Tools are a great way to shorten time to complete tasks and improve quality in a process. Hiring, Candidate Review, and Performance Review are no different. Here are three tools that I have founds myself using while reviewing candidates.
So I got an automated email last week. Big surprise, eh? If you are like me, you get dozens of these a day. This one was a little bit different. It was from a company asking me to provide a reference for one of my old consultants. That piqued my interest. I opened it up, followed the link to SkillSurvey, and filled out the questions. The simple instructions walked me through the process, and reassured me that my comments were anonymous and would be aggregated. There were less than 10 questions, and were simple radio button scales. I had the ability to put in freeform comments, and send it off.
Every other year, I have been encouraged by my management to do a 360 degree review of myself. I log into 360Metrics and choose up to 3 direct reports, clients, peers, and managers. Each of them receive emails to complete a set of predefined questions that rate and rank my skills on on a set of core values. They are periodically reminded over the course of the review cycle. When the review period closes, I receive an email and can generate an aggregate report of my ratings and comments.
Every time I open up a requisition to find a new candidate for our team, I get a flood of resumes. Eighty percent of those resumes have some sort of certification. Most certifications we see are from Microsoft. But some certifications come from BrainBench. They offer certifications for individuals on a wide variety of specializations from Computer Software to Management, from Aptitude to Office Skills, from Communication to Industry Knowledge. Obviously, the ones we see most often from BrainBench are technical in nature. BrainBench also provides Pre-Hire Testing and Employee Development services to Employers.
- These tools are simple to use
- The questions can be asked and are easy to analyze quantitatively
- The same questions are asked of all candidates, so the questions and the delivery are consistent
- They have open ended questions that allow you to analyze free-form text
- Since these tools are web based, they can be leveraged (both from the candidate and from the hiring manager) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- The tools may not be measuring what you are looking for
- It is not difficult to “game” the system to produce phony or inaccurate results
- The perception of these tools is that they measure which candidate is “better” than another
- Some of these tools may give an advantage to good test-takers
- The process may be too objective, and not interactive enough
I think that these tools can be a big help, and a great time saver. Tools like SkillSurvey leave the evaluation up to the hiring manager, and help facilitate and focus the collection of critical hiring information. However, the risk of relying on tools like BrainBench is that you take the interpersonal aspect out of the process. You may miss an enthusiastic, bright candidate who is a bad test-taker, or who has the right attitude, but a different set of experiences.
I am sure that there are lots of other tools available in this arena. What tools have you used? What have your experience been with them? How do you use them in your process?