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Groundhog Day: Break the Cycle of Recurring Recruiting Problems

by Joseph Murphy

Groundhog

Rita: Do you ever have déjà vu?
Phil: Didn't you just ask me that?
—Groundhog Day  

Who can forget the 1993 movie Groundhog Day, in which Bill Murray’s character, TV weatherman Phil Connors, must relive the same day over and over again? Just fiction, right? Well, many organizations find themselves undergoing something very similar in their recruiting practices, accepting the status quo processes that advance the wrong candidates and result in high turnover and poor performance. But as business continues to become more competitive, efficiently hiring the right people the first time is essential to building a team capable of meeting company needs and adapting to future challenges. If you keep those inefficient, ineffective processes on replay, you will keep having the same hiring experiences and never get ahead.

In the movie, Phil is stuck in the same day, waking up to relive February 2 again and again. But the calendar continues to move forward for you. Each day you operate with suboptimal recruiting practices will lead to continued challenges, lost revenue, and damage to your brand. So, in honor of Groundhog Day, break the cycle of recurring recruiting challenges and adopt the processes that will help you hire the people who can move your business forward each and every day.

Consider the following common recurring recruiting challenges and how to solve them.

Problem #1: A negative candidate experience drives away the best talent.

The ability to deliver a positive, transparent candidate experience is key to attracting the best talent and improving your employer brand. If you don’t deliver a good experience, you will struggle to attract top talent and build a pool of qualified candidates, and your reputation as an employer can be damaged. If your recruiting process takes too long and candidates are left in the dark, they will be more likely to drop out. Not giving candidates sufficient opportunity to demonstrate their strengths will also lead to disengagement. Applicants know their resumes present a narrow view and want to feel as if they had a chance to show off their abilities.

Solution: Key to delivering a satisfying experience is giving candidates the opportunity to perform and demonstrate their skills; and candidates will relish the opportunity to showcase what they can offer. Built around such opportunities, Virtual Job Tryout technology provides an assessment experience that includes game-like exercises and scenarios to better engage applicants by educating them about what's required to be successful on the job and help you improve the candidate experience.

Problem #2: Using subjective data does not tell the whole story.

Despite the emphasis so many people put on resumes as the cornerstone of candidate evaluation, the information included in these documents—which is often subjective, unstructured, and random—does little to allow for objective comparison of applicants. The result is you can be hiring blind. You get a superficial overview of the candidate but no insight into how they will actually perform on the job. The result is that hiring decisions are based on assumptions and hunches, rather than actual data.

Solution: Look beyond the resume. Give candidates the opportunity to demonstrate their skills through work samples. Evaluating them on performance will enable you to discern the differences in candidates’ abilities—regardless of what might be on their resume—and make better informed, data-based decisions.

Problem #3: Poor quality of hire leads to increased turnover.

The costs of employee turnover can be disastrous. The majority of companies report bad hires costing them between $25,000 and $50,000 per hire. And the time and effort that went into recruiting those new hires can never be reclaimed. Again, the ability to predict how candidates will perform on the job through realistic job previews is key to understanding their abilities and preparing them for success. It enables candidates to learn what the job is all about, helping them decide to opt out if the role isn’t right for them, while enabling those hired to hit the ground running, knowing what’s expected of them.

Solution: Adopt the tools that enable you to gauge how your candidates will perform if hired by using robust job simulation assessments. Through such objective insight, you can ensure you hire those candidates who understand what the job entails and have the skills to perform effectively—and will be more likely to stay in their positions for the long term.

Just as Phil Connors eventually broke the time loop, you too can break the cycle of recurring recruiting problems. While Phil had the “luxury” of repeating his days (the equivalent of more than 8 years), your success is contingent on ending the cycle much sooner. By understanding the above challenges and adopting the solutions to improve, you can continually enhance the process each day instead of repeating the same recruiting mistakes over and over.

For more details on using assessments to break the cycle of your own recruiting Groundhog Day, read our white paper Is Your Assessment Working?.

To estimate the cost of turnover in your organization, use our interactive staffing waste ROI calculator.