovation leaders in their market!

4. Higher revenue

With boosted performance, increased innovation, and better decision-making, it’s only natural that all of it will translate into financial gains. Boston Consulting Group’s research data show that businesses with diverse management can benefit from higher revenue – up to 19%!

Why Is Implementing Diversity Challenging?

Now that we can clearly see the benefits of diversity, why is it so difficult to achieve it? Partially because the complexity of the matter can be overwhelming. And partially because you might be skipping the first step on the path to success. According to research, 41% of managers say they’re simply too busy to focus on implementing strategies to promote diversity.

Having said that, 35% of businesses also think HR should be responsible for bringing diversity into the company. And it’s not entirely wrong. If you change your approach to talent acquisition and get more diverse candidates in the first place – half of the work will be done.

Let’s discuss how you can adjust your recruitment strategies to help you attain your organisational goals and reap the benefits of a diverse workforce.

1. Start with employer branding

The first part of your recruitment strategy always starts with your employer brand. Its impact on a company’s ability to hire talents is undeniable – as agreed by 80% of leaders. And it’s no different when it comes to attaining your diversity goals.

Based on Glassdoor research, 67% of the job seekers pointed at an employer’s stance on diversity being a vital factor influencing their decision on whether they want to work for them – or not.

If your goal is to gain more diverse candidates into your pool, showcase your culture appropriately. Make it clear that your brand values people and their opinions regardless of their background. Perhaps even showcase your team! After all, what proves the point better than showing you not only talk about diversity but actually live by it?

The more your brand begins to be associated with embracing diversity, the more applicants with aligning values will flock towards you. It’s particularly important in the context of your future workforce – Gen Z. Known for being involved in social matters more than any previous generation, striving for an inclusive workplace is high on their priority list.

A 2020 survey conducted by Monster captured the spirit in a nutshell. 83% of Gen Z applicants stated that choosing an employer with a solid commitment to D&I is crucial for them.

2. Mind your language

Once you successfully showcase your brand supporting diversity, make sure your language in your job ads aligns with the values. The wording we use is powerful as it can attract or deter our audience. Hence why it’s essential to pay close attention to how job ads and job descriptions are crafted. For instance, Milkround research notes that using buzzwords or industry language can often confuse younger applicants – as admitted by almost 50% of the polled job seekers.

Sometimes, the language we use unintentionally targets specific groups and excludes others. As reported by Glassdoor, men and women interpret job descriptions differently. How often have you seen (or used!) expressions such as “a marketing rock star” or a “business ninja”? They sure do get your point across; however, mainly to your male candidates. Words with male connotations are more likely to deter female applicants as they might feel they’re not cut out for the job.

That may simply further exacerbate inequalities in the recruitment process you’re trying to avoid. Just think about it. What kind of a message is it sending to your candidates? That of inclusion? Unfortunately, not really.

Audit your job descriptions and find a way to be more inclusive in the language you use. Make efforts to appeal to job seekers from any background! Avoid unnecessary criteria and wording that could promote bias. Anything that could lead to filtering out certain groups of people should be removed.

Aim at using neutral language for starters. To enlarge your talent pool, go a step further and even remove experience and education expectations! You might be thinking now that it’ll only reduce the quality of your hires. But to that, we have an answer. 

3. Try an alternative recruitment strategy

If you want to recruit diverse people, you need to evaluate your recruitment strategies altogether. And sometimes, it may mean going outside of your comfort zone. As far as recruitment is concerned, your “comfort zone” means looking for candidates in the same places, using the same selection methods. The result? Lack of diversity.

Resumés continue to be the most widely used recruitment strategy, with 52% of HR professionals admitting to it as the 1st or the 2nd most crucial screening method. However, the main problem with resumés is that they can be highly biased.

The reason is that, as humans, we can’t fully protect ourselves against unconscious bias about other people. CVs containing personal information, such as the name, photo, information on one’s education and background – all can trigger unconscious bias that may influence our hiring decision. Even if we don’t realise it.

An increasingly popular technique to fight that problem is using blind resumés. In fact, 77% of recruiters believe that removing personal information from CVs would effectively reduce unconscious bias.

Although an improvement, it doesn’t necessarily solve all the issues. Let’s remember that it’s still common for recruiters to even reject candidates because of poorly written applications, as shown by a Murray Resources report.

At Innoflow, we found a solution – case-based screening. A fully anonymous method that allows you to focus solely on the applicant’s qualifications, with no bias involved. Upon applying, candidates are asked to solve a case (a.k.a. a work sample) based on the skills you’re looking for in the perfect candidate.

The process is faster. Because of its nature, this recruitment strategy attracts fewer applicants. It’s simply more demanding to solve a case than to copy and paste a resumé.

Better quality of candidates. Based on the above, you’ll get fewer candidates, but of better quality. Job seekers will pre-select themselves if they think the task is above their skills. That assures you’ll only get the most competent and motivated applicants.

Increases diversity. Case-based screening is entirely anonymous – the only thing you can see is the case solution and an email address, which dramatically decreases bias. So far, the organisations who chose to use our software report a 62.5% increase in diversity of their recruitment.

Bias, whether conscious or unconscious, is your main obstacle when trying to bring more diversity into your company. To avoid them, it may not be enough to simply blind a resumé.

You need to opt for recruiting strategies that reduce the possibility of discrimination as much as possible – even if it means giving a chance to an alternative recruitment strategy such as case-based screening.

4. Open up to new recruitment channels

As mentioned above, many recruiters are comfortable in their comfort zones and keep looking for candidates in the same places. If you’re struggling to find applicants from diverse backgrounds, perhaps you need to branch out.

Consider turning your recruitment efforts to places where diversity thrives – universities. As reported by Harver, universities and graduate schools are one of the channels used by 52% of employers to recruit a diverse workforce.

Graduates are a great source of fresh ideas, they understand diversity better than older generations, and to them, a diverse workforce is non-negotiable. 77% of the Gen Z respondents in a Deloitte survey stated that working for an employer that values D&I is highly important.

Once you recruit more of them into your organisation, they’ll be more than likely to spread a good word about your brand. Even better so, you can further use that as an opportunity for gaining referrals!

If you still haven’t, consider targeting graduate fairs or opt for student case competitions to attract the youngest talents and bring more diversity into your team.

Diversity – do it the right way

Most companies nowadays understand the benefits a diverse workforce has to offer. However, even if you’re dedicated to increasing diversity in your organisation, making that goal a reality can be a struggle.

As shown, having a solid strategy is a sure-fire way of reaching your recruitment goals. Don’t just blindly follow the quota your company has decided on, as that too can lead to bias and undermine your efforts. Instead, opt for recruiting and hiring people who actually have the needed skills. And rest assured – with the right recruitment methods, diverse candidates will come your way anyways.

