Keeping Hiring Fresh: From Group Interviews to Informal Events

In yesterday’s Advisor, we noted that interviews can sometimes be a bottleneck in the hiring process. We started an outline of some alternatives to either bypass or improve the in-person interview. Let’s take a look at a few more options here:

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  • Questionnaire-based, written interview. Another alternative is to provide a full interview in written form. This saves time for the employer and allows the interviewee to provide well-thought-out answers, which can help to eliminate some of the first-interview nerves that plague otherwise good candidates. It could also show the organization how well the individual communicates in writing. Yet another benefit is that the answers can be reviewed by multiple people, as soon as they’re available. Of course, it may yield less information about that person’s personality and fit for the organization, so it may be good for a first interview while perhaps not negating the need for a second one.
  • Group interviews. While this option does not eliminate the in-person interview, a group interview can be a more efficient way to review candidates. Group interviews can refer to either a group of interviewees or a group of interviewers.

–Multiple interviewees. By asking a larger group to come in at the same time for interviews, the employer can be more efficient. While this still requires in-person interviews (and you’ll likely need a separate interviewer for every candidate), it shortens the time span for the process. It can also allow for the interviewers to interview more than one candidate in quick succession.

–Multiple interviewers. The idea behind having multiple people perform an interview for one candidate is that it may negate the need for follow-up interviews because you’ll have the opinions of multiple people within the organization right away. This can also shorten your interview process.

  • Hire individuals first as contractors or temporary employees. Contractors don’t often go through the same rigorous interview process—instead, they’re asked to submit information on how they will complete the work and how they’re qualified to do so. By selecting contractors first, the employer could have an opportunity to then extend employment offers to those contractors who are best suited for the role, as determined after working with them on a contractual basis. (Be careful that any agreements you’re in—such as those with third-party services that put employers and contractors in contact—are not violated.) There’s less risk than hiring someone, and you get to actually see how they work.
  • Hold informal events for all candidates. If the organization wants to get to know candidates more and have more of an opportunity for multiple people to meet with them informally, an event could be held in which all candidates attend, and it could be as simple as an after-work casual meal or appetizer and socializing event.

Has your organization tried any alternatives to the traditional in-person interview process? What has been your experience?

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