Business Briefing: Are your hiring practices counterproductive?


Man in a suit pointing to a figure in a line of male figures

How do you decide whom to hire? A gut feeling? A great resume? Interviewing rapport? It turns out that interviewing is not as reliable as many people think.

In a New York Times piece, The Utter Uselessness of Job Interviews, Jason Dana writes, “interviewers typically form strong but unwarranted impressions about interviewees, often revealing more about themselves than the candidates.”

He concludes that the unstructured interview is counterproductive.

Business neuroscientist Lynda Shaw warns in Forbes that “a lot of people hire an army of mini ‘mini-mes.’” The danger here is that if you hire people just like yourself, you’ll have a team with the same weaknesses as you.

How to Hire Better

Dana suggests two more reliable methods for hiring: structured interviews and testing job related skills. When all candidates receive the same questions, interviews are “modestly more predictive of job success” and testing is more useful than chit-chat.

To avoid hiring mini-mes, Shaw encourages CEOs to recognize their weak points and be honest about them. Then “have a team round you who each compensates for others’ shortcomings.”

Tom Gimbel, CEO of a staffing and recruiting firm, says in the WSJ to focus on emotional intelligence. These are the folks who own failures, are reflective and are natural leaders, they focus on the “how” and are great at resolving personnel issues.

Thank you to our Business Briefing Sources: The New York Times, Forbes and Wall Street Journal.




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