I now present four more outdated hiring myths you should be aware of this year:
1. References Are Reliable Indicators of a Candidate’s Future Performance
Two pieces of research shows that references are the least reliable assessments of all, with a 13 percent predictive validity — which means they are not very effective at predicting future job performance at all.
Now, I don’t think we need to throw the baby out with the bath water. References are still reliable for checking factual information, such as qualifications, dates of service, and job titles. However, with more and more employers refusing to give out negative information about candidates’ previous performances for fear of legal action, performance-based references are becoming not only unreliable, but also impractical.
2. LinkedIn Is the Best Social Media Channel for Finding Talent
Research from Jobvite shows that 94 percent of recruiters in 2014 used LinkedIn to find talent, while just 65 percent used Facebook. This suggests that recruiters see LinkedIn as the go-to social media platform when it comes to finding talent.
However, this same research questions LinkedIn’s go-to status when it comes to hiring, Jobvite found that just 36 percent of job seekers are active on LinkedIn. Meanwhile, a massive 83 percent of job seekers are active on Facebook, and 76 percent of social job seekers actually found their current positions through Facebook.
We need not eradicate LinkedIn from our sourcing strategies altogether, but using LinkedIn as the first social media port of call when finding talent may no longer be a great idea. Recruiters and employers may need to adjust their assumptions and outlooks, follow the lead of the modern job seeker, and make more use of Facebook during hiring and employer branding efforts.
3. Formal Hiring Processes Are Reliable
Most of us assume that if we jump though the right hoops and follow all the right recruitment practices, then we will make the perfect hire. However, research shows that, at best — which means deploying a very expensive assessment-center approach that only a few can afford — hiring processes are 68 percent reliable.
This is pretty good — but it’s not 100 percent reliable, which means there is still a lot of room for error — e.g., three out every ten hires won’t do what they said on the tin.
Let’s not overlook the fact that most mortal recruiters can only afford to deploy structured interviews at best — which are, in themselves, very time consuming — and that this approach is only 62 percent reliable. This means that, for most of us, roughly four out of every ten hires will fail to live up to our expectations.
The fact is that hiring processes are inherently unreliable. Employers should instead look at new hires as works in progress and implement processes to develop employees to the levels they must meet in order to achieve in the organization.
4. Candidates Without the Right Job-Related Skills Will Fail
The general belief is that candidates without the right job-related or technical skills will fail, or at least perform more poorly than those with the right skills.
In reality, while technical skills do of course play a role in the performance of any given hire, research from Leadership IQ shows that only 11 percent of new hires fail because they lacked technical skills. Most new hires — 89 percent — fail because they lack the right attitudes, temperaments, emotional intelligence, and/or motivation. Don’t put too much stock in technical skills when assessing candidates; make sure to take into account their attitudes, motivation levels, and temperaments, too.