How to Reduce Employee Turnover using Realistic Job Previews

How to Reduce Employee Turnover using Realistic Job Previews

Creating a job description that accurately represents what the role is truly about can be a struggle. Partially because what a recruiter sees as clear may not be so for a candidate. And partially because companies often try to show only the good aspects. However, your strategy to attract the right candidate should be based on an honest picture of the position and organisation – through a realistic job preview.

Psychology Today reports that 43% of ex-employees quit their jobs shortly after being hired because the role turned out to be different to what they had been led to believe. If you want to learn more about what causes mis-hires and how to prevent them – take a look at our previous post!

Now, let’s discuss what a realistic job preview is and how to implement it.

1. What Is a Realistic Job Preview?

RJP is like giving your applicants a sneak-peak behind the curtain. Repeating after Wanous (1980), RJP is a selection or recruitment tool helping candidates assess your organisation and the job to get the complete picture of what they might agree to.

An efficient recruitment process should be a two-way street. On one side, you can accurately inform applicants about your expectations toward them. On the other, they get to make a well-informed decision on whether the role falls within their expectations and capabilities.

Without sugar coating, you present both the positives and the negatives of the job. That way, job seekers can better understand the skills needed to succeed in the position at your organisation specifically.

Such an open exchange of information is essential for both parties as it improves the quality of their decisions. The recruitment goal should be reaching a point where the employer’s and candidate’s expectations match to ensure the best fit possible. If the alignment between the parties is not met, it can lead to dire consequences such as turnover, unproductivity or even an unfavourable image of the brand.

A realistic job preview is your way to maximise the chances of finding the best match. In this blog post, we’ll discuss all the benefits you (and applicants!) can draw from RJPs and how to implement them.

2. How Is It Beneficial to Your Organisation?

The hiring process is the most efficient when it leads to a successful hire. However, to achieve that, there needs to be a mutual information flow between your company and the candidate. Only then can you assure that both parties can make a well-informed and conscious decision about hiring and accepting the job.

Using RJPs has several vital attributes your organisation can benefit from.

A: Your Strategy to Reduce Turnover

Turnover is the real plague that can cast a shadow on your recruitment. With all the resources you spend on acquiring suitable candidates, seeing them quit or having to lay them off is the last thing on a recruiter’s agenda.

Luckily, RJP is an excellent method to reduce the chances of mis-hires.

If you were to guess, what is one of the top reasons new hires walk away? No, it’s not the lack of skills. As it turns out, 60% of mis-hires result from misaligned job expectations.

During the first three months of employment, you get to test out the new hire. But on the flip side, they test you and the job. And it’s very often then that they realise the reality is not as they had pictured it.

Providing applicants with a candid description of the job and the organisation decreases the chances of overall misunderstandings. In fact, according to a survey, people who were given an accurate picture of the role had a better retention rate than those who didn’t. Based on the data, 57% of candidates who had a realistic vision of the position stayed in the company for over 18 months, compared to 35% from the opposing group.

It ought to be remembered that not every talent you consider great will be so in the context of your company. Hence, including realistic job previews in your recruitment strategies enhances the chances of that being the case.

B: Pre-selection & Attracting the Right Candidates

Establishing the required expectations and the real picture of the job assures that everyone is on the same page. When you don’t paint the perfect picture of the role but also show its ugly aspects, you allow candidates to pre-select themselves from the process before any decisions are made.

According to a meta-analysis, RJPs tend to lower initial job expectations. That way, job seekers who don’t like the disadvantages associated with the job are less likely to apply – reducing the number of candidates you get.

Normally, attracting fewer candidates would be seen as a downside. However, recruiting more people is of little value if they’re not the right fit. People who are aware of the good and the bad sides of the job and are still motivated to follow through with the application are more likely to be a better fit. And the quality of hires beats quantity every time.

Realistic job previews help you filter the applicant pool by letting them pre-select themselves upfront. Those who stay, although less numerous, are more likely to be a better match in terms of expectations (both yours and theirs) and preparedness to tackle the challenges that come with the job.

C: Improved Candidate Experience = Stronger Brand

The importance of employer branding and its role in talent attraction is undeniable. 53% of the recruiters surveyed by LinkedIn admitted they’d invest precisely in employer branding if their budget was unlimited.

One of the ways to improve your employer brand is by providing a positive candidate experience to everyone. That’s where RJPs come with assistance.

A detailed job description is one of the most sought-after elements in a job posting for applicants. Providing them with a realistic job preview is likely to increase candidate experience as it shows you respect and transparency are your core values.

Suzko and Bereague (1986) concluded that indeed applicants who are offered RJPs perceive the organisation as honest, and their satisfaction with the process increases. So even if a candidate turns down an offer or withdraws after learning about the role, they won’t feel disgruntled with the brand.

That’s crucial considering that 67% of applicants claim they’d re-apply at a company if their candidate experience was positive. That way, you strengthen your brand and amass a larger talent pool for the future.

D: Cheaper & Efficient Process

Hiring a new employee is an expensive enterprise. The costs of a single hire can be estimated at as much as nearly $17,000. That’s, of course, assuming you hire the right person right away!

Adopting recruitment strategies that help reduce those costs is crucial. Realistic job previews are beneficial to your organisation, for they assure early alignment and influence preselection on the part of the candidate. That way, you don’t need to spend time on unfit applicants for the role. Based on data, almost half of candidates remove themselves from the application process after receiving an RJP.

According to Murray Resources, 71% of the surveyed recruiters say they interview four to ten candidates per role. On top of that, 49% of them admit to having at least three rounds in their process. From that perspective, fewer applicants – but of better quality – only make your work cheaper and more efficient.

Even better so, RJP requires no further administration on your part once it’s created!

3. What Should a Realistic Job Preview Include?

Now that we know why it’s beneficial to incorporate RJPs to attain your recruitment goals let’s see what they should include.

  • Day-to-day Duties

RJP should convey an accurate picture of the duties your employee will face. To avoid unrealistic expectations, include both the rewarding and the challenging aspects. When creating a job description, always think: what would I like to know about the role? It may be a good idea to talk to an employee in a similar position as their experience will be priceless.

  • Company culture

Since company culture varies from business to business, you need to state your standard clearly. Based on a 2005 analysis, employees who fit with the organisational culture and coworkers tend to remain longer with the company and perform better – aspects not to be ignored. Be transparent about the realities of working for your company to target only those who resonate with your culture. Showcase your values, how staff spends their free time and how they interact with each other.

