So many factors go into every single hiring decision you make. Hiring is not a simple process, and neither is the way that each organization goes about making those decisions. We recently put out a survey to learn more about how hiring professionals attract, hire, and retain their teams, and we published our findings in our second annual Pre-Employment Testing Benchmark Report. One of the things we were curious about was which factors or tools organizations are using to make those all important hiring decisions. Here’s what we found:
Percent of Companies Using Each Factor in the Hiring Process
Unsurprisingly, in-person interviews and resumes are still almost universally used. Resumes and interviews are the traditional old guard of the hiring process, and it’s not likely that they’re going away any time soon. While resumes and interviews are a bit notorious for inserting unconscious bias into the hiring process, they still serve a fairly core role in most organizations’ hiring processes to this day, a role that is not easily replaced by newer tools.
Not far behind, 87% of survey respondents also indicated that they use pre-employment tests in the hiring process. While some of the survey respondents were Criteria Corp customers, this number was not too far off the figures reported by other sources. For example, other research reports have found that about 82% of companies are currently using assessments of some form.
Then we get to phone interviews, which are currently being conducted by about three-fourths of companies. This first-stage interview phase typically serves as a screener to determine whether or not to invite someone to the more time-consuming in-person interview.
Interestingly, background checks are being conducted at the same rate as phone interviews. Background screenings may occasionally be required for compliance or security reasons, which could explain why the usage is relatively high.
Reference checks fall in the middle of the pack, with the majority of companies performing them, at 65%. While reference checks can sometimes feel like a waste of time, it’s clear that companies are still finding them valuable as a point of validation, a useful form of due diligence to prevent a bad hire from happening before it’s too late.
The remaining factors fall below a majority. Just 37% of companies are using drug tests in the hiring process. This number may be trending down. In our survey from 2018, 40% of respondents said they were doing drug tests.
Meanwhile, cover letters come in at just 29%. Often considered a core component of the hiring process, cover letters have started to lose favor in the recruiting world, especially considering the limited amount of time a hiring manager can commit to reviewing each person’s application.
Work samples come in next at 25%. While work samples can be highly predictive of on-the-job performance, they’re also fairly difficult to conduct, they can substantially lengthen the hiring process, and they can also be a little unfair to ask of a candidate unless they’re pretty far down the application process.
And finally, video interviews come in at 22%. With the rise of remote workforces, we predict to see video interviewing increase over time. Talent is hard to come by, and more and more companies are becoming open to hiring people outside of their geographic region. Short of inviting a candidate to fly out to your headquarters, video interviewing provides an alternative means to get to know a candidate without meeting in-person.
What’s clear from the survey results is that companies are using a lot of factors to make hiring decisions, often through a combination of traditional tools such as interviews and resumes, with more objective and data-driven tools like pre-employment assessments or even work samples.
For more insights on how companies are tackling the challenges of modern day hiring, download our 2019 Pre-Employment Testing Benchmark Report.