Science Experiment or Just Good Hiring?

posted in: APA Solutions | 0

Ever since I heard about a hiring experiment conducted by an international company at a recent talk, I literally can’t get it out of my head. As a brain-based recruiter, my interest is always piqued when I hear about “experiments” (or research) in the hiring field. My name is Jean Filipiak, and as a career coach with years of people data to my name, I hope this blog gets you to think. I mean really gets you to think since that’s always the goal of our team at APA Solutions.

This company was like many others who claim they have been adversely affected by the growing skills shortage: Running into a brick wall when trying to identify quality talent. However, instead of conducting the traditional search (fixed mindset) for an IT candidate, they decided to take an innovative approach (growth mindset) to this new position. As is the case with most change, this pivot in strategy was mind blowing to most “traditionalists.” They never met a soul until the candidate showed up to work that first day.

Yup, you read that right. Avoiding their old tendencies, they instead created a series of projects and data points by which individuals would be measured against in order to get to the next level of job consideration. You see, they were open to embrace the reality that most of the hiring process is flawed largely because well intentioned leaders have an “idea” of what an impact performer is in their mind. Well, let’s just say that this “idea” isn’t typically supported by actual science and doesn’t hold up to data backed scrutiny. This company was aware of the imperfect information the brain holds when it comes to hiring. Bias, stereotypes, and in groups all effect the ability to be objective in the hiring process. Besides the imperfect way in which we hire candidates, this company also recognized there has been a huge shift in how people are learning.

There are approximately 6 million jobs left unfilled and although the skills shortage is growing, many organizations still don’t adapt new ways of educating and hiring. The internet is a major tool for learning, yet most people without a degree are not considered based largely on an outdated belief that only through classic education can a person contribute. The competency-based interview model that this company embarked upon netted startling results. All they had were the names of individuals hired as the diverse group showed up for work that first week. What they got in return was a true lesson in diversity and inclusion.

This unusual group of new hires had all generations from diverse cultural backgrounds, including a disabled veteran and a person on the autism spectrum. So, the question becomes “would these same people have made it through the original interview process?” Well, let’s put it this way: it had never happened in their past, and this bold experience has drastically improved the company’s retention rates moving into the future. Got you thinking??


Feel like you’re trying to find a needle in a haystack with less than stellar results? Consider rethinking recruiting from a place of proven research and data with our future focused strategies. Learn more here.

Follow Jean Filipiak:

Managing Partner, Human Capital Strategist and facilitator

An certified brain-based recruiter and behavioral specialist, Jean utilizes advanced profiling and matching skills to guide companies and people toward success. When not advising a client, working to fill placements, or counseling a candidate on workplace behaviors, she is an adjunct professor at the University of Buffalo and enjoys spending time with her family.