  • Development Opportunities

Once you’ve covered the expectations and culture, address the future. Applicants want to know how they can grow with you. In fact, 44% of jobseekers named opportunities for career advancement as the reason to accept the job offer. Talk about possible development opportunities, training, and promotions. That way, you convey that you’re looking for someone long-term and are willing to invest in their growth.  

4. How to Implement It?

Besides all the benefits RJPs have for your organisation, they’re also affordable and simple to create. You can provide potential candidates with what they need regardless of the budget.

How to easily showcase your culture, expectations, workplace environment, and duties to all jobseekers?

A: Employee Testimonial Video

Nobody knows your organisation better than your current employees. Hence, employee testimonials are one of the most valuable sources of information for potential applicants. Statistics show that applicants are three times more likely to trust existing employees as to what working at your company looks like. Use that to your advantage and ask your employees to give video testimonials about the culture and an insight into their daily life at work. According to a LinkedIn survey, 51% of candidates stated that visiting the office is their preferred way to learn about the work environment. Considering the challenges brought by the pandemic, it may not always be possible. Instead of failing applicants’ needs, give them a valuable substitute!

B: Work Samples

In a Lighthouse Research survey, 31% of job seekers indicated they’d want to see a job preview video before applying. Clearly, a need for clarity regarding duties related to the role is present. At Innoflow, however, we believe that an even better job preview is to let candidates get a taste of the tasks themselves. Allowing a candidate to solve a case (work sample) as a part of the application process gives them a chance to see first-hand what they’d be tackling on the job. Moreover, prospective candidates can assess themselves if they’re ready to make such a commitment or withdraw from the process, leaving you with the most motivated ones.

Attract & Retain with Realistic Job Previews

Recruitment goals are to target, attract, and retain the best talents at minimum costs. A realistic job preview gives you a chance to achieve exactly that – efficiently.

Maximise your chances of finding the right candidates the first time around by giving them a realistic image of the role and expectations at your organisation specifically.

The Importance of Candidate Interview Feedback

The Importance of Candidate Interview Feedback

Candidate experience, as we discussed in the previous blog post, is one of the aspects that can either harm or strengthen your employer brand. Yet still, not many pay enough attention to it. The result? A growing candidate resentment. Following the 2021 Talent Board candidate experience benchmark report, applicant experiences are steeply declining. According to Talent Board’s data, in the EMEA region, the resentment toward recruitment increased by 25% and a staggering 75% in North America – the largest increase in a decade. In this blog post, let’s discuss how lack of communication ruins your brand.

Do you know what candidates want?

The brand needs to know how to target the desired audience to attract customers. If customers’ needs are ignored, they’ll soon flock to the competition that listens to them. Blackberry, once the fastest-growing company, as quoted by an unnamed stakeholder, believed they knew better what customers needed. Based on their reported 56% revenue decline, it turns out they did not.

Recruitment is not that different. The candidates you want to have their expectations toward the process, and if you fail to acknowledge them (and deliver!), they’ll go elsewhere.

Lack of communication ruins your brand

Uncertainty is one of the most harmful emotions one can feel. We’ve all experienced it intensely during the past two years of the pandemic. Not knowing when we can go back to work, see our families, or plan the long-desired vacation. When looking for a job, nobody wants to be stuck in limbo either.

Candidates want a straightforward recruitment process and one that informs them about where they currently stand and what next steps are – or that for them, the journey is over. Unfortunately, based on the previously mentioned Talent Board report data, less than 30% of the surveyed stated that they experienced a clear process in 2021. Furthermore, 78% of them weren’t even informed on how long the application process would take.

Failing to keep applicants informed is unjustified and has no benefits for your organisation. Many job seekers, especially the top ones, won’t wait endlessly.

According to Cronofy, 71% of candidates globally expect to wait a week or less between applying and having an interview offer before they move on. Moreover, 58% of them take around two weeks to start disengaging or forming negative opinions on the brand if the process is too long.

A timely and transparent communication should be a staple in all stages of the process. The most critical step, however, that is often overlooked is feedback.


Organisations usually focus on investing in successful candidates (i.e. those who will be offered a job) and tend to pay little to no attention to those that didn’t make it past the initial screening. As far as feedback is concerned, most commonly, candidates either get a generic response or – even worse – no response at all.

According to a recent study by Aptitude Research and Talent Board, 58% of candidates who are screened out never receive any response. Providing feedback is not only common courtesy but is also very much sought-after, as mentioned previously. Although the number of job seekers who never receive feedback is grave, it gets even worse when we look at other numbers. As reported by ERE, 68% of candidates who did receive feedback found it useless.

The message it sends to rejected applicants is overwhelmingly negative and can be the reason for the mentioned growing resentment, like in the case of Adam Karpiak, who posted the following picture on LinkedIn, captioned “looking for a job sucks”. Should we want our candidates to resent job-hunting so much?

A: Why do candidates need feedback?

“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” – Bill Gates

While getting rejected can be disheartening, especially if a candidate is very eager to join your company, it can feel even worse if no feedback follows. Most candidates, as proved by various data, want feedback. Perhaps even especially when they didn’t land the job.

Besides being a common courtesy, the most significant value of feedback is that it helps candidates learn and improve. In order to allow them that chance, the feedback needs to be meaningful and useful.

Use the right tools – work smarter, not harder

From the recruiter’s point of view, writing feedback (let alone meaningful) can be the last thing on their list when their schedules are already filled to the brims. Considering that they spend on average only 7.4 seconds to screen each resumé, it’s short of realistic to expect them to find time to compose personalised feedback for each candidate.

Lack of time, although understandable, can’t be an excuse for disappointing candidates’ needs. The solution is to work smarter, not harder.

In one of the blog posts, we’ve already discussed why resumés are generally not the best at predicting one’s future job performance, and they’re also not the best when you want to base helpful feedback on them.

Both resumés and interviews are prone to bias and generally don’t reflect one’s true skills (something you should be looking for, after all). Hence, any feedback based on those two methods is usually very vague because no recruiter wants to admit they rejected a candidate because of bias, lack of education, or a wrong first impression (introverts, anyone?).

If they were to incorporate case-based screening (i.e. work samples) into their recruitment process, creating feedback would actually be meaningful and easier to form.

In such a process, candidates are all asked to solve cases developed to suit the position and the specific company. Hence, the feedback can be construed based solely on one’s skills, no bias involved. It’s your organisation’s way of explaining in an unbiased way why the candidates wouldn’t be moving forward – without meaningless vagueness.

Make feedback meaningful & useful

While it’s still all too common for recruiters to disregard the importance of feedback, candidates who are lucky to get any are far too often fobbed off with generic responses such as “the other candidates performed better” or the enigmatic “you weren’t quite the right fit for us”. Undoubtedly, it’s still better than no communication at all, but is it really of any use?

