Assessing candidates after structured interviews can be difficult in any environment, but it’s especially challenging when hiring remotely.
Telecommuting and remote hiring are here to stay. A 2021 study by Owl Labs found that 90 percent of respondents said they were more productive working remotely than in the office, and 74 percent said it improved their mental health. Additionally, 82% of employers surveyed in a recent Indeed survey are using virtual interviews, and 93% will continue. So not only is remote work the new normal; remote hiring is, too, which is why your post-interview assessment method should include both.
While there are some advantages to conducting interviews virtually (such as being able to reach a wider pool of candidates), there are also some disadvantages.
One of the biggest disadvantages of conducting interviews virtually is that it is harder to get to know the candidate on a personal level. Body language and other non-verbal cues are essential to understanding how someone is feeling, and these cues are much harder to pick up when you’re not conducting an in-person interview. An interview in a remote environment requires careful thought and attention to detail.
To make an informed decision and ensure a level playing field for all candidates, you need a system to help you recruit and hire the candidate who is the best fit for your organization. We all know that hiring the wrong candidate can be costly in the short and long term. The time it takes to train someone new and the drop in productivity while they get up to speed can set your organization back.
The best way to avoid making a bad hire is to use a combination of assessment tools to help you identify the candidate best suited for the position. It’s more important than ever to have a system in place to evaluate candidates after an interview.
In this article, we’ll look at why the post-interview assessment is so important and how any company can conduct a proper post-interview assessment to help identify the ideal candidate.
Why are post-interview assessments important?
These days, it’s more common for companies to use an online assessment tool or app when it comes to hiring and recruiting. Not only does this save time and money by reducing travel costs, it also helps candidates feel connected to the company they are interviewing with, as most of them will have done their research beforehand!
Assessing candidates after an interview is essential to the fairness and success of the hiring process and can offer value that an interview cannot. With the post-interview evaluation process, those responsible for making the hiring decision have a set of criteria they can use to make their final decision. This will speed up the process of recruiting a qualified candidate, reducing the time and cost of hiring.
How to conduct a post-interview assessment
Every business is different. While one business may value items like “cultural fit,” another company may view “technical skills” as a more desirable trait.
In order for a successful post-interview evaluation to occur, the people responsible for making the hiring decision need to sit down and determine how the final candidates will be evaluated.
Below are examples of criteria that companies use while making a post-interview assessment:
- Relevant work experience
- Specific skills or ‘technical skills’
- Ability to work in a team environment
- Leadership skills
- Critical thinking and problem solving
- Communication skills
- Attitude and motivation
- Quality references
- Body language
- Social media/web presence
So how do you decide which items to use?
Hiring based on a prioritized list of skills (both hard and soft) required to work with an assessment form. If you’re hiring for a technical position, such as a software developer, research what a day-to-day would be like for that person. Will they have to interact with others? Will they need to be able to communicate effectively via email? Is there a specific skill set that your company desperately needs and is needed for the position?
Once you’ve decided on your evaluation criteria, it’s time to form a formal post-interview evaluation process that includes the issues your organization is looking to solve and share it with all parties involved in future hiring efforts.
What are the five factors in evaluating candidates?
Candidates go through a lot of trouble to prepare for an interview. However, the interviewing team often has difficulty making a decision because they are not sure what they should be looking for. There are five factors that are most important when evaluating candidates after an interview:
- How well the candidate handled unexpected interview questions: This shows how adaptable and resourceful the candidate is.
- How well the candidate answered questions: This shows how well the candidate understands the role and the company.
- Candidate’s body language: This shows how confident and comfortable the candidate is.
- The candidate’s energy level: This shows how enthusiastic and passionate the candidate is about the role.
- How well the candidate engaged with the interview group: This shows how personable and likable the candidate is and is a good indication of whether they will fit into the team dynamic.
How do you assess a candidate’s soft skills?
Assessing candidates for their soft skills can seem difficult, especially when done remotely. How can you get a sense of someone’s true personality through Zoom? Or figuring out if they’ll be a culture fit for your team when you’re not in the same room?
It is important to remember that interviews are only one tool in the candidate assessment process and there are several different ways to assess soft skills.
One way is to develop a set of pre-interview criteria that you can use to evaluate each candidate. This could include factors such as whether they made eye contact, if they asked questions about the company, or how well they communicated their qualifications.
Another option is to interview the candidate with several people, each focusing on a different skill set. This can help you gain a more rounded picture of the candidate and their abilities. No matter which method you choose, taking the time to assess soft skills is essential to finding the right fit for your team.
How do you assess a specific skill (ie programming)?
Assessing candidates for a specific skill, say programming, can be difficult if you don’t have relevant work examples or real-world scenarios to gauge their knowledge and skill level. The best way to assess a candidate’s specific skills is to ask them about real-world scenarios and have them walk you through how they would solve the problem. This will give you a better understanding of their thought process and whether they are truly knowledgeable about the subject.
Another way to assess a candidate’s programming skills is to give them a take-home test where they have to complete a programming task. This will allow you to see their actual work and how well they understand the concepts. Whichever method you choose, be sure to take the time to properly assess the candidate’s skills so you can make the best hiring decision for your company.
Pitfalls to avoid
Although having a post-interview evaluation process can greatly improve the quality of new hires at your company, unfortunately there is no surefire method of predicting how a candidate will perform once engaged in their assigned tasks.
With a defined assessment process, you can get detailed feedback on candidates after their interviews so you can make more informed hiring decisions. It’s important to have an easy-to-use platform for conducting post-interview candidate assessments.
One major pitfall to avoid is bias. Having bias in your interview process leads to less diversity and a decrease in the overall quality of candidates at your company. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to avoid bias during the interview process. It all starts with equipping interviewers with the right tools to evaluate candidates on a level playing field.
- Include a set of predetermined questions in the interview process. This helps by allowing the hiring manager to collect the same information from multiple interviewers. This makes it much easier to see and avoid biases.
- Use it interview scorecards to allow hiring managers to rank applicants. This allows interviewers to compare all the variables needed to be successful in a particular role. When used over a period of time, you can begin to see a pattern in how high or low an interviewer typically rates candidates. If someone’s average score is 3 out of 5 and they gave a candidate a 4, it would be helpful to dig deeper and see what made that candidate stand out.
- Gather more than enough information during the interview. If you haven’t provided your interviewing team with a standardized list of skills, qualifications, and characteristics to look for during the interview process, then you’re unlikely to get quality feedback from the hiring manager to help you determine the best job applicant. As with avoiding bias, having a standardized portion of your interview based on set criteria is a great way to ensure you’re collecting specific data that can be compared across candidates.
Taking these steps to reduce bias can make a huge difference in how and who you hire, making for a better and more productive workplace. Paycor Recruiting provides the confidence throughout the recruitment and selection process so that the post-interview assessment process is much easier.
How Paycor helps
One of the most important challenges facing businesses today is finding, interviewing and hiring talented people – especially in a remote world. Any hiatus in the recruiting process reduces your time to hire and can cost you time and money, but you can also hire the wrong candidate. Paycor Recruiting, developed by recruitment specialists and HR teams, helps you optimize the recruitment process and allows you to identify the best candidates for your company in record time.
With this valuable tool, you will be able to hire the most talented people for your business and build a strong team that can take your company to the next level!