The increasing demand to identify and hire top talent candidates has led many employers to utilize multiple hiring strategies. Today’s standard hiring process is likely to include application and resume filtering, pre-hire assessments, numerous interviews, and reference checks. The goal of this type of comprehensive hiring strategy is to provide the employer with the best information to make sound hiring decisions.

What happens, however, when the data collected from these various hiring strategies show different results for the same candidate? For example, what if your interview and pre-hire assessment results don’t match? This inconsistency can make the hiring decision even harder and lead employers to wonder what to do.

Objectivity vs. Subjectivity

It’s crucial that everyone involved in the hiring process understand the role that objectivity and subjectivity play in the hiring process. Subjectivity is when you form an opinion based on your personal feelings, emotions, or past experiences.

Subjectivity comes into play during interviews because the interviewer brings his own thoughts, opinions, and biases into the interview room. Whether consciously or subconsciously, the interviewer often forms an impression of the candidate based on these biases.

For example, an interviewer may make an instant judgment about the candidate, either good or bad, based on their interests or hobbies.

Unfortunately, interests and hobbies are poor indicators of a person’s future performance or skills level.

Pre-hire assessments, on the other hand, have no personal experiences to base judgment on, but rather these assessments rely on data-driven results. This helps to bring objectivity into the hiring process and can help the interviewers put their biases aside. Instead of looking at the candidate’s past experience or education, the pre-hire assessment reveals the candidate’s current skill levels, personality traits, and soft skills.

This fact doesn’t mean that interviews don’t have their place in the hiring process, because they do. What it does say is that hiring decision-makers must understand the role that both objectivity and subjectivity play in hiring decisions. This understanding can help your team make sound hiring decisions rather than making decisions based solely on gut instinct.

Accuracy of Interviews and Assessments

When deciding how heavily to weigh each of the hiring results you obtain, it is essential to look at how accurate each technique is at predicting future success. Several studies have shown the ineffectiveness of interviews to identify top quality candidates.

Interviews, however, can be helpful at eliminating candidates.

For example, you may have a candidate show up 30 minutes late for the interview with no viable explanation, or through the course of an interview, you may realize that the candidate does not quite have the skills set his resume led you to believe.

On the other hand, pre-hire assessments have proven to be very effective at determining future performance and skills levels, as well as identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the candidate. These assessments can help employers decide if the candidate has the right hard and soft skills needed to be successful in their position.

Pre-hire assessments have proven to be very effective at determining future performance

Improve Interview and Assessment Practices

While you will never be able to eliminate the chance of having conflicting results, you can take steps to minimize the impact on your hiring practices. Reviewing and adjusting, as necessary, your interviewing and assessment strategies can help develop a structured hiring process that renders more accurate results.

Quality Assessments

Your pre-hire assessment results are only as good as the assessment itself. It’s important to start by identifying the desired skills you want new hires to possess and then select pre-hire assessments that can help to identify these specific skills. You also want to use science-based assessments that are proven to provide accurate results.

Structured Interview Process

You can reduce the level of subjectivity in the interview process, by developing a structured interview process. This way you are asking each candidate the same question, which enables you to compare results better.

When interview and pre-hire assessment results don’t match, it requires a closer look at the candidate. Do your best to remove subjectivity from the hiring decisions and weigh heavily upon which results are likely offering the most accurate outlook of future performance.