Providing candidates with specific and detailed feedback is of great value as it allows candidates to see their strengths and areas worth improving to advance their careers and do better next time.

Not only that. It makes candidates feel valued and respected, as they should, but it also doesn’t affect their self-confidence.

Candidates need feedback to know that (and when) they can move on and move forward at that. Use the right tools and take time to be a part of their professional growth because you never know, as we’ll discuss further, if they may be your top pick in the future.

B: What’s in it for your organisation?

Organisations get out of their way to ensure their employees are happy, contributing to the bottom line. But perhaps an even better approach is to start when employees are still just candidates. The link between candidate experience and your employer brand is virtually inseparable. According to Talent Hub, over 75% of candidates admit that they see their experience during a recruitment process as an indicator of how a company treats its employees.

Providing every one of your applicants sends an exceptionally good message to your potential new talents. It demonstrates that you value everyone equally, appreciate the time they put in to participate in the process and thus reinforces the values of your organisation.

Stronger employer brand

Word of mouth is one of the most effective marketing tools you can use to strengthen your employer brand, a vital aspect of attracting candidates. As agreed by 80% of the surveyed talent leaders in a LinkedIn report, your employer brand has a significant impact on the ability to find and acquire great talent.

It’s no secret that there are websites, such as Glassdoor, where (ex)employees and job seekers can share their experiences on employers and their recruitment processes. Rejected candidates who experienced high quality, unbiased processes are less likely to air their grievances about the organisation.

While 92% of hiring professionals believe a company’s overall reputation is affected by their recruitment process, paying close attention to accommodating job seekers’ needs and giving them fewer reasons (or even better – none!) to feel unjustly treated is of paramount importance.

Opting for bias-free recruitment and providing meaningful feedback can help you earn positive reviews from your applicants – even the rejected ones, which are typically quite numerous.

Providing candidates with a positive candidate experience (i.e. the one that fulfils their expectations) also impacts your ability to hire those you do want. As found by IBM, people satisfied with your hiring process are 38% more likely to accept a job offer. On the flip side, applicants who don’t receive feedback are five times more likely to share their negative experiences with their peers, quickly raising your risks of gaining a bad reputation in the market.


People sharing their experiences with others is strictly linked to an essential source of potential talents – referrals. Even if you rejected a candidate, it’s not unlikely that they know someone who could be a better fit, either now or in the future. As 48% of the surveyed by the mentioned LinkedIn report say that employee referrals are their top channel for quality hires, it’s not a point to be taken lightly.

When we look at the numbers, in 2021, 78% of EMEA candidates surveyed by Talent Board admitted to sharing their positive recruitment experiences with inner circles, and 59% to sharing the negative ones (a 7% increase compared to 2020). Considering how important feedback is to job-seekers, improving in that area can positively affect your future hiring efforts.

The numbers are also significant when it comes to sharing online (considering how quickly the word spreads to a vast audience). Over three out of ten candidates are likely to post about their negative experiences on the Internet, and 51% do the same about a positive experience.

With employee referrals being one of the most valued and trusted sources of new talents, it’s vital to know that over 30% of candidates claimed they’d be highly likely to refer others if they had a positive experience during your hiring process – even if they didn’t land the job. Improving communication and providing the greatly sought-after feedback can help you amass talents on its own – through referrals.

They may be back

The recruitment process shouldn’t be seen as a one-off deal. That is, once you find the right person for the current vacancy, all the rejected candidates are forgotten. Just because a candidate turned out to be the wrong fit for the role you’re trying to fill in now, that doesn’t mean they can’t be a great fit for an open position in the future.

Research suggests that unsuccessful applicants who receive meaningful feedback leave the process with a positive opinion about the employer and are likely to come back in the future. In fact, a staggering 80% of rejected candidates report being likely to apply again in the future if your recruitment process satisfies their expectations.

Way too many organisations burn bridges with great talents simply because they fail to think about the future. Instead, think about it as a way of cultivating a positive image of your brand to build a vital source of the future talent pipeline.

In any hiring process, you’ll have more candidates that need to be rejected than hired. If you discourage them towards your brand at an early stage, you miss out on potentially exceptional talents – and those who may become them, too.

Giving meaningful and constructive feedback on their skills is a future investment. Once candidates know what you consider as their strengths and where you think they’re lacking to succeed at your company, you provide them with a powerful weapon – development. That way, they’ll know precisely which skills you consider crucial to succeed and where they can improve to come back once they align with your expectations – as a tailored-made employee.

How to form meaningful feedback?

By explaining how you reached the decision about the rejection, you help candidates understand its rationale. Furthermore, forming feedback based on one’s skills ensures it’s free of bias, and you give your candidate ‘good’ reasons for why, at a given time, they’re not the best match for the position.

What features should meaningful feedback include?

  • Keep it relevant to the role. To formulate meaningful feedback, you need to remember that you should grade a candidate based on the specific role at your organisation. The reasons behind your rejection should reflect only the skills applying to those circumstances.
  • Go into detail. Be as honest, straightforward, and detailed about the decision. For instance, if some candidate performed better, explain the areas where your rejected candidate was less qualified. Your feedback should help candidates to progress.
  • Mention the strengths. To avoid undermining candidates’ self-confidence, touch upon the areas where they did well. One can always find a few points worth praising, and they shouldn’t be omitted. Let your candidates know which of their efforts were noticed.

Make feedback a staple

Providing your candidates with feedback is highly sought-after, and there’s still room for improvement in terms of satisfying this expectation. The Telegraph mentions even that for the incoming workforce, Generation Z, feedback should be made mandatory.

Giving honest and meaningful feedback significantly boosts your employer brand. Each candidate can potentially share their positive experience with your organisation and, as shown with data, help you build a future talent pipeline, if only through referrals.

Just because at a given time an applicant is not suitable for the role you’re trying to fill in doesn’t mean they won’t be so in the future. Feedback is your form of creating a ‘tailor-made’ potential employee who can work on their skills to match your specific expectations.

Whether it’s for the candidates’ good or yours, the benefits of taking time to formulate feedback for everyone are plentiful. Don’t be one of the many brands ignoring candidates’ expectations, be the one to deliver in a meaningful fashion.

What is Candidate Experience & Why You Should be Paying More Attention to It

What is Candidate Experience & Why You Should be Paying More Attention to It

From the job seeker’s perspective, going through the recruitment process can be stressful and even cause anxiety. It’s, therefore, in the company’s best interest to do their utmost to create a good atmosphere for all potential new employees.

That overall experience is what we refer to as candidate experience. To put it in more detail, it’s the impression a job seeker gets at any stage of recruitment – starting from the moment they see your job posting, through the application process, potential interviews, and onboarding. 

