3 companies with a unique take on interviews

Many companies are looking for different ways of hiring. We have highlighted three companies that decided to change directions in the way they hire and try something new. 

We have left the time when candidates would have to show off to companies long behind us. The tables have turned, and still, companies are still failing to attract the right talent.

According to Mercer’s 2020-2021 Global Talent Trends Study, as 60% of companies are looking to attract new talent in the post-pandemic environment, they must revitalize the experience of their talent and make themselves stand out to attract the right candidates, not vice versa. 

Many companies are looking for different ways of hiring. The way they search, screen, assess and contract talent is radically changing. 

We have highlighted three companies that decided to change directions in the way they hire and try something new.  According to our data, these talent strategies are successful.

Google’s Fight Against Interviewer Bias

Industry: Internet

Company size (number of employees in 2021): 139,000

"Most interviews are a waste of time because 99.4 percent of the time is spent trying to confirm whatever impression the interviewer formed in the first ten seconds." 

Google has been advocating for equity, diversity and inclusion in its hiring techniques for several years now, and is striving to optimize its hiring process to eliminate bias entirely. 

The main way Google has been combatting interviewer bias is by shifting away from regular interview questions in favor of a very rigid structure - every interview consists of the same set of questions, after which each of the candidates is graded based on their answers. 

According to Google, typical, unstructured interviews are not great at predicting how someone will perform once hired. While it may be fun to have conversational interviews and ask the candidates unexpected questions like “What music do you listen to in your car”, these types of questions only increase the likelihood of interviewer bias, which decreases the likelihood of hiring the right person for the right position. This is why Google has created a system in which the interviewer’s only job is to ask the pre-set questions and grade the candidates on how well they answer. 

Examples of questions include:

• Tell me about a time your behavior had a positive impact on your team. (Follow-ups: What was your primary goal and why? How did your teammates respond? Moving forward, what’s your plan?)
• Tell me about a time when you effectively managed your team to achieve a goal. What did your approach look like? (Follow-ups: What were your targets and how did you meet them as an individual and as a team? How did you adapt your leadership approach to different individuals? What was the key takeaway from this specific situation?)
• Tell me about a time you had difficulty working with someone (can be a coworker, classmate, client). What made this person difficult to work with for you? (Follow-ups: What steps did you take to resolve the problem? What was the outcome? What could you have done differently?)

This interviewing method seems to be working. Looking at the data on the recent hires, we can see that Google has been successful in eliminating some of the bias from its hiring process: according to our data, over 85% of hires in 2020 and over 86% of hires in 2021 come from universities outside of the top-20 schools. This comes in response to a common critique that Google hires mostly from top private universities in the US. In the long term, diversity of educational experience in the workplace has been shown to positively correlate with long-term innovativeness in the workplace. 

ThredUP’s High-Volume Recruitment Technique

Industry: Fashion

Company size (number of employees in 2021): 556

ThredUP, an online consignment and thrift store was facing a difficult challenge - their 5-person recruitment team needed to hire 100 people per week to meet their business needs in the face of rapid expansion. They came up with a creative solution - recruiting through texts. 

Recruiting candidates over mail and phone took a very long time. Using text messaging (SMS), thredUP significantly reduced the candidate response times. Recruiters used texts throughout the entire candidate funnel, from sourcing to scheduling interviews, which provided the candidates with one medium for communication which they always had at hand.

Ultimately, this hiring technique allowed thredUP to scale up very rapidly - they went from <200 employees in 2016 to 556 employees in 2020 - an impressive feat compared to their direct competitors. It also decreased their time to hire by 30%, as well as allowing them to cut on recruiting and acquisition costs. 

Mogul’s One Small Additional Step That Revolutionized The Hiring Process

Industry: Social media

Company size (number of employees in 2021):

Mogul, an all-female social media platform, took a different approach to the interview process. To get the job, candidates go through three rounds of interviews - the first two rounds are nothing special, but the third one is rather unconventional. 

Instead of sitting down for a traditional interview with a higher-up, the candidates get to spend an entire day at the office.This process has benefitted both sides of the recruitment process: the candidates get to see what the work environment and culture are really like, while the existing employees can gauge whether the candidate is a good personality fit for the job as well as for the team.

According to the company’s CEO Tiffany Pham, as a result of this bold hiring strategy, no one has quit the company in three years

Looking at the average  company tenure data, we can see that Mogul is in serious competition to prestigious employer brands like Facebook and WhatsApp thanks to their revolutionary hiring strategy. 

The war for talent has brought some major challenges for hiring companies. But some companies are leading the way with bold new ways of interacting with candidates. Every company’s requirements might be different, but these new methods and techniques might prove useful across the board. Now is the time to make drastic changes to how we think about hiring.

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