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Why Self-Evaluations Shouldn’t Be a Factor in Hiring or Reviews

HiringWant to hear the honest truth? Not every employee who walks through your front door is going to be an A-player. Those results are the stuff of recruiting lore and virtual conference catnip; in the words of some cartoon on the Incredibles, “When everyone is special, then no one is.” It’s sad but true. We’re not created equal. So how do you find the best ones?

Everyone Gets a Trophy

The best part of this little farce is that everyone thinks they’re part of ‘the 1%.’ Everyone pretty much considers themselves A-players, so count out self-evaluations when trying to interview or review people. Instead, rely on objective assessments and group interviews to get a better and more objective opinion.

Science Wins

Surveys and assessments mean virtually nothing if they haven’t been tested on statistically significant data and developed by folks who know what they’re doing.. So while the newest assessment apps are tempting, look into the validity and psychology behind those apps. Some of them are incredibly detailed and have been subjected to rigorous testing, while others are a ‘Cosmo Quiz’ in disguise. Do your homework.

Check References

It seems like a no-brainer, but reference checking is often overlooked.  As recruiters,  we are often guilty of “going with our gut” instead of simply picking up the phone. While the rules around what you can ask of a former employer or co-worker vary, the job has gotten easier for hiring pros; the advent of social and professional networks have given a bit more insight into what work product actually looks like. So references can be the people a candidate puts on his or her resume OR they can be  online records of professional achievements. According to industry leader Chequed.com,

“Utilizing an automated reference checking system, as opposed to the old-fashioned phone call or simply no reference check at all, will reap much more insight into a candidate’s performance. As a matter of fact, utilizing automation reaps most firms a +80% completion rate, as opposed to the 25% completion rate via phone call.”

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