Unfortunately, only as few as 32% of candidates stated that their most recent job search experience was very good. In other words, the remaining 68% of dissatisfied candidates might be a potential threat to your employer branding, regardless of whether they get hired or not.

Candidate experience affects your business

Most of us would like to think that once we say our goodbyes to someone, likely never to see them again, it’s the moment they no longer have any impact on our lives. In reality, however, it couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Whether personal or professional, every interaction we have may (and likely will) affect our reputation somehow. As far as your business is concerned, it’s up to you whether the outcome of that interaction will be positive or negative.

Every candidate that comes across your company will potentially add to how your employer branding is perceived. Paradoxically, it might be those that you end up not hiring that have the most influence on the number and quality of talents you’ll employ in the future.

As many as 37% of job seekers who had an unpleasant candidate experience confessed to leaving a negative review online. It’s a somewhat concerning number when we realise that 55% of people won’t even pursue a job at companies with negative online reviews. As a consequence, your employer branding is going to deter many valuable talents from willing to become a part of your team – something no business can afford. 

One ought to note, too, that people are more likely to write negative reviews, to begin with. It’s simply because we usually feel more strongly affected by negative experiences than positive ones. We all expect to be treated very well, so we may not even notice if it happens.

However, if someone mistreats us, the contrast becomes staggering. And it’s then that we feel a need to express our discontent. Whether it’s by word of mouth or fingers, the opinions about your brand can leave permanent stains on your employer brand.

Although unfair, this means that all your efforts to offer your candidates a positive experience may not result in good reviews after every recruitment. But you can do many things to avoid getting any unfavourable ones. 

How? Let us look into that.

1. What you should do to assure a positive candidate experience

Luckily, it’s never too late to work on improving the experience you provide your applicants with. Different companies may have various aspects to work on – and it’s up to your team to closely investigate what may be affecting the experience your candidates receive.

There are, however, several issues that are mentioned by discontent job seekers more than others. Use them as a guideline to begin your work on providing the best candidate experience.

A) Communicate on all stages

Communication is undeniably one of the most critical aspects of our lives. Take a moment and think about what happens when we fail to express information accurately. Or at all, for that matter. 

Surprisingly, it’s still not uncommon for recruiters to completely ignore the importance of keeping their candidates in the loop. Career Builder reports that 47% of applicants never get any form of communication from the companies they apply to, even past 60 days after having applied. In other words, they are left in the limbo of uncertainty even for months. They don’t know if they were rejected, are still being considered, or maybe even wonder whether the application was received at all. 

As the results of a Software Advice survey show, more communication ranked as the #1 improvement suggested by 34% of the respondents, so it’s definitely worth looking into.

Always inform them – even if it’s a no

It’s not a pleasant task to inform applicants that they were rejected, but it’s even worse to leave them hanging without any feedback. They took their time to answer your job posting, so it should be a solid rule of courtesy to thank them for that time and let them focus their energy on continuing their search. 

If you can take your time and respond personally to each rejected candidate – that’s amazing. But if you don’t, you can craft an automatic response and believe me that they’ll appreciate it much more than radio silence. 

Ask for feedback, too

As it is with communication, it should be working both ways. As much as candidates need to get feedback, consider using the opportunity to ask for feedback yourself

Sometimes it’s hard to improve something if we don’t know what we’re doing wrong. Implementing candidate surveys can help you out, though. Craft a set of questions you’d like to ask about the recruitment process and the overall experience. 

By offering constant and transparent communication, you send an important signal to your candidates – that you value their time and that they chose to consider working for you. Assuring a proper information flow helps you maintain a professional and friendly approach that will surely keep your reputation high. 

B) Improve the application process

As the metaphor goes: “time is money”, and for a good reason. We live in a fast-paced world, and we like to know that the time and energy we put into something is worth it. Sending out job applications, usually way more than one, is not something most people do for fun, and that’s why it shouldn’t be more complex and time-consuming than necessary.

Six out of ten job seekers quit in the middle of filling out online job applications because of their complexity and length. Many people simply decide it’s not worth their precious time, whether it’s because of an excessive number of questions or a hard to navigate application form.

Optimise the process

Just like every chef should taste their food before sending it out, you should look at your application process as if you were the candidate. Is the website functional and easy to navigate? Are you asking only the necessary questions? Do you ask for relevant documents? 

There’s nothing that makes an applicant roll their eyes more than uploading their CV on page one, just to be asked about a detailed experience description on page two – and it’s not the reaction you want to cause.

Our parents would hand-deliver a printed resumé copy, we filled out an online form, and the next generation wants to manage job applications on their phones. 

According to Pew Research Center, more than half of 18 to 29-year-olds (and 43% of all users, for that matter) use smartphones to do their job search. As we mentioned in our previous post, catering to the younger generation with mobile-friendly applications should be one of your strategies to implement in 2022.

Smaller screen sizes of mobile phones somewhat demand the application form to be simpler, as reading long paragraphs and having to scroll back and forth can get inconvenient. Let alone fill out those dreadful description boxes! It’s therefore essential to adapt it to those devices.

Simple, efficient, and transparent?

Although the idea of ‘application with one click’ seems far-fetched and unreasonable, it may be so just because you’re still using the classic CV & cover letter combo. But what if I told you that you could offer your applicants a simple, fair application process that gives you a true insight into one’s fit for the position?

Case-based screening may be precisely what your brand is looking for. A candidate receives a case tailored for the position, and all they need to do is upload the solution and provide their e-mail address. It doesn’t get easier than that.

The process is fair (as it’s anonymous and transparent), exciting (still not commonly used), gives candidates a taste of the actual job (better than any description ever will), and most importantly for you – allows you to check the essential skills.

A meta-analysis conducted by Schmidt & Hunter that we referred to in the past shows that case-based screening (along with the General Mental Ability Test) proved that the predictive validity of that type of screening scored 0.63 on a scale from zero to one.

For comparison, a structured interview scored at 0.51. That means that by changing your application format from CVs to cases, you actually can test-drive the candidate before signing a contract.

Yes, solving a case is more time-consuming than sending the same resumé, but it’s much more fun! After seeing tens of application forms that look the same, having yours stand out may be what catches a job seeker’s attention. And that’s not the end of the advantages of this form of screening. Check out one of our blog posts to read more about them. 

Think long term to attract the talent

The world is changing, and it is becoming more challenging to find the right talent. One of the most significant downsides of allowing poor candidate experience is that it very well may make that challenge even more difficult. 

