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Why a boring hiring strategy may best serve employers

Consultants and human resource experts have written volumes of material on the best techniques to identify the top candidates for employment. Some well-known CEOs and others have developed strategies they believe can unlock deep psychological traits in exceptional candidates.

Many of these successful people say they have hiring down to a science and an expedient exercise without excessive or tedious questions. Some have a favourite or “go-to” question, which they believe will reveal everything they need to know about the candidate.

Notablego-to questions for famous CEOs

Business Insider recently asked 53 successful executives about their favourite interview questions, some of which are on the bizarre side, including:

  • “What would you do in the event of a zombie apocalypse?”
  • “What’s your spirit animal?”
  • “On a scale of one to 10, how weird are you?”

Why a structured process works better

While off-the-wall questions can lead to wonderfully creative answers and fun conversations, most of these responses will not reveal how well a candidate can do a particular job. Instead, consider five steps, boring though they may be, to find the best candidates:

  • Define job attributes: Outline what skills your team needs to succeed and whether the candidate has those traits.
  • Request a work sample: Have candidates complete a sample work assignment, same as what they would do in the job, and assess their performance.
  • Ask behavioural questions: When interviewing a candidate, ask them how they solved an analytical problem. Their answer reveals not only how they resolved the issue but helps define what they consider as problems.
  • Average team scores: Have several team members interview candidates using the same questions and submit scores with equal weight. This will help keep bias out of the process.
  • Review the process: Identify the positive qualities among your best employees and include those findings in your interviews and other procedures to ensure that the system is up to date.

Boring is good sound policy

Taking these measures in the hiring process may not feel exciting or fun, which is why many companies look to do something else. However, you will likely find that using proven and repeatable steps for finding the best candidates leads to the most successful and unbiased hiring policy.

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