When it comes to executing change in the workplace, what are some ways it can happen? Think about that for a quick moment before reading on. After pondering on it for a second or two, what comes to mind? In most cases, it is the direction of management that dictates the changes that typically roll downhill. But what if they don’t have an answer to this simple, yet complex question regarding the hiring process? Then a conundrum exists, and it would seem that there is no way out.
Are Surveys the Ultimate Answer?
While the issue mentioned above can quickly spiral out of control, there is a simple solution that human resource departments and other key business personnel can employ; surveys. This simple analytical tool can not only show trends, but it can also show hard evidence in the form of opinionated statements. Often, surveys are conducted after someone has gained employment, but rarely is it done once a hiring decision has been made (for better or worse).
So, one may be asking himself/herself why should they bother spending the time to create a survey to get insight from potential employment candidates? There are three (3) huge benefits that are easy to apply. First, the data compiled can be used to determine what is working with the interview process and what isn’t. In all fairness, one shouldn’t create a survey so long as it feels like an interrogation session with the FBI. Rather, it should be no more than about 10 questions, including open-ended questions, which require one to only respond, as opposed to closed-ended questions that forces someone to make a choice (or choices) (George, 2016; McQuerrey, 2018). Above anything, if executed online, it must be through a secure platform such as Google Forms, Survey Monkey, Kwik Surveys, LimeSurvey, etc., where the anonymity and confidentiality of participants are guaranteed regardless of what is shared with them. What’s better, is that the majority of online survey platforms have a low cost or are free to use.
Secondly, it can reveal critical biases that a firm may otherwise not see. Let’s say there is a management position up for grabs and 10 people apply for the position. Without looking deep into the applications, it would be difficult to determine if bias existed within the candidate pool. Once interviews were conducted and the qualified candidate was selected, a survey went out to the nine (9) people that didn’t receive an offer. It was discovered in the findings that there was some concern that the person who got the job was hired based off of the interviewer’s bias towards minorities. Given that this was a consistent theme and not just an isolated incident, it is a learning opportunity for the firm to be more open to all that apply for positions from that point forward. Without this post-interview survey, this may have never been fully realized. Worse, it may not ever be realized until a discrimination claim against the company is formally filed.
The third benefit relates to a coaching opportunity for recruiters, managers, and anyone else that may interact with potential candidates. In a Robert Walters whitepaper, it was documented that 40 percent of all companies they surveyed did not provide interview training (2017). Thus, utilizing surveys to tweak and optimize interviews as a candidate progresses will provide a better interviewing experience for all concerned. This can also provide insight on whether or not to focus on obtaining additional candidates, which may reduce bias that was once present.
The Final Question & Response
Utilizing surveys to make more informed hiring decisions has many more benefits than what can be explained in this short post. What are some other ones that could be beneficial? How could they positively (or if one wants to go this route, negatively) impact the interviewing experience? One can assume that it is safe to say that whatever interview experience a candidate receives helps to inform their impression of the firm too. Please take a moment to share your thoughts and provide a comment below. We’re curious to know how we can assist you in creating better surveys to improve a candidate’s experience in the future.
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Dr. Danielle Jenkins provides insights and tips on how to strategically run your business in the most efficient manner possible.