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Measure once: Should recruitment processes be standardised?

July 28, 2023
Neon circles

From writing up a job description and sifting through CVs, to conducting interviews and making difficult choices, it’s fair to say that recruitment is a long, arduous process. There are many approaches to making this impossible decision — the different tools that should be used, the order of the process, the people involved, and so many more questions are left to the whims of the hiring manager, as many companies ask individual hiring managers to devise their own strategies. Sometimes, candidates for the same job who have been interviewed by different hiring managers could have a completely different experience!

That’s why more and more are calling for standardised hiring practices. But what does that even mean? And should you take the leap and standardise your recruitment? We believe so.

What is a standardised recruitment process?

A standardised recruitment process is one where the same criteria and methods are applied for all candidates.

With this strategy, every stage of the recruitment process and every member of the team has a specific and clear role to play, while every task has purpose and reason; while every candidate is assessed for the same skills, communication is done similarly, and they are judged according to a predetermined scale.

Why should you standardise your recruitment process?

Refining your hiring process and setting clear parameters allows for a faster and better decision when it comes to suitability. By eliminating inconsistencies and unproductive work, standardisation can prevent you from making the wrong choice, especially in the early stages of the recruitment process.

1. Speed up decision-making

Let’s face it: recruitment takes a long time. It’s frustrating for the business, for the hiring manager, for the team, and for the candidate. Pretty much everyone! So, finding ways to reduce the time it takes from putting up the job ad to welcoming new talent into your ranks is essential.

Standardising the decision process will speed it up significantly. First of all, uniformity and clear parameters mean that unsuitable or unqualified candidates can be immediately eliminated, leaving the rest of the time to assessments that directly relate to the fit and performance of your potential hire. With everyone speaking the same language, it’s much quicker to communicate among the team and explain decisions.

2. Drive consistency

Without consistency, there is chaos. When interviews are non-standardised, their results are useless and all over the place: they cannot be tracked, compared, or contrasted. If the selection criteria are different for each evaluation, then it is impossible to determine the effectiveness of each individual data point used for selection. To produce a real metric of a candidate, uniform process is the only approach that can be properly analysed.

What’s more, different people define and value different things. What Hiring Manager 1 thinks a good candidate should possess is not necessarily what Hiring Manager 2 thinks. By providing a clear goal and strategy, a standardised process will mean everyone knows exactly what is happening, when, and what it entails, meaning no candidate will be rejected — or accepted — for no reason.

3. Highlight data and research

The point of a recruitment process is not to sense the vibe of a candidate. It’s to provide tangible data about them that can be compared to others. Hiring managers are not psychologists, so, while their experience is invaluable, they might not base their opinions on much else but it. Psychologists have spent decades decoding the human mind, and in the field of work, there’s been much progress — there is now a plethora of research into what characteristics, skills, or qualifications an individual requires to work a certain role.

By standardising the process, hiring managers can add research and data into their decision in a more coherent way and gain more perspectives, making them more objective. It’s not a coincidence that standardised interviews were touted to help avoid 80% of common hiring mistakes, and structured recruitment interviews were found to be twice as scientifically valid as unstructured interviews.

4. Make the process fairer

Subjectivity is not always bad — some people have great hunches! However, in hiring, the danger of not being objective is high: it might mean that you are letting bias guide you rather than cold, hard facts. It’s not necessarily that you have a ‘great feeling’ about this candidate — maybe you just attended the same school, lived in the same neighbourhood, or came from the same place? With a standardised process, you can make sure that your decisions don’t discriminate against anyone.

It also helps prevent uncomfortable situations: when all candidates have the same information, they can make an informed decision and not back out of the role within a few months. And, if your candidates run in the same circles, a standardised process will ensure they don’t get shocked when they compare experiences and find out they diverged significantly.

5. Improve your candidates’ experience

As you know yourself, the hiring process is not a pain in the neck only for businesses and hiring managers — it’s also unpleasant for the applicant. It’s stressful to be interviewed for a job, even in a candidate-led market. But you know what’s even worse? Being a candidate when the process is unclear, non-transparent, confusing, and unfair.

Those who were unfortunately rejected from the role will particularly benefit from a standardised process. It’s shorter, so they don’t have to wait a long time before they hear back, and if you incorporate a feedback stage (which you definitely should!), they can learn to improve for when the next opportunity rises.

Adding Thrive’s personality assessment to your standardised process can boost its success. Book a demo with us today to learn more.

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