Hiring: Crap Shoot or Science?

Updated: Jan 3, 2020

Choosing a new team member is stressful for managers and takes significant resources from HR teams. With so much time and effort extended for hiring new employees, it’s a shame that most managers still feel inept in doing so. Most people have at least one story of the “surprise hire.” Someone who interviewed great but was unsuccessful in the role or someone who interviewed “okay” and ended up being a rock star. I believe the heightened emotions attached to these hires lends to our stronger memory of them, which gives us an excuse to leave our hiring practices loose.

Science led us to Behaviorally Based Interviewing but our gut, ego and/or incompetence continues to pull us away. Not because it doesn’t work, but because it is hard to do well. One of the best investments your company can make is to develop an interview structure that fits your company culture and then match it with a strong behaviorally based interview. Having confidence and consistent expectations for your managers will encourage them to stick with it, even if that means they have to take training on how to do it well.

If you need more fuel for your fire, Google has posted an interesting articleabout why they have recently instated structured, Behaviorally Based Interviews into their hiring practices. As Laszlo Bock, Google’s senior vice president of people operations, told The New York Times in 2013,

“The interesting thing about the behavioral interview is that when you ask somebody to speak to their own experience, and you drill into that, you get two kinds of information,” Bock says. “One is you get to see how they actually interacted in a real-world situation, and the valuable ‘meta’ information you get about the candidate is a sense of what they consider to be difficult.”

Behaviorally Based Interviewing isn’t just a scientifically proven way of hiring, it’s got the Google ‘cool’ factor, too.


Paula Cleveland is a Talent Acquisition Partner for Mitchell International Inc‘s corporate office in San Diego, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of San Diego HR Roundtables. Mitchell International, Inc. is the leading provider of information and workflow solutions to the Property & Casualty Claims and Automotive Collision Repair industries.

#Recruitment #HR

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