In talent acquisition, most recruiters put the focus on filtering out unsuitable candidates. In times of talent shortage, however, it is equally important to NOT filter out qualified candidates too early. A combination of selection methods helps to avoid this.
Rejecting a candidate who actually meets the required job criteria is called “Type II Error” in psychological literature. This error usually arises from non-valid selection criteria, when doing candidate pre-selection on the basis of school grades, for example. The problem in everyday recruiting is that this beta error usually remains undetected!
The increasing shortage of skilled labor makes this error become more visible and more important. You just cannot afford to lose suitable candidates! The risk of not recognizing a potentially qualified candidate in the applicant pool can be significantly reduced by combining various selection procedures.
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?
Get a complete picture of your candidate’s skills!
Various selection methods provide additional information. But there is no thing such as THE perfect method mix. What’s most essential is to gain pieces of information using different methods that complement each other. It is about arranging different procedures in a way that best ensures prediction of a candidate’s suitability (“incremental validity”), something which is not possible when only using one method.
The final result is more than the sum of its parts.
Defining a competency profile is the first step!
Before you start choosing your procedures, you need to set up a competency profile: What are the job’s specific requirements ? Which competencies does a candidates need to have in order meet those requirements?
To give an example: 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.
How to combine selection methods in the best possible way
So, how can you possibly arrange your selection procedures for your vacancies in the most suitable way? A combination of selection procedures is called “multimodal assessment”. It is meant to be an objective evaluation and be independent from each individual procedure and their corresponding blind spots, while enabling a systematic evaluation that paves guidelines for future staff development.
Valid methods provide you with a good prognosis regarding your candidate’s future job performance while improving your time-to-hire.
In the next article we will give you an easy-to-use example of a selection process that consists of complementary assessment procedures such as pre-recorded video interviews and Situational Judgement Tests (SJT)!
Should you have any questions so far, just leave a comment!