In our previous article, we talked about a wide-spread error in talent acquisition: rejecting a candidate you should have accepted. Rejecting a candidate who actually meets the required job criteria is called “Type II Error” in psychological literature.
You can avoid this error using several selection procedures when assessing candidates’ skills, meaning you should not only rely on CV screening when short-listing applicants, for example, but also take more procedures into consideration. This will help increase your quality of hire significantly! Today, we will give you an example of a selection process which consists of several procedures. Also, we will tell you why traditional “sequential” selection strategies are not the best way to go!
Individual tests may be valid, but they often have a few blind spots. If you combine complementary selection procedures, you get a coherent picture of a candidate’s job suitability. Sounds logical, no?
Drawbacks of traditional sequential selection strategy
Traditionally, different methods are used following one another. After each procedure, you have a “short list” of candidates and will continue to filter out additional candidates. Using the example of our above-mentioned trainee programs for sales and strategic market analysis, the process would be as follows: First, you would start with screening CVs in both positions. For the strategic market analysis position, you could procede with an analytical skill test and then, in a subsequent selection step, use a phone interview followed by an Assessment Center.
What’s the risk with this approach?
Essentially, you are unable to have an overview of the candidate’s complementary skills, because the preceding steps do not allow these skills to be mapped. For example, candidates with small gaps in their resume would fail due to formal selection criteria. They would not be admitted to the subsequent hiring steps, although they could hypothetically perform better than most candidates. Steve Jobs and Michael Dell are just a few examples of individuals who would probably not have had a chance in the initial hiring steps, because of their resumes.
This means that “Type II error” will increase! Also, the “time-to-hire” metric will be negatively affected in a sequential strategy, because it takes more time with different required procedures and decisions — time that could make candidates drop out of your process!
Finally, the whole is more than the sum of its parts.
Using a “combined strategy”, you have a bigger filter at the beginning of the selection process, meaning you invite more candidates than you usually do. You will be waiting to reach one of the last steps in the assessment center or interview processes before inviting a candidate. You will look at their overall results regarding the different procedures and decide whether to invite the applicant or not. The result of one single selection procedure does not count as much as the sum of all procedures together.
Best practice: Defining a selection process for sales trainees
In our previous article, we used the following example: Imagine you want to publish two job ads for your graduate programme — one in the area of sales and the other one in strategic market analysis. While an economics background is required for both job profiles, there is a huge gap in the skills required for each of these jobs.
While you need excellent communication skills, customer orientation, presentation and negotiation skills for the sales position, you definitely need more analytical and conceptual skills for the other profile. As a result, you need to use different methods to properly assess those skills.
Using the example of our trainee sales position, the selection process could be as follows:
After receiving the application, you also invite pretended “B-candidates” to an e-assessment, which contains a personal assessment about service orientation and a Situational Judgement Test about critical sales situations. Having your candidates conduct a pre-recorded video interview could be an alternative.
A decision on the invitation to an assessment center will not be made on the basis of a single procedure, but additionally in consideration of the overall results of the candidates in the various procedures. The advantage of this strategy is that the blind spot will be reduced, thus minimising the risk of wrongly rejecting qualified applicants, due to using only one procedure. In addition, the “time-to-hire” metric can be significantly reduced.
You have to fill a vacancy but are not sure about which procedures to combine? No problem, we will help you out there! Write to or give us a call at +49 (0) 30 60 988 5330!