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In search of the Right person for the Right job

Like the play ‘Waiting for Godot’ captures the eternal wait for something, in the management space, the adage of ‘right person for the right job’ is an oft quoted ideal and a subject for discussion throughout the HR function.

In reality, it is one of the aspirational states that organizations hope to achieve where they gain talent that contribute effectively to their roles, and in turn, the new hires score high on key HR metrics such as job satisfaction and engagement levels. The result is a high performing organization with a clear competitive advantage.

There are several studies that show that the validity of interviews as a selection process to predict future job performance is low. Moreover, training interviewers to recognize and minimize biases and conducting structured interviews is also a key activity, that is not rigorously followed in many organizations. But this problem emerges once one gets to the interview stage. The problem of narrowing the recruitment funnel without committing type I and type II errors is the first problem at hand, and this problem becomes even more acute where the openings are low and assured number of applicants is high, such as campus recruitment or bulk hiring drives in organizations.

A natural solution to narrow the applicant pool, is to add assessments to the process in addition to the traditional structured interview. This step is dependent on the skillsets and/or seniority one is hiring for and there are several service providers who help customize assessments based on the objective of using them. Technical roles such as coders may have an online test of coding ability on specific problem statements. Roles requiring basic aptitude and communication skills prefer using small online test modules testing these aspects. Some organizations like P&G also have a personality questionnaire as one of the initial assessments. Apart from being a tool to narrow the applicant pool, some assessments, such as those at senior leadership hiring also act as additional supplement inputs to later assessment stages such as interviews. In addition, many organizations use assessments to test values or competencies integral to the organization or roles to assess cultural fitment. There are numerous innovative offerings in the market today in the assessments space, in addition to traditional online assessments, from simulations to gamified assessments to assessments testing niche skillsets, etc.

While the consistent high performance, cultural fit and retention of employees is a result of several additional factors (such as company culture, compensation, other benefits, quality of work, career path, etc), the quality of the initial selection process can have a major impact on the quality of hire and help organizations save on hiring costs, training costs and adopt a ‘first time right’ approach to getting the right talent on board.