Friday, October 3, 2008

Measuring Effectiveness of Selection Is Key

Alice: “Would you tell me which way I ought to go from here?”
Cheshire Cat: “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to!”
Alice: “I don’t much care where….”
Cheshire Cat “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
From Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Competition for talent in key positions is fierce, even in these difficult economic times. In the past, many organizations preferred the flexibility and informality of unmeasured hiring practices. This approach was satisfactory provided the practices were executed effectively and administered with consistency. Experience has proven that in many cases unmeasured hiring processes perpetuate themselves and result in misunderstanding, inefficiency and hiring the wrong people.

Using effective selection measures can greatly enhance the quality and productivity of an organization’s workforce. Measures such as cost per hire, inter-rater reliability, measures for testing , validity, and many more can tell the real story of how a selection process performs. Unfortunately, many HR professionals have misconceptions about the value of selection measures and, if used, are confused as to which measurement tools are right for their situation. They believe an unstructured interview yields better results than structured assessments. Others think the existence of selection measurement programs are too abstract and attributable to the many consulting companies trying to make a buck. The reality is that well-placed measurement tools are very reliable and in these days of ever-tightening budgets are increasingly finding an audience. HR professionals must take positive steps to measure the effectiveness of their hiring processes, and be ready to hold themselves accountable for the results.

“If you don’t measure it, people will know you’re not serious about delivering it.”
James Belasco in “Teaching the Elephant to Dance.”

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