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IT hiring as seen by interviewers and hiring managers: Part 2

In this part, we will propose a solution to the problems perceived by the hiring managers as concluded in part 1 of this article. Ideally, there’s no need to have such an elaborate solution if the hiring manager did everything from writing the job description, determining and communicating the selection criteria to conducting the interviews. Practically as we have learned, only 50% of the hiring managers write the job descriptions. Only 64% of them are engaged in determining and communicating the selection criteria and most of the interviews are conducted by interviewers who are not the hiring managers. Hence the need to have a solution that facilitates collaboration and communication.

The diagram below describes the proposed solution. Here are the steps of the solution.

Step 1– Hiring manager creates the job description and the software will help him decide the selection criteria based on the JD.

Step 2– A software service applies the selection criteria to the resumes uploaded by the recruiters and computes the suitability scores.

Step 3– Top-rankers based on the suitability score is identified. Recruiters follow up to gather any missing information and administer a technical quiz to each one of them.

Step 4– The technical quiz is a quick, in-camera assessment, conducted on the candidate’s smartphone. The candidate can take the short 20-minute test at her own convenience. Recruiters can ensure authenticity by checking the video recording.

Step 5– Only those few top-rankers who score well in steps 3 and 4 are presented to the interview panel.

Step 6– Feedback from all the interview rounds is processed by the hiring manager and any obvious disconnects between the recruiters and the interviewers can become visible to the hiring manager on the dashboard. E.g. The top-rankers as per steps 3 and 4 get rejected and bottom-rankers get selected.

Step 7– Based on the results as seen on the dashboard the hiring manager can tweak the selection criteria and the technical quiz to align the recruiters’ and the interviewers’ understanding of the requirement.

Let’s take a closer look at the problems identified in the conclusion section of part 1 of this article to understand their magnitude and severity. Let’s also examine if the proposed solution addresses those problems.

Problem 1: The interviewer is not completely plugged in and it results in a lower hit rate. On an average 3 out of 5 candidates are found to be unsuitable in the face to face interviews. This may be the tip of the iceberg as we are assuming that those who are selected are perfectly suitable. Bad hiring decisions are rarely acknowledged.

Solution 1: Sharing the job description, and the selection criteria with all the interviewers will improve everyone’s understanding of the real requirement. Assigning weights to the selection criteria would further refine this understanding. It will bring cohesion between the job description, the selection criteria, the quiz questions, and the interviews in steps 2, 3, and 5.

Problem 2: As already seen in part 1 of this article majority of the interviewers think that they are wasting a lot of their time in the hiring process. On average an interviewer spends 45 minutes per interview.

Solution 2: Justify to the interviewer the time spent by her by sharing the reason why the candidate deserves to be selected, with specific reference to the weighted selection criteria as stated in steps 2 and 3. This will positively orient the interviewer going into the interview, and keep the preliminary screening process honest.

Problem 3: The recruiters are unwilling to reject candidates at their level. It’s obvious that the recruiters need better tools than preliminary phone screens and tests. Technical tests are inconvenient and time-consuming. Some candidates cheat while appearing for the online tests.

Solution 3: Improve overall quality in the preliminary screening process by doing the following

  • Recognizing fact-finding work resulting in the rejection of candidates by the recruiters as their value addition. Presently, in most companies, the recruiter gets no credit for rejecting a candidate at her level. We should stop looking at the number of interviews scheduled as the measure of the recruiter’s performance. Recognizing the value of rejection will bring quality consciousness and reduce the stress placed on the interviewers by mindless overcrowding of the recruitment pipeline.
  • Having some kind of metric to measure the suitability as depicted in step 2. Such a metric will encourage the recruiters to focus their attention on sourcing more suitable candidates. Recognizing average and total suitability scores as measures of the recruiter’s performance would improve the choice and quality of candidates.
  • Having a lightweight and efficient technical screening in step 4. This would eliminate candidates who can’t answer simple questions on topics that are important.

Problem 4: The formal feedback process is geared to capture the overall impression of the interviewer, but doesn’t help to improve the next batch of candidates. We need to learn and improve by a better understanding of the reasons for rejection.

Solution 4: The interview feedback should require the interviewer to indicate his acceptance or rejection against the commonly shared weighted selection criteria and the reasons for proposing the candidate as suggested in solution to problem 2. This will enable the recruiters and the interviewers to change the selection criteria as needed and capture the reasons for such changes in the interview feedback forms.

Problem 5: Interview feedback is not shared with all the stakeholders. As the purpose of the feedback is more for documenting the reasons for selection, the same is shared with HR and other managers who are supposed to take further action upon the selection of the candidate. The need to share it with the recruiters is not felt. Recruiters often don’t have access to the detailed feedback provided in the system. They have to remain content with short “Selected” or “Rejected” status that shows up in the system. Part of the problem is also because the recruiters rarely state the specific reasons why a candidate deserves to be selected, hence they forfeit their right to know the reasons for rejection.

Solution 5: In step 6- the interview feedback process the interviewer could provide some tips on what the recruiter could have done to reject the candidate at her level. This information can be used by the recruiter to improve her hit rate. With some additional work, the recruiter can also pass on a part of the feedback to the rejected candidates. Useful for the candidate to improve herself. Maintaining this level of transparency will go a long way in building the employer’s brand.

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About the Writer

  • Vinayak Joglekar
    Co-Founder and CTO, Synerzip

    Vinayak Joglekar is the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Synerzip. Vinayak built and scaled Synerzip’s project teams by attracting and retaining top-notch talent in the fiercely competitive market in India. He took the entrepreneurial leap in 1983 after he quit a programmer-analyst position in Alfa-Laval. Vinayak’s passion for technology skills development drove his ventures in recruitment, training and consulting. He is a certified J2EE programmer and an architect with an active interest in Social, Mobile, Cloud and Big Data technologies. Apart from being the CTO, he mentors bright minds in software development and product delivery. Vinayak has an MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta and BSME from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.

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