As mentioned in the introduction, more than half of job seekers admitted they wouldn’t apply for a job if the company had terrible reviews. How many potentially unique talents get lost in that process? The exact number is hard to measure, but what should matter to your business most is that even one lost talent is too many.

Providing a positive candidate experience helps your future reviews and helps make a great first impression on top talents who decide to join your team

A staggering 80-90% of job seekers state that their experience can change their minds about accepting the job. In times of talent shortage, it can be the difference between winning the best candidate over and seeing your competitors do so. 

Your future talent pool

Obviously, not every recruitment process ends with a hire. However, the type of experience you provide may shrink your talent pool in the future – or enlarge it. 67% of applicants claim they’d still re-apply at a company in the future if the candidate experience is positive.

The experience you give your candidates during the application process is crucial when attracting top talents. At the end of the day, it’s often a determining factor for candidates to decide between several jobs and whether they want to stay in your talent pool.

We never know when the once not ‘good enough’ candidate may be precisely the one we’re searching for. Thus, you should bear in mind at all times that it’s crucial to make all applicants feel like they want to come back.

Improve your recruitment on all stages

It wouldn’t be too much of an overstatement to say that we live in times when information spreads faster than wildfire. People talk, people write, and most importantly – they don’t hold back expressing their opinions. 

It’s for that reason that you need to work in a way that builds and preserves your brand’s reputation on the market. It encourages people to join you, stay, and even come back – sometimes as a customer if not as an employee. 

Have a close look at your recruitment process in all its stages to identify where you can improve, and we hope that our overview of the most common issues will help you become a better brand. 

3 Culprits of Mis-Hires. What’s Making New Hires Walk Away?

3 Culprits of Mis-Hires. What’s Making New Hires Walk Away?

While every company strives to find suitable candidates with a success-driven attitude, doing so continues to be a haunting challenge. Although finding the right match is possible, making the wrong call from time to time is more than likely to happen. Those wrong calls are known as “mis-hires”.

In other words, a mis-hire occurs when we select an applicant we deem suitable, and over time, we (or they!) realise they aren’t as good of a fit as anticipated. The reasons could be anything – lack of skills, a bad cultural fit, or a personality miss-match. However, the final result is always the same – termination of a contract. While one would like to think that such occurrences are rare, it couldn’t be farther from the truth.

How many hires are failed?

The first three months of a job are the most important (hence, they’re usually a trial period). They mark a new beginning of an employee finding out how well they fit on the position and within the company overall. Nobody expects it to be the beginning of the end, though.

However, as research shows, 28% of new hires quit within those first 90 days of employment. The findings of a McKinsey report further amplify the point. In the survey of 5,774 people of working age from countries such as the U.S., Australia, or Canada, 40% said they were “somewhat likely” to quit in the next three to six months – and six out of ten would do so even without having another job lined up.

The numbers look similarly grim in Europe. As of December 2021, 33% of recruitment attempts in Denmark were unsuccessful – the highest number since 2007. In Belgium, overall, slightly over 30% of permanent contracts are terminated – although within the first year – either by the employer or employee.

While turnover at a healthy rate can be beneficial (after all, there’s no point keeping an employee who fails to perform or doesn’t want to stay), tracking your mis-hire rate is of the essence. Yet, as estimated by Dr John Sullivan, fewer than 10% of corporate functions measure that rate systematically.  If you believe that failed hires don’t affect your bottom line, let’s take a closer look at some numbers.

Money down the drain

According to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) report, while 85% of the surveyed HR decision-makers admit to having made a bad hire, 33% also believe that such mistakes don’t cost their business anything.

In reality, those costs are estimated at around 30% of the employee’s yearly salary. Based on the CareerBuilder research, three-quarters of companies reported an average loss of $14,900 per bad hire in the year prior.

The costs include not only remuneration but also training and inevitable double-recruitment. Let alone the expenses caused by a potential “turnover contagion”, i.e. other employees quitting if they start seeing you as a sinking ship.

However, money is not the only thing you’re losing. In a study by Robert Half International, 34% of CFOs explained that mis-hires impact overall productivity.

Productivity drops alongside your money

Falling in a trap of mis-hires has more pitfalls than monetary expenses. In a Harris Poll study, managers revealed their observations about the influence poor hires have on company performance.

Over three in ten of the interviewed stated that performance levels in their companies dropped, and 31% of them noticed a negative influence on staff morale. That aligns with the numbers provided by naturalhr and their breakdown of productivity loss in various countries:

  • USA: 36%
  • Italy: 31%
  • UK: 23%
  • Germany: 25%

The explanation for that can be fairly simple. Sometimes it’s you who realises your hire was the wrong call. Other times, employees themselves feel when they aren’t in the right place and in the right position, which affects their motivation. Perhaps even before you notice it. ThriveMap highlights this occurrence in their survey.

Workers who thought themselves the right fit for the job and the company’s culture rated their productivity at 7.2 out of ten. While those who felt they were a poor fit rated their productivity at 5.2, two points lower.

Minimise the chances

You may have seen the famous quote by Red Adair, “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur”. While it’s nearly inevitable that it does happen, we say – minimise the chances. Act beforehand to assure your mis-hires never reach the percentages above.

1. Improve retention with effective onboarding

First impressions matter, and you only have a short time to make a meaningful impact on new hires. Hence why it’s so important for companies to offer a well-structured onboarding process from day one. Yet, according to a Gallup survey, 88% of employees think that their employers don’t do a “great” job when onboarding new workers.

A well-executed onboarding not only guides your new hires in terms of tasks they’re expected to perform and integrates them into your corporate culture. Following Brandon Hall Group, this also improves retention by 82%.

Conversely, those employees who have a negative onboarding experience are two times more likely to search for new opportunities in the near future. Getting the onboarding right can therefore be your difference between retaining your new hires or losing them – sometimes quicker than you’d expect. As pointed out by The Wynhurst Group, new hires who experienced a structured onboarding programme are 58% more likely to stay with the company for more than three years.

More than paperwork

Starting a job in a new place is always stressful – no matter the experience level. Your new hires are thrown into an unknown place, and to fully integrate – both with your company’s culture and the people – they need more than a list of tasks they’ll be doing. Sadly, 58% of companies admit that their onboarding focuses on paperwork and processes. Hence, no wonder that only 12% of employees think their company provides them with a great onboarding programme.

According to Madelaine Tarquinio from The Aberdeen Group, onboarding should include forms of management, task management, and socialisation in the company culture. Only combining these three elements will help you achieve optimal ROI from the onboarding process.

As she further mentions, socialisation remains one element that tends to be overlooked. 90% of best-in-class companies incorporate it into their process compared to 75% of laggards.

