Ideal blog

AI for Recruiting: News, Tips, and Trends

The Only Structured Interview Template You’ll Ever Need

Ever find yourself in a heated discussion with other members of a hiring committee because you couldn’t seem to reach consensus on a candidate?

There are a number of reasons for this type of disagreement, but they generally boil down to a single issue: You haven’t clearly defined the role. This means that some interviewers may end up evaluating candidates on irrelevant criteria or neglecting to assess the most important qualities for the role.

That’s why the structured interview approach is so powerful.

Instead of relying on gut feelings and the personalities of the interviewers, you begin with a strategic kick-off meeting between the hiring manager and talent acquisition. Continue reading

Ready to Implement People Analytics? Don’t Forget the Most Important Question

Implementing People Analytics

Michael Cavaretta, Lead Data Scientist (before data science was cool) at Ford Motor Co. crafted a striking article on the fundamentals of analytics. With over 15 years experience, Michael points out the most critical question that is too often overlooked, “so what?”

Many analytics presentations crash and burn because no one answered the question, “so what?” 

We often talk about the power of people analytics and the potential it holds for business large and small. Michael even makes note in his piece, “Anytime you look at business metrics there is an opportunity to use analytics. A hot area right now is the application of big data and analytics to HR processes.”

It’s clear that human resources and hiring are itching for a revolution – but without defined strategy, many firms will fail. Continue reading

Overwhelmed by People Analytics? 3 Baby Steps you Can Take Today

Just when you thought you were on top of the newest HR trends: video interviews, payroll automation, virtual conference rooms… “People Analytics” crops up. What does it even mean? And where should you start?

The term people analytics refers to any data-backed people management decision. While it seems to be the hottest buzzword in HR circles today, be weary of implementing too quickly. In an expert panel last week David Woodward, Chief Product and Innovation Officer at Ceridian put it well, “HR mustn’t run before it can walk. Getting an accurate headcount is still a challenge for some companies.” 

If this rings a little too true at your firm, don’t panic – small, calculated steps can quickly put you ahead of your competition and there is a lot of new software out there to help you. Continue reading

How To Assess A Sales Rep’s Personality In An Interview [Infographic]

The best way to assess a sales rep’s personality is by, well, using an assessment. But if you want to also assess a sales rep’s personality in an interview, our infographic below summarize the research on how to accurately do it.

The sales rep’s personality traits that are best assessed in an interview

Research has found that people are more accurate when judging someone else’s personality on more observable traits such as how extraverted or hardworking that person is.

Research on personality and interviews has found this to be true: Extraversion and Conscientiousness show the highest correlations between self-rated personality and interview ratings. Continue reading

5 Minute Intro to HR Technology

An Introduction to HR Technology

You’ve read it in the headlines. You’ve heard it at the watercooler. #HRtech seems to be the next big thing on your twitter feed. But what does it actually mean?

You can find a detailed definition of the emerging term here, along with examples and industry jargon – but if you’ve only got 5 minutes, here’s what you need to know.

15 Second Definition of HR Technology:

Technology used to attract, hire, and retain talent.

Origin of HR Technology:

The term itself has evolved over time, loosely from the days of Paper-based Systems > PC Systems > Electronic Databases > to today’s Web-based Technology

Related Terms:

#HRtech, People Analytics, HR Predictive Analytics, HR Big Data

HR Technology Names to Know: Chris Russell (@Chris Russell), RecTech MediaChris is considered the ‘mad scientist of online recruiting’. Continue reading

The Science Of Sales Hiring: How Science Increases Quality Of Hire [Video]

Did you know that everything you’re doing when you hire salespeople can be done in a more scientific way?

I’m proud to introduce Ideal Candidate’s new video series: The Science of Sales Hiring.

In this series, I’ll show you how to apply the latest scientific research to help you find, attract, and hire the best salespeople for your team. I’ll also be sharing research-based tips on how to motivate and increase the performance of your sales team.

And why do I want you to use science in your sales hiring so badly? 

Research featured in the Harvard Business Review found that using data and science when hiring led to a 50% increase in quality of hire as measured by outcomes such as:

    performance ratings by supervisors employees’ number of promotions employees’ ability to learn on the job

So remember:

Having an opinion is nice, but then you’re rolling the dice.  Continue reading

Why Everything You Thought About Hiring Salespeople Is Wrong: 5 Insider Tips For HR [eBook]

At Ideal Candidate, we’re passionate believers of job matching salespeople to your sales role using data. Why?

Job matching salespeople to your sales role using data decreases your cost-to-hire

The typical recruiter fee is 20-25%. Using job matching software to hire salespeople saves you 25-40% in recruitment fees because using software is much more efficient and scalable. This adds up to several thousands of dollars saved per sales rep hired.

