When applying for a potential job, today’s candidate has a variety of options. They could go to an interview coach, who can teach them when to smile, how to demonstrate a strong handshake, and what to say when an interviewer asks, ‘what’s your biggest weakness?’ They could go online and get their resume checked for errors or perhaps participate in a mock interview.
With the myriad of preparation tools available to today’s job seeker, is it possible for hiring managers to distinguish the real from the rehearsed?
“Applicants are better trained now,” says Ray Bixler, CEO of SkillSurvey. “Exaggerations on resumes are at an all-time high. People look really good.”
Bixler adds that at best, personality tests only predict how a person might work in that role. So where does an employer find the information that is an effective predictor of a good job fit? Bixler believes that it’s crucial to listen to a candidate’s peers.
“Getting references and their viewpoints is always critical,” says Bixler, “but we’ve been able to elevate that.”
SkillSurvey is a web-based platform that has revolutionized the process of reference checking by ensuring that it is confidential, online, and scientific. Using SkillSurvey’s algorithms, an employer can gather information about a candidate from direct reports, managers, and peers.
“When you think about companies who are doing the very best in finding the top talent available, they’d look for a solution like ours to help them,” says Bixler.
SkillSurvey’s clients range from higher education institutions like Clemson University to retailers like Talbots and Kohl’s, but the company has found particular success in the healthcare industry.
“Hiring the wrong cashier is never a good thing, but you could probably repair the customer issue,” says Bixler. “If you hire the wrong person in a hospital, really bad things could and have happened.”
To use SkillSurvey, a recruiter enters the candidate through the online platform, which takes less than a minute. Then, the candidate enters their professional references, who provide confidential performance feedback. This information is aggregated into an easy-to-read report that employers can use to assess whether the candidate will be a good fit. Each survey, which will be completed by the candidate’s peers, has been created by SkillSurvey’s team of Industrial/Organizational psychologists.
SkillSurvey’s system has changed the reference-checking process by switching the order of the process. SkillSurvey can weed out potentially bad hires before committing time to the interview process, reducing the turnover rate and time spent reference-checking.
“Usually the hiring manager receives the final report on the applicant, and they often say, ‘Wait a second, why can’t I use [reference information] before the interview?” says Bixler. “The information that they were receiving was so good that they wanted to leverage it to be a better interviewer.”