SmartRecruiters Blog

Hiring IS NOT Like a Box of Chocolates

“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get,” Forrest Gump so poignantly said.  And while I can admit, when life goes a little awry I’ve found myself referencing this mantra; there’s one part of life this saying cannot be applied to: hiring.

Life may be like a box of chocolates, but hiring isn’t. When you’re making that next hiring decision, be sure not to take your advice from good old Forrest Gump. Unlike a box of chocolates you should know EXACTLY what you’re getting from your next hiring decision. Even if that means biting off half and leaving the rest in the box. Only the candidates you REALLY want and need should be getting a job offer.

Hiring decisions should not be left up to chance. By using the right resources you can dramatically decrease the rate and likelihood of high turnover. That saves you time, money, and let’s face it, headaches. We are talking about the SCIENCE of hiring.

Relying on a resume alone gives you a one-dimensional view of the candidate. You want the holistic view, from skills to culture fit and everything in-between. The science of hiring requires a formula, and that formula includes candidate assessments.

Lets start with personality tests. Like the much-adored box of chocolates how much can you really tell about the filling from the outside? Not much. Sure, maybe the swirl of dark-chocolate across the top gives a hint but it’s not nearly the amount of information you’d have from a detailed description of each. This is where your assessments come in. By using a personality assessment you get a look inside the chocolate – I mean, candidate.  If your open position is in sales do want someone timid and quiet? Or do you want someone confident and extroverted? Pick a name out of a hat and you may pick a candidate better suited for a job in a library. Tests that measure personality aren’t only a great way to assess the candidate’s ability to amplify your company culture but also do the job.

The next set of assessments apply to skills. I could write all over my resume that I have experience in Python and Ruby on Rails, that I’m basically a developer magician. But put me in front of a computer screen with code, and I guarantee I’ll either start to cry or I’ll try and bribe the person next to me to do it. In case you weren’t already aware, that is NOT who you want to hire. Skills tests verify what’s the on the resume. Using them will save you the risk of your new employee crying at the screen, bribing their coworker, or screwing up your previously beautiful product.

According to an Aberdeen study, “best in class” companies were 79% more likely to use pre-hire assessments. You know what that means? They’ve completely ignored Gump’s chocolate choosing strategy and know EXACTLY who they’re hiring.

As much as I love Gump and thinking about life like as a box of chocolate – it’s way more complicated that that. Particularly when we’re talking about scaling a business. Welcome to the world of hyper-competition, where everyone has a bigger badder box of chocolate than you. To stay ahead of the competition and random candy grabbers you can’t afford NOT to use science in your hiring process to find the best candidates.

Using an assessment strategy reduces turnover and improves employee performance. Once you’ve defined the roles needed to scale your company you can appropriately pick the right assessment to meet your needs. In a world filled with uncertainty the least you can do is give yourself a clear vision of who you will be working with. So, yes life may be like a box of chocolates- but hiring isn’t.

Lexie Forman-Ortiz

Lexie Forman-Ortiz

Lexie Forman-Ortiz is the Community Manager at SmartRecruiters.