Job matching salespeople to your sales role using data decreases your time-to-hire

The average time-to-hire for salespeople is 40 days. Using job matching software to hire salespeople reduces your average time-to-hire to 28 days because again, of how efficient and scalable it is. Continue reading

Is a Job in Sales For Me? 3 Questions To Ask Yourself

Maybe you just graduated college. Maybe you’re considering a career change. Maybe you just read The 5 Best Things About Being A Salesperson. In any case, you’re asking yourself the question, “Is a job in sales for me?”

The reality is everyone is selling something. You might already be in sales and not even know it! But a true sales job, one where you’ve got “sales” on your business card, is a little different. Sales roles can make for very rewarding careers, yet, as fulfilling as a job in sales can be, it’s not for everyone. My experience in software sales has taught me a few things that I believe the whole sales world would echo. Continue reading

How To Optimize Time To Hire Vs. Quality Of Hire

Time to hire has steadily increased since 2009 according to a recent analysis by Glassdoor. In today’s candidate-driven job market, each day you delay can mean losing out on a valuable hire. In fact, according to MRINetwork’s 2015 recruitment survey, the number one reason for candidates rejecting a job offer was accepting a competing one.

But is faster necessarily better when it comes to hiring?

The length of the interview process

An analysis of 344,250 interview reviews on Glassdoor found that the average job interview process takes 23 days.

    For startups and small companies (less than 250 employees), the average interview process takes 15-20 days.
Continue reading

How Assessments Help Prevent Age Discrimination in Hiring

Prior research has shown how cues on resumes can lead to gender discrimination and racial discrimination in hiring.

A new study conducted by Derous and Decoster found that resumes can lead to another type of hiring bias: age discrimination.

How resumes can lead to age discrimination

Researchers Derous and Decoster asked 610 supervisors and managers to read a job description and then evaluate four equally qualified resumes that differed in:

Name: old-sounding vs. modern Hobbies: old-fashioned (e.g., playing bridge) vs. modern (e.g., snowboarding) Date of birth: included vs. excluded (Note: This research was conducted in Belgium where it’s common for an applicant to include date of birth on their resume)

The results found that applicants with old-sounding names and old-fashioned hobbies and applicants with modern-sounding names and old-fashioned hobbies were rated as less suitable for the job than applicants with modern-sounding names and modern hobbies and old-sounding names and modern hobbies. Continue reading

How Not To Hire The Worst Salespeople

What do people hate about salespeople?

A new survey by the American Management Association found the biggest mistakes salespeople make include:

Being too pushy (24%) Not taking “no” for an answer (23%) Not listening (18%)

Let’s see what the data tell us on how not to hire salespeople who use these ineffective tactics.

Sales mistake #1: Being too pushy

Extraversion – being assertive, enthusiastic, and social – is considered a necessary trait for sales. But salespeople can be too extraverted, which ends up hurting their performance. Research has found that it’s the middle of the pack, the so-called ambiverts, that tend to be most successful in sales.  Continue reading

Why Engaged Employees Sell More

We’ve all heard the Gallup stat: 68.5% of employees are not engaged at work. That sounds bad. But is it? Does being engaged at work actually matter when it comes to performance?

A new study by Yale University’s Khwaja and Yang found that employee engagement does in fact make a difference when it comes to sales.

What engagement is

Employee engagement is considered a catch-all term that refers to an employee’s passion for and commitment to the job. In general, there are three main factors to engagement:

    Dedication: feeling enthusiastic and pride towards your work Vigor: feeling invested in your work and persisting during challenges Absorption: being engrossed in your work

Levels of engagement differ between employees (i.e., how engaged they feel at their jobs in general) as well as day-to-day within an employee. Continue reading

How To Measure Empathy When Hiring Salespeople

Job matching = data to measure personality in job candidates + data to measure personality in top performers + predictive analytics to create job matches

This is how Ideal Candidate matches salespeople to your sales role. In this series, “How Job Matching Works,” I explain the 16 personality domains we measure and the benefits you can gain by measuring them when hiring salespeople. In Part 1, I explained the personality domain of work ethic.

In this Part 2, I explain the personality domain: empathy.

What is empathy?

Empathy is considered to be central to a set of traits and abilities we call emotional intelligence. Continue reading

How To Measure Work Ethic When Hiring Salespeople

As a company that specializes in job matching, Ideal Candidate assesses 16 personality domains that predict sales performance. Measuring these domains in job candidates using data, and then comparing their scores against your top performers, is how we match salespeople to your role.

In this first part of the series, “How Job Matching Works,” I explain what these domains are and what benefits you can expect to gain by measuring them when hiring salespeople.