New hires who are most likely to stay with you are those who are happy in their workplace and sense the possibility of professional development. As stated by Sapling, workers who can say their onboarding experience was exceptional are 2.6 times more likely to be satisfied with their new workplace. In fact, 70% of them stated to have “the best possible job”. What makes onboarding exceptional, then?

Onboarding should start before your new hire walks in on day one

Your newly hired employee will think about the job long before day one, and so should you, as pointed by Josh Abbott.

Sometimes the period between signing the contract and starting the job can take weeks or even months. Hence, the worst you can do is leave your new hire hanging. Use that time to prepare them beforehand and make the transition easier. Using available tools such as one-pages, presentations, or even interactive tests is a great way.

  • Introduce all the relevant policies so they don’t feel stressed about all the critical information when they need to start working.
  • Present your company, what you do precisely, your vision and mission, with all the important contact information – be on the same page.
  • Introduce the gist of the products or services you offer to make sure they know exactly what your brand is about.
  • Clearly inform about the company culture. Do you offer lunches? When can one take a break? Do you have a dress code? Any office perks (free coffee or fruit)? Make your employees included and prepared to walk into the office.
  • Introduce all the people in the company, with their titles and contact information and a few words about them.
  • Always assign the guide – the person they’ll report to and can turn to in case of any questions to make your new employee feel comfortable and cared for.

Effecting onboarding should be like taking someone’s hand and walking them through the most stressful part of the way assisted. Let your new hires take time and assimilate with your team and culture while settling into their role. Leaving them lost to figure things out on their own will send a negative signal from the beginning and may very well be an early signal for seeing no future with you.

2. Skills matter. But what about the attitude?

In times of labour shortages, 75% of recruiters believe that the skill shortage is their greatest difficulty when recruiting. And even though almost 30% of new hires turn out failed within the first three months, the issue may be laying elsewhere.  

Leadership IQ conducted a study of 5,247 hiring managers to determine why new hires failed. As it turns out, 89% of them failed not because they lacked technical skills but rather the lack of “candidate fit”. That is, they didn’t possess the right soft skills such as coachability, emotional intelligence, temperament, and motivation needed to fit with their new colleagues, bosses, or the company altogether.

Technical skills can be developed through training, but one’s attitude cannot. As said by Mark Murphy, CEO of Leadership IQ, attitude is the top predictor of a new hire’s success (or failure), as it’s more difficult to evaluate than skills. The observation seems to be further strengthened by the fact that 56% of HR executives surveyed in the mentioned study said that 50% or fewer of their employees had the right attitudes.

Create a profile of the person you’d want in your team

Just like creating personas of your target audience, create a persona of who your ideal employee should be like. Or, as Jay Hyman from Forbes calls it – picture the perfect DNA match.

Aside from looking for someone with specific technical skills, create a profile of personality traits you consider desirable for the position. Look at your top performers who embody everything you want your company to be. Analyse the qualities they have as well as what drives them to success.

Are they good at communication? Possess high emotional intelligence (one of the most important soft skills to seek in 2022)? Or maybe they always take the initiative and inspire others? Pinpoint five qualities they all share and use them as a starting blueprint when evaluating your next hire. Spoiler alert – you may need to adjust your interviewing style to do so.

Behavioural questions – A.K.A get the answers you need to hear, not those you want

One of the issues with most interviews nowadays is how predictable they’ve become. It takes a quick Google search to find many videos and blog posts about “the most commonly asked interview questions”.

Everyone wants to do their best when trying to land a job; hence they prepare beforehand. What happens, in turn, is that many interview scenarios end up scripted and superficial. A candidate simply says what you want to hear, but are the answers really what you need to hear?

Instead of asking vague questions or – even worse – the questions that could be answered by reading a resumé, opt for behavioural questions that provide real insight into one’s attitude.

Steer clear from any “yes” or “no” questions. Instead, opt for those calling for descriptive answers. For instance, if you want to know if your candidate can work well under pressure, ask about a time they found themselves in a stressful situation and how they dealt with it. That will give you intel into what they consider “pressure” to begin with and what decisions they made, and what strategies they found suitable.

Predict, not assume

Interviews in general, however, pose another issue. As stated by the previously mentioned Dr Sullivan, as much as 75% of hiring decisions involve a gut feeling rather than hard data. Hence, to test how well a candidate hits your created DNA profile, you may want to opt for methods that predict future job performance more accurately – such as GMA (general mental ability) tests

GMAs make use of questions assessing an applicant’s abilities to learn quickly, reason, think logically, and even test an individual’s potential to cope with job-related challenges. Moreover, they prove to be one of the best ways of predicting one’s future job performance – especially when combined with work samples.

It’s vital to remember that, as proved by the data, sometimes hard skills are not enough to assure a good hire. Being an excellent performer takes more than merely having the skills to do one’s tasks. More emphasis needs to be put on evaluating if your candidate will integrate well with your organisation as a person.

3. False expectations – make sure your candidate knows what they’re saying “yes” to

It turns out that many of your new hires end up being mis-hires before they even step into the office. And the reason for it may not even be that they can’t imagine integrating well with your organisation, but they simply had a different vision of what the job was.

According to the study quoted by Psychology Today, 43% of employees state that they quit their jobs shortly after being hired because their role wasn’t what they had been led to believe it would be.

Whether your job description isn’t accurate, or you fail to present the day-to-day tasks accurately – some of the new hires will feel fooled or disappointed and will likely walk away, affecting your turnover.

Creating an accurate job description and openly presenting the day-to-day tasks in the first place is of the essence. However, what works even better is using the previously mentioned work samples.

Don’t talk about the job; show it. Provide your candidates with an example of their tasks (i.e., a work sample), so they can get a taste of what they’ll be really doing. This way, you’ll minimise any possible misconceptions about the job they may have and their likelihood of turning into a mis-hire once the job starts.

Avoiding mis-hires caused by potential false expectations is what employers could and should avoid. Luckily, it can be done with an honest and open recruitment process making use of the methods mentioned. Be on the same page from the get-go to avoid parting ways way too soon.

Don’t let your business be a machine with loose cogs

A hire that doesn’t work out, in the end, is a loose cog in a highly efficient machine you want your business to be. Not only does it drain your money, but it also affects all the other parts of the organisation around it – your other employees.

Investing time, money, and other efforts into selecting and training a new hire are not something you want to see go to waste; regardless of whether it’s within a week, month, or longer. Luckily, there are ways of improving your hiring process to minimise the chances of seeing your employees walk away. Remember that to capture the right talents, you need to know whom you want and how to fulfil their needs.

Can Resumés be Reliable when Predicting Future Job Performance?

Can Resumés be Reliable when Predicting Future Job Performance?

