Warren Buffett puts a premium on collecting behavioral data while hiring. Credit: Pete Souza
When you analyze how we initially screen job applicants, something becomes obvious: it is all about what the applicants have done (or said they’ve done), instead of finding out who the people really are.
Think about it. Looking at a resume – 80 percent of which contain misleading statements, and 53 percent of which contain outright lies, according to ERE.net – is little more than looking at a self-reported work history that is likely embellished. It does little to answer the critical three questions to hiring: can the person do the job, does this person really want this job and will they fit in culturally.
Instead, candidate screening should be all about discovering who the person is. And that’s done through capturing behavioral data.
Just ask Warren Buffett.
How Buffett Hires
Buffett is a great example of someone who cares more about behavioral data than a resume. During his hiring process, he aims to find out three things: is the person smart, does the person have energy and do they have integrity.
Buffett’s interviewing process isn’t just someone sitting and answering questions. Instead, it is full of hands-on activities to see how the person is really going to act if they are hired,according to CBS News.
To find out if the person is smart, Buffett gives them puzzles or a tough situation to see if they can figure out a solution. To find out if they have energy, he asks candidates to give a 10-minute presentation and, after they are done, gives them two minutes to figure out a new way to present that same information in a five-minute presentation.
Integrity is harder to uncover in an interview, so Buffett relies more on background checks,according to CBS. But the point is that Buffett puts his energy on discovering who the person really is and not what they did.
How Will It Scale?
Buffett’s process is great if you have to pick between three applicants. But what if 100 people apply for a job? How do you get behavioral data on them without working 24 hours a day for a week?
The answer is technology. Use candidate screening software to ask candidates tough situational questions to see how they react and to determine if they have the mental aptitude to do the job. Use gamification to see how they handle stress and if they can adjust on the fly.
These investments can be invaluable because they are investments into the people who will eventually work for your company. And, ultimately, those people are going to determine if your company will continue to grow or get run over.
VoiceGlance is a cloud-based hiring tool used by forward-thinking companies to hire smarter, instead of harder. Learn more here.