Evidence Soup
How to find, use, and explain evidence.

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Thursday, 19 July 2007

How much hiring is really evidence-based?

On his blog, Tom Timmerman notes that "We've known for decades that hiring managers make better hiring decisions when they use structured interviews instead of unstructured interviews. Unstructured interviews, however, remain more popular. That’s why you might be asked during an interview: 'If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?' This interviewer has no evidence that 'oaks' make better employees than 'willows'. Instead, the interviewer thinks they have some sort of super-power that allows them to derive meaning from the answer. How many good employees are lost through this type of decision-making?" OK, this is a bit extreme -- hopefully not too many hiring managers are disciples of Barbara Walters. But hiring is a broken process, desperately in need of more evidence-based methods.

How can we make sure that useful evidence/research actually makes a difference in the real world, where people are in a crunch to find and hire good candidates? They haven't time for lengthy research and analysis. Particularly when it comes to "talent acquisition" and other human-resources activities, it's tough to know whose advice to believe. I'm looking for examples of evidence-based recruiting, hiring, and leadership development practices, and want to know who is developing resources that are accessible to people in the workplace.

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