More than 50% of recruiters surveyed by Murray Resources still consider resumés as the most important when assessing a candidate. But can resumés be reliable when predicting future job performance?

Every recruiter’s ultimate goals are to hire at minimal costs, avoid turnover and – ideally – to get the best talent possible. Resumés, however, are flawed to a significant degree. From bias, through possible talent oversight, to questionable predictive validity. And there’s data to back these flaws up.

Factuality versus self-reporting

One of the significant problems with resumés lies within its nature. It’s the candidate who writes it; hence it’s a case of mere self-reporting. Candidates need to select what they think is relevant… or, as it seems, what they believe will simply help them land an interview. Even if it’s not entirely the truth.

Zippia, The Carrer Expert survey, shows that applicants are not unlikely to colour their past or even lie blatantly. 30% of the surveyed admitted to lying or “bending the truth on their resumés”. The number one aspect most likely to be fabricated proved to be work experience, followed by technical skills.

It clearly shows that candidates know how much weight those aspects can put on the final decision and aren’t scared of taking the risk. Now, of course, a lot of information can be verified; recruiters can run a background check, take time to check references (if provided!). But do they have time for that? It looks like most hiring professionals take resumés at face value, as 80% of people who lie on their resumés are never found out, and only 8% admit to facing negative consequences.  

As an employer, you may, perhaps, not want to risk finding yourself in a situation your employee who claimed to be fluent in Mandarin is now talking to an important client of yours – not feeling so confident anymore.

What’s of value for a candidate may not be so for a recruiter

The generally accepted limit for a resumé is that of two pages. How to determine what should land on paper? People’s experience and education can vary dramatically. While a freshly graduated job seeker may struggle to fill up all the boxes, an experienced one may need to cut out a good part of their work history.

The problem is, what if the information that was omitted could’ve proved vital to a recruiter? Hiring managers are humans, too, and subjectivity is hard to jump over. They have a vision of the right candidate in their heads, and maybe mentioning your hobbies or that one internship a candidate did five years ago would’ve won them the golden ticket. 

The length limitations are understandable from a purely practical standpoint. Who has time to go through a plethora of resumés if half of them is a few pages long? Very few people have the time or attention span to do that. Then, again, maybe that’s why they’re not the best evaluating method?

Recruiters infer from resumés more than factual information

Candidates like to think that their resumés are judged for what they are – a report on their education, experiences, and miscellaneous skills. However, it turns out that recruiters seem to infer from those two pages more than that. They read into candidates’ personality traits.

Cole et al. (2008) investigated the validity of recruiters’ judgments concerning applicants’ personality traits as inferred from their resumés. As a research limitation, the focus was put on the Big Five personality traits, i.e. neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.

For each trait, several adjectives best descriptive of a feature were chosen. In the study, 244 recruiters from various organisations were asked to judge, from given resumés, to what extent the selected adjectives described the person on a scale from 1 (can’t determine from the resume) to 5 (very descriptive of this person).

As the study concluded, hiring professionals seem to use certain resumé information to derive the applicant’s personality traits. And overall, their judgment isn’t that reliable. The results indicated that recruiters’ judgments were relatively low in reliability, as they were generally unable to determine candidates’ personality characteristics from the resumé. Only extraversion was the most valid inference (averaged r = .15). In contrast, internal characteristics such as agreeableness and neuroticism exhibited negative validity coefficients (r = -.05 and r = -.11, respectively).

Everybody makes assumptions daily as a part of our coping mechanisms. However, the validity and reliability of recruiters’ inferences are called into question as it has tangible implications for an organisation. Effectively, theirs is the decision between passing a candidate or rejecting them. If that decision is based on inaccurate assumptions, an organisation’s talent management falls into jeopardy. After all, the average time a recruiter spends analysing a CV is seven seconds. Can you really properly judge two pages of standardised text in such short time?

Raw talent may not show on paper

Resumé is merely a document where one can write whatever their heart desires. Any job seeker has read at least one article on “how to write the perfect CV” with a plethora of tips from layout to the correct use of keywords that will get them through ATSs. The question arises, though. What if talent cannot be documented?

Think about writers. Stephen King, one of the most renowned writers with more than 350 million sold copies, used to work at a laundry mat and as an English instructor before his first book was published. His undeniable talent was finally noticed, but it only proves that some skills cannot be documented until someone gives candidates a chance to show them.

One of the biggest frustrations, especially for the entering workforce, is how many entry-level jobs require a 2-5 year documented experience. How, however, are they supposed to gain any, to begin with?

What turned into an internet meme is a genuine recruitment issue causing a possible talent oversight. At Innoflow, we believe that everybody deserves a chance to unleash their talent with the right screening tools – and resumés are not among them.

Leave an applicant’s past where it belongs and predict the future accurately

Employers must make hiring decisions, and there is no way around it. Every company strives to amass the best employees who will stay longer and exhibit class-A performance. The question arises – what predicts success? Is it the amount of experience, education, or maybe how many interesting hobbies your candidate listed? The question, although difficult, seems to have been answered already, some 23 years ago.

A paper by Schmidt and Hunter (Schmidt & Hunter, 1998) compiling 85 years of research into the validity of selection methods gave a clear answer to the above question – and it’s not what most employers think.

The scholars rated each variable/method (e.g. education, experience, interests, work samples) on a scale from 0 to 1. The higher the score received, the higher the ability to predict future job performance.

As found out, both a candidate’s prior work experience and education proved to be of very low validity – 0.18 and .10, respectively. It calls into question the importance employers put on them. As pointed by, for 82% of the surveyed organisations, work experience is still the most vital factor when deciding to pass an applicant.

Although a sort of common logic, scientific data doesn’t support the idea that more experience translates into better future performance. What does then?

Screening methods focused on evaluating the actual skills and abilities of a candidate proved the most reliable when predicting future job performance. GMAs (general mental ability tests) on their own scored at 0.51 but combined with work samples the score goes up to 0.63 – a 24% increase in validity.

Work samples, or case solutions, are hands-on simulations of the job a candidate would be required to perform if hired. Depending on the position you’re trying to fill in, your applicants would be given a case representative of the job they’d be doing. It’s an excellent opportunity for you – and them – to see how well they’d perform.

Resumés have been with us for a long time, and it’s never easy to give up on an old habit – even if it’s not of much benefit. However, choosing the correct screening method can be a game-changer for your brand. Years of research have proved that there are better means of predicting your candidates’ future performance. Unfortunately, relying on a sheet of paper isn’t one of them.

Building a diverse team, attracting hidden talent, and test-driving an applicant beforehand. These are only several benefits you gain by opting for case solutions – the screening method of the 21st century. It may be high time to apply changes to your recruitment process successfully and fight the talent shortage.