The Applicant

Incompetent Interviewing Skills Blamed for Poor Employee Performance
by: Jerry Liao

More often than not, when we talk about corporate assets, people will refer to physical assets like furniture, fixtures, equipment, cars and more. Rarely do you hear companies considering knowledge within the company an asset. To me, knowledge asset is one of the most valuable asset one company has. It is something that cannot be bought but can be developed.

The term “knowledge assets” refers to the accumulated intellectual resources of your organization. It is the knowledge possessed by your organization and its employees in the form of information, ideas, learning, understanding, memory, insights, cognitive and technical skills, and capabilities. Employees, software, patents, databases, documents, guides, policies and procedures, and technical drawings are repositories of an organization’s knowledge assets. Knowledge assets are held not only by an organization but reside within its customers, suppliers, and partners as well. Knowledge assets are the “know how” that your organization has available to use, to invest, and to grow. Building and managing its knowledge assets are key components for your organization to create value for its stakeholders and to help sustain competitive advantage.

But for a company to build a sound and valuable knowledge asset base, one should start on the right footing. Start right and your chances of success will be higher, start wrong and achieving success will be more difficult. You might be surprised but proper interviewing skills plays an important role in knowledge asset development.

A new survey of UK heads of HR shows that 74% believe people in their organizations use poor interviewing techniques, resulting in inadequate employee performance that affects the bottom line. The survey, conducted for A&DC, shows that bad interviewing techniques have major consequences on business results, including 35% of respondents stating it shows in poor employee performance and most notably, 24% judging that it affects the bottom line. A&DC has created CBI-Smart, an online tool that enables all interviewers, trained or not, to quickly, easily and inexpensively use competency based interview (CBI) techniques to more than double their chances of hiring the right people first time.

A&DC’s survey also shows the amount of time it takes for HR people to prepare fully for each interview; 70% of HR managers take at least 20 minutes, while 25% spend over 40 minutes creating a series of comprehensive questions.

A third of the respondents believe that the main barrier to making reliable and consistent selection decisions is simply down to poorly trained interviewers. Seventeen percent state that a lack of time is a barrier to making the right decisions every time. Only 16% of respondents thought that most (81% or more) of the people in their organization interviewed well, i.e. consistently and fairly.

Poor interviewing techniques have, according to the 106 respondents, major consequences on business results. Apart from poor employee performance and affecting the bottom line, the HR heads also believe it wastes time (9%), wastes cost (9%), creates disaffection amongst staff (7%) and leaves candidates with a bad impression of their organization (16%).

Rory Fidgeon, Senior Consultant Occupational Psychologist for A&DC, the creators of CBI-Smart, explains, “Interviewing well is a skill that is difficult to consistently get right across the entire organization, whether it’s large or small. The survey shows that few heads of HR see their people interviewing well, which backs up the stories we hear of so many interviewing with ‘gut feeling’ as their main guide. Using this type of judgement in interviews doesn’t work consistently. The results show huge scope to improve and simplify the interviewing process. Competency based interviews more than double the chances of hiring the right people, yet previously they have taken a great deal of time – often over an hour – for trained individuals to pose the right questions for each interview”.

James Foster, Marketing Manager of A&DC, sums up: “Recruiting the wrong person is expensive – research shows that the total cost of replacing a member of staff averages in excess of £8,000.

Other findings are:

– 74% of people within business use poor interviewing techniques.
– 35% of poor interviewing techniques result in poor performance in employees.
– 24% believe it affects bottom line.
– 33% of interviewers are poorly trained.
– 25% of interviewers spend more than 40 minutes preparing for an interview.

So there you go, the secret is out, you want to have the right team – Ask the right questions.

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