The first personality domain explained: work ethic.

What is work ethic?

Academics refer to work ethic as “conscientiousness.” Conscientiousness, one of the Big Five or OCEAN personality traits, can be further divided into subdomains including:

Achievement Drive: being hardworking, persevering, and motivated to achieve superior work performance Dependability: being reliable, organized, and respectful of rules and authority

Although both subdomains are considered to be attractive in job candidates, in general, work ethic is perceived to be more similar to Achievement Drive than Dependability. Continue reading

How An Algorithm Can Replace a Recruiter (And How It Can’t)

Can an algorithm replace a recruiter? 

This question was recently posed by Andrea Woolley, a project director at SAP, and Matthew Jeffery, VP – Head of Global Sourcing and Employment Branding for SAP, when they revealed SAP’s new approach to university recruiting for sales.

What SAP did to recruit new grads for sales

SAP replaced the traditional recruitment techniques of reaching out to a few top universities and schmoozing administrators and professors with what they called “the democratization of university recruiting.

They opened up their university recruitment to all schools by using an assessment process composed of:

What SAP found by using pre-hire sales assessments
    Number of people starting the assessment: 50,000+ Dropouts in application: from 93% (old way) to 25% (new system) Candidates that said the online tools boosted their motivation to continue the application: 75% Candidates that said that the bootcamp provided a great insight into working at SAP: 100% Complaints about candidate experience: Zero Projected cost saving: $372,136 (year one) Number of new hires: 500 globally

Safe to say, their new sales recruitment process was a runaway success. Continue reading

The Secret Benefit of Hiring Multitasking Salespeople

Multitasking has a bad rap these days. Mostly because the research shows that in general, multitasking is less productive than completing one task at a time.

This represents a bit of a dilemma for hiring salespeople. The very nature of sales requires having the ability to rapidly switch and prioritize between multiple responsibilities at once. So should you hire salespeople who are proud of their multitasking abilities? Or avoid them?

A new study reveals a surprising advantage of hiring multitasking salespeople.

Why multitasking hurts job performance

Multitasking – also called polychronicity by researchers – is defined as the extent to which a person prefers to be engaged in two or more activities during the same block of time. Continue reading

How To Build Your Sales Development Team

You’ve built a great product and you’ve hired your first sales reps. Now that you’re generating some real revenue, it’s time to take your sales team to the next level: building out your sales development team.

The Bridge Group’s 2014 survey of 222 B2B tech companies found that 27% of sales leaders stated one of their biggest challenges is recruiting and hiring sales development representatives (SDRs).

Let’s take a look at the numbers to figure out how to best hire SDRs for your company.

How many SDRs do you need to hire?

The Bridge Group’s survey found the average ratio of SDRs to account executives (AEs) is 1 to 3.9. Continue reading

Why It’s Risky Hiring Workaholic Salespeople

In sales, you can get lucky but without hard work, you’re not going to get results. So hiring salespeople who describe themselves as “workaholics” sounds like a no brainer, right? Well, it’s not that simple.

Workaholism has gotten a bad rap lately, but what the research reveals is that workaholism is a double-edged sword.

Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of workaholism.

The definition of workaholism

Research by Professor Clark and colleagues examined workaholism across 8,831 employees.

The researchers define workaholism as an addiction to work that involves feeling compelled to work because you “should” and working beyond what is expected based on the job requirements or your financial needs. Continue reading

Why You Should Hire Gen X Salespeople

Sales is considered one of the hardest roles to hire for. With all the attention focused on attracting and hiring Millennials, Gen Xers (those born between the early 1960s to early 1980s) tend to get lost in the conversation. But if you’re hiring salespeople and not considering Generation X, you’re ignoring 32% of the workforce.

Research has found Gen Xers possess some surprising qualities that make them ideal salespeople.

Gen X salespeople are educated

According to Burning Glass, 56% of job postings for sales reps require a bachelor’s degree, but only 43% of salespeople have one. In a study by Professor DelVecchio, 60% of the Gen X salespeople have a college degree, whereas 29% of Baby Boomer salespeople do. Continue reading

Why Hiring Proactive Salespeople Is Useless

Wanted: Salesperson. Must be hard working, adaptable, passionate, and proactive. Sounds great, right? Not so fast.

A new study explains why taking personal initiative can backfire in the workplace.

Why proactivity isn’t always welcome at work

Proactivity, personal initiative, taking charge – whatever you want to call it, why wouldn’t you want your salespeople to have it?

Research has found that proactive behaviors can be perceived negatively by both colleagues and supervisors. Taking personal initiative often goes beyond official job requirements – sometimes even against supervisor goals and company rules – so it can be perceived as a form of disobedience. Continue reading