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Find Your Hire Power: The Intersection of Selection and Science

by Nicole Davessar

This post is a summary of a webcast Shaker's Joseph P. Murphy conducted for HR.com.

When your applicant-to-hire ratio is 200 to 1, who should you interview for the open position? How do you accurately and fairly assess two candidates when they use different words to describe exactly the same experiences on their resumes? What types of conclusions can you draw from a data set that contains two million points?

In Find Your Hire Power at the Intersection of Selection and Science, Joseph Murphy addresses such conundrums faced by talent acquisition professionals and offers suggestions for maximizing hiring-process outcomes.

While big data is often at the disposal of those overseeing talent acquisition decisions, time and resource constraints and the sheer volume of information make analyzing candidate data a challenge. Documenting which candidate abilities and experiences predict on-the-job success is crucial. Such upfront analysis improves the value of the data insights that inform quality of hire and ensures that only the most relevant information is considered during the hiring process.

The pre-employment assessment process is only as effective as the relevance of the competencies it measures. Knowing which abilities have strong correlation to job performance is imperative, but so is implementing a composite assessment. More than 85 years of industrial-organizational (I-O) psychology research has demonstrated that at least two varying methods of evaluation are most effective for predicting a particular competency. A multi-method assessment increases hiring-decision accuracy because it better evaluates the many factors that can drive on-the-job performance.



Selection science uses experiment design to establish data relevance, define the appropriate data structure, and conduct the appropriate method of analysis. As the data relevance increases, the sophistication of analytic methods shifts from primitive to predictive, enabling recruiters and hiring managers to more confidently and efficiently identify best-fit candidates.

The overall impact of implementing a scientifically sound selection process can be profound and add high value to your company. Aside from simply hiring the right talent, evidence-based selection can directly increase new hire performance, reduce time to proficiency, and improve the overall staffing process. Selection science has at its core the documentation of ROI and measuring quality of hire.

If you’re thinking about how to improve your hiring process, Murphy encourages you to engage an I-O psychologist with a free lunch or cup of coffee. Their unique viewpoint and skillset can help you approach your talent acquisition process from new and advantageous perspectives.

Want to know more? View a replay of Murphy's webcast.