If you wait to ask knockout questions further into the hiring process, how does that impact your quality of new hires? Besides simply feeling that you are doing the right thing, have you actually measured your success? Are those screening questions always asked by hiring managers during the interview phase, and are the answers being recorded consistently? Does your company quantify the number of people that you hired and how they worked out? Here’s what I mean by “worked out”:
- How long did they stay with your company – assuming they left?
- Were they A players (top performers), or B or C players?
- Would you hire them again; or, if they left, would you be concerned?
Let’s assume you have done this analysis and you are pleased with your hiring process. My experience is that most companies wait too long, and get too far into the process to bring to light the real questions that matter the most to us. Early on, we ask about education, work experience or outside interests. Yet, why do we wait until the interview to ask the more meaningful questions that seem to be deal breakers – the knockout questions?
Frankly, there is no good way to get this information if you are allowing the candidates to just submit resumes on the application and nothing more; resumes never include this information. Why, because resumes are brochures. How do you get around this? One way is by using an applicant tracking software solution that allows your company to:
- Get responses to these key knockout questions up front…not only gather the “normal information” like education and work experience, but also ask job-specific questions;
- Use applicants’ answers to these knockout questions to automatically qualify/disqualify and/or score applicants based on your organization’s essential criteria for a given position;
- Then, auto-filter and sort your applicants for a specific position based on their answers to these questions.
In my opinion this is where the analysis of candidates should start. Assuming you regularly conduct thorough job evaluation for all of your positions, you should first review candidate answers to these important questions and take advantage of automatic sorting/qualification filters in your applicant list. Once you have identified candidates that are qualified and have scored the highest according to your legally-sound, predetermined criteria, you would then look at their work experience, education, and continue the vetting process.