CDI Corporation

Rethinking Your Interview Process

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Many job candidates for permanent and contract positions interview well – but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the right person for the job. There are ways that you can improve your company’s interview process to get a better sense of whether or not a candidate will be the right fit for your blended workforce. At the same time, you can use the interview process as a way to market your company as a great place to work in the long- or short-term.

Here are some tips for revamping your interview process:

1. Ask behavior-based questions

Asking "What’s your greatest weakness?" will only get you so far. These rigid types of questions don’t give you much room to discover the true character of a job candidate. Instead, ask behavior-based questions to get a deeper understanding of candidates and uncover their values, recommends. For example, ask questions like, "What does an ethical workplace look like to you?" or "What did you do when you felt like you were confronted with a situation that didn’t agree with your values?"

2. Don’t just listen to what they say, but how they say it

In addition to what an interviewee says, you should also pay attention to how they say it, such as how long it takes for them to answer, and if their answer is direct and delivered confidently. Asking creative, unexpected questions like "It’s one year from now – what are you doing?" can lead to insight into a candidate’s confidence levels – if they answer quickly, it shows they know themselves well and are confident in their work and career goals.

3. Listen for specifics … and if you don’t get them, try silence

If you ask a candidate about a time they had to deal with a difficult client and they gloss over the details, over-emphasize that everything was fine or seem to ramble, they might be grasping at straws, or worse, stretching the truth. Sharing specific details shows that a candidate knows their stuff according to Mark Murphy, founder of Leadership IQ. Don’t mistake using a lot of words as having actual expertise. If you’re faced with a candidate like this, wait a few moments longer than usual before moving on to the next question – the candidate may feel compelled to provide further details. Frequently the more people talk, the easier it becomes to determine whether they are using fluff language or if they have real knowledge and experience that will make them a valuable contract and permanent addition to your staff.

4. Make the interview process a streamlined and coordinated effort

The interview isn’t a one-sided thing – it’s also a reflection of your company. A drawn-out, clunky process can make high-quality candidates for both permanent and contract roles less interested in the position. Do your prep work and narrow down the interview to the questions that really matter. Keep candidates updated on their status every step of the way, as not hearing back from a company for weeks on end after an interview is off-putting. Make sure that if a candidate has to undergo multiple rounds of interviews with different team members, you have communicated interview questions amongst the team, so the candidate feels like everyone at your company is in the loop.

With these tips, you can revamp your interview process to be truly valuable for not only your company, but for the candidate as well. Ultimately, improved interview practices can arm you with deeper insight into the full breadth and depth of each applicant’s experience, while also providing the opportunity to deliver a positive impression of the organization that helps to reinforce your company brand in the marketplace.

Recent CDI Analysis

“Improved interview practices can arm you with deeper insight into the full breadth and depth of each applicant’s experience, while also providing the opportunity to deliver a positive impression of the organization that helps to reinforce your company brand in the marketplace.”

CDI Corporation

Employment Situation (U.S.)

Figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the U.S. added 98,000 nonfarm payroll positions in March.

Economists had forecast that 180,000 jobs would be added during the month, according to The New York Times.

The BLS also revised the total number of jobs added in February from 235,000 to 219,000.
The unemployment rate inched down 0.2 percentage point from February to settle at 4.5 percent in March. The total number of unemployed persons in the country decreased by 326,000.

The labor force participation rate and the number of people employed part-time or marginally attached to the labor force were little changed in March.

Average hourly earnings for private nonfarm payroll employees rose by 5 cents in March to reach $26.14. This follows an increase of 7 cents in February. Average hourly earnings have increased 2.7 percent over the year.

The New York Times noted that steady hiring over the last several months and a declining unemployment rate have created a tight labor market. The demand for qualified workers has led employers to offer higher salaries to attract new talent and higher raises to retain current employees.

By industry, the largest employment growth in March was in professional and business services, which added 56,000 jobs. Services to buildings and dwellings gained 17,000 jobs, while architectural and engineering services added 7,000 positions.

Mining had the second-highest job gains during the month, with 11,000 jobs added. Since October 2016, mining employment has risen by 35,000 positions.

Financial activities added 9,000 jobs in March., while construction employment was little changed.

On March 15, the Federal Reserve voted to raise interest rates by a quarter-point to a range of 0.75 percent to 1 percent, MarketWatch reported. The Fed stated that it is likely to raise interest rates two more times this year.

The full Bureau of Labor Statistics report can be downloaded by
clicking here.

Employment Situation (Canada)

Canada added 19,400 jobs in March, exceeding estimates from economists that the country would add 5,000 positions during the month, CTV News reported, citing figures released by Statistics Canada. The majority of the jobs were full-time positions.

The unemployment rate increased to 6.7 per cent from 6.6 per cent in February, with the statistics bureau attributing the uptick to a higher number of people searching for work.

CTV News noted that while 95 per cent of the new jobs created in March were full-time roles, 95 per cent were also self-employed positions.

It is the fourth consecutive month for job gains in the country.

"Overall, this is just yet another piece of evidence that the economy has broken out of its two-year lull, a breakout that appears to have started around the middle of 2016," said BMO Chief Economist Douglas Porter in a letter to clients, according to CTV News.

Over the year, Canadian employment has grown by 276,000, an increase of 1.5 per cent. The total number of hours worked also increased over the year, up 0.7 per cent.

Manufacturing led the way for employment gains in March, adding 24,000 positions – its largest one-month increase since 2002. Business, building and other support services gained 18,000 positions, while wholesale and retail trade added 17,000 jobs during the month.

Information, culture and recreation also added jobs, gaining 11,000 new positions. Over the year, job growth in the industry increased by 4.2 per cent.

Educational services shed 15,000 jobs in March, while transportation and warehousing lost 13,000 positions.

Despite the gains, the economic forecasts from the Bank of Canada for the rest of the year are likely to be conservative.

"We suspect that the Bank of Canada will continue to accentuate the downside risks in next week’s monetary policy report, and one mixed jobs report is not going to make a dent in their view," commented Porter.

Although the U.S. Federal Reserve has announced that it is likely to increase interest rates several times this year, financial forecasters predict that the Bank of Canada will not make any changes to its rates, the Financial Post reported.

Canadian ES Report:
Labour Force Survey, March 2017

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