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  • Ben Kettle

3 Quick and Easy Ways to Make Better Hires

Updated: Dec 22, 2021

Turns out we know what methods increase the odds of hiring the right candidate, the downside is that you probably don't use them.


Quick note: Here it is, my first real post. Hope you all find it useful. Feedback on topics, writing style, etc are always welcome! It’s difficult and time consuming to figure out how you can increase the probability of making a great hire. Here’s the good news, someone has done the difficult work for you.


One of those people is Lazslo Bock, Google’s former Head of People. Bock dedicated a whole chapter in his 2016 book Work Rules to not trusting your gut. Instead of intuition, Bock and his team relied upon data, rigorous testing, and proven methods to evaluate their candidates.


In order to determine which methods to test, Bock and the Googlers distilled a meta analysis of hiring methods by Frank Schmidt and John Hunter, two decorated industrial-organizational psychologists.¹


Below is each hiring method’s effectiveness at predicting job performance, according to Schmidt and Hunter and interpreted by Google’s people team:


candidate selection methods

See anything surprising? I do.


Feel like you’ve screwed up an evaluation? It’s OK; I have too.


We are not alone. Turns out that only a handful of hiring managers and organizations utilize any (much less all) of the top three methods. I made that mistake early in my career, when I relied solely on unstructured interviews and years of work experience to guide my hiring decisions. To me, it was just “the way” we hired. I was wrong.


In future posts, I’ll break down each method and provide easy ways you can incorporate the approach into your organization.


For now, give that chart a look, do some internet research, and watch as you dramatically increase the probability of making better hires.



The Takeaway:

Improve the probability that you’ll hire the right people by using just 3 practices:

  1. Work sample test(s)

  2. Measures of general cognitive ability²

  3. Structured interviews

OK - that’s it, apply those three methods and start building a better workplace!

 

1 Here’s a link to the meta-analysis (warning: the title is not captivating): The Validity and Utility of Selection Models in Personnel Psychology: Practical and Theoretical Implications of 85 Years of Research Findings

2 The SAT and a candidate’s GPA are not measures of general cognitive ability (but we’ll talk more about that later).

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