Several clients and various HR sites have referenced an article about Google implementing a testing process for hiring. We’re big fans of Google and use their tools to support our Recruitment Process Outsourcing business as well as various marketing activities for our business.
Google is a recent convert to assessment testing. Based on the article, they are using a web based biographical survey to help them solve two problems:
1. How to predict if a job candidate will be successful at Google;
2. How to manage lots of job candidates (all of our clients are hoping for this problem)
A biographical survey or biodata test can be very effective at predicting job performance. Our AutoScreen® Plus is a biodata test that we introduced to clients in late 2005. The AutoScreen® Plus has been effective at predicting turnover risk, training performance, first call resolution, and call quality/satisfaction.
In Google’s case, the article indicates that they backed into the test by correlating answer choices with job performance rankings. In our case, we started with job analysis work that identified critical competencies for contact center work. Then, questions were designed around those competencies. Then, the assessment was validated against multiple clients comparing test scores with job performance outcomes. Google also needs an automated assessment because of the huge volume of job candidates – 100,000 per month according to the article. Using web based assessments can provide significant advantages to driving efficiency and effectiveness to the hiring process. We’ve been able to help our clients reduce recruiting costs by as much as 50% by shifting to a web centric hiring model.
The article highlights some assumptions that don’t actually hold up when hiring for jobs. First, grade point average does not necessarily predict job performance. Google has primarily used GPA as a screening criteria but research analysis shows that GPA is not a strong predictor of job performance. Our own research shows that new hires need to have the right match of smarts and attitudes/motivations for the job. Second, interviews are not a strong predictor of job performance. This is definitely true for unstructured interviews. You’re better off just flipping a coin. But, a structure, behavioral interview can yield incremental improvement to the hiring process.
Google’s move into assessment testing only makes sense given the math basis of their business. It also reinforces that the right use of data can drive better operating decisions for business.
If you using biodata tests already, you can take comfort that you are ahead of Google in something. If you are not, you can take comfort that Google is and perhaps you might want to look into it. After all, they just posted net income of $1.03 billion on $3.21 billion in revenue.
Topics: Talent Selection Ideas