How to Improve Quality of Hire

By | December 15, 2014
quality of hire - businesswoman in blindfold

Photo credit: Sergey Nivens/

Universally, Quality of Hire Means Finding the Right Fit for a Position. But, how do we get there?

To ensure the best quality of hire, we start by defining the criteria to use when making the hiring decision. First, we start with the end in mind. We design our interview evaluation form. To do this, we need to select certain criteria for the interviewers to measure when considering a candidate. Some of the most important criteria are subjective. So, we want to keep the criteria constant to minimize ambiguity.

Here are some example criteria:

1. How do you rate the match between the candidate and each competency needed for this position?
2. How do you rate this candidate’s enthusiasm for working here?
3. How do you rate the match between the candidate and the people with whom he or she would work?
4. How do you rate the match between the candidate and the company culture?
5. What is your overall level of enthusiasm for this candidate?

Measuring and Tracking the Quality of Hire

Assess each candidate on a standard numerical scale. Each candidate’s cumulative score is used in the hiring decision. At the new hires first performance review, the hiring manager can refer to their interviewing score to access the quality of hire.

If the results are higher than the score received during their initial interview it can be said that the candidate exceeded expectations. By quantifying all new hires with these same criteria in the same manner, we can quantify improvements to our organization’s quality of hire over time.

By using the same criteria, we can see specifically where our expectations (before hiring) and the results (after the trial period) differ.

For example, the match between the candidate and the company culture may not be as strong as expected. Then you know where to improve the focus during the hiring process in the future.

We will define the elements needed for the highest possible quality of hire and alternatives for achieving this goal.

Using Behavioral Interview Questions

Most candidates who make it to the face-to-face interview level can do the job. With that in mind, the interview process is meant to answer two basic questions.

1. Compared to the other candidates, how well can they do the job? and,
2. How well will they fit in with the rest of the team and our culture?

Behavioral interview questions address both concerns. Selecting the best questions from the appropriate competency sets the stage for productive interviews. And, when we use behavioral interview questions, no longer do we need to worry about knowing how to tell if someone is lying.  We don’t want all the interviewers asking the same exact questions. Assign questions to interviewers based on their strengths and interests. For consistent results have each interviewer ask the same questions of every candidate for that position.

Improving the Quality of the Interview

The place to start is improving the interview itself. We do this by making sure that everyone interviewing is highly trained in using behavioral interview questions.

Learning to interview properly using behavioral questions is like learning another language. It sticks best if you use it regularly. If you only use it occasionally your skill fades over time. There are several possible solutions.

  • The first option is to require consistent, regularly scheduled interview training.
  • Second, is to offer condensed (2-5 minutes) just-in-time training that the interview team member can access just before the interview.
  • Third is for the recruiter to personally have one-on-one refresher meetings with each interviewer.
  • Lastly, is to provide manual or electronic tools to guide the interviewer through the process. These tools give the interviewer crucial prompts each step of the way.

Consistency in the Selection Process

Selecting the best candidate from those interviewed assumes a consistent, apples-to-apples method of assessing each candidate. And that assumes that all interviewers are using the same criteria in their assessments. Without direction, interviewers rarely use the same criteria. Provide each team interviewer an assessment questionnaire that gives them a consistent method of evaluating the candidate.

It is important to have consistent rating criteria. By doing so my #3 rating means the same thing as your #3 rating in that area.

For example:

#1 Does not have the skills needed.
#2 Minimally has the skills needed.
#3 Has the skills needed.
#4 Exceeds the skills needed.

Depending on the competency or skill being evaluated you may need unique definitions for each.

Assessments are most reliable when completed immediately after the interview. Ensure success by providing a manual or electronic system to guide this documentation.


Quality of Hire is best attained when we: define the criteria for success, measure and track the quality of the candidate, use behavioral interview questions, ensure all interviewers are highly trained and have consistency in the selection process.

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  1. Pingback: 3 Things to Know About Recruiting a Recruiter | ABM Headhunters

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