Unhealthy Hiring Habits Your Team Needs to Break

By: Matt Gainsford


Unhealthy Hiring Habits Your Team Needs to Break:

Embracing Change for Effective Talent Acquisition

Tradition has its place, but; there is a fine line between helpful habits and outdated practices that cost you candidates. Innovation, though exciting, can be risky. In this blog we will lift the lid on five outdated hiring practices and offer alternative methods to replace them. The goal is a more efficient, connected, and successful talent acquisition strategy that ensures you put the right person in the right seat. 

Today’s hot take, there is a growing focus on skills-based hiring. 

These five examples will help bring you out of your comfort zone just far enough to make a difference; but not enough to terrify you (hopefully).  

Overemphasis on Academic Qualifications

Outdated Practice: In the past, employers heavily relied on academic qualifications as the primary indicator of a candidate’s potential and suitability for a role.

Modern Alternative: Today we are shifting the focus towards a more holistic evaluation that considers practical skills, experience, and personal attributes. Employers now value a candidate’s ability to apply knowledge in real-world scenarios and assess their potential for growth and adaptability. Using tools like The Predictive Index will help you bridge the gap between qualification and application. PI’s Cognitive Assessment will help you understand where a candidate’s book smarts collide with their street smarts (they say it in a much more scientific way) to help you determine the time it will take for a candidate to ramp up into a role. 

The Stats: 

According to a survey by CareerBuilder, 71% of employers reported valuing skills and experience over college degrees when making hiring decisions. This highlights the shift towards a more holistic evaluation of candidates beyond academic qualifications. A study by McKinsey found that while academic credentials are important, they are not the sole predictor of job performance. Skills such as problem-solving, communication, and adaptability are equally crucial for success in the workplace. 


Exclusively Relying on Resumes

Outdated Practice: Traditional resumes often provide limited information and fail to capture a candidate’s full range of capabilities andachievements.Resumes are what and where documents. A great resume offers the how and why, accomplishments, achievements vs. actions, and tenure. 

Modern Alternative: Try utilizing online portfolios, video interviews, or work samples to gain a more comprehensive understanding of a candidate’s skills and suitability. These alternatives offer a more rich and dynamic representation of a candidate’s work and can help employers make more informed decisions.

The Stats:  

A survey conducted by LinkedIn revealed that 59% of recruiters believe that online portfolios or personal websites are an effective way to assess a candidate’s skills and work samples. 

According to CareerBuilder, 62% of employers said that candidates who include work samples or portfolios along with their resumes have a higher chance of getting called for an interview.

unhealthy hiring habits


Lengthy and Complex Application Processes 

Outdated Practice: Lengthy and complex application processes, including multiple rounds of interviews and extensive paperwork, can deterqualified candidates and lead to a slow and inefficient hiring process. In today’s fast-moving market, candidates are often interviewing at multiple companies. While you certainly don’t want to rush the process, there is a need to move with a sense of urgency. Having the right process in place to make a quick decision is essential to making a great hire. 

Modern Alternative: You can streamline the application process by incorporating technology-driven assessments, online application platforms, and pre-employment tests. Simplifying and automating these processes not only saves time for both employers and candidates but also ensures a more efficient evaluation of candidates’ qualifications. The use of tools like the Predictive Index can help you assess the relational dynamics you can expect to see on your team and will equip you with questions that get straight to the point.  

The Stats: 

According to Glassdoor, the average length of the interview process in the United States increased from 12.6 days (about two weeks) in 2010 to 22.9 days (about three and a half weeks) in 2019. Lengthy application processes can result in qualified candidates dropping out or accepting offers from other companies. A survey by Appcast found that 60% of job seekers have abandoned an online job application due to its length or complexity. Simplifying the process can significantly reduce candidate drop-off rates. 


Sole Reliance on Interviews:  

Outdated Practice: Relying solely on in-person interviews as the primary means of assessing candidates’ suitability for a role may result in biased evaluations and limited insights.  

Modern Alternative: Try implementing a multi-faceted approach that includes various interview formats, such as video interviews, panel interviews, and behavioral assessments (like the Predictive Index; yes, it’s them again). These methods provide a more comprehensive understanding of a candidate’s skills, competencies, and cultural fit, minimizing biases and increasing the chances of finding the best fit for the organization. 

The Stats:  

A study published in the Journal of Business and Psychology found that structured interviews, which incorporate behavioral and situational questions, are more effective in predicting future job performance as opposed to unstructured interviews. 

The National Bureau of Economic Research states that panel interviews, which involve multiple interviewers evaluating a candidate, can help reduce biases and improve decision-making by bringing diverse perspectives into the evaluation process. 

Lack of Emphasis on Cultural Fit: 

Outdated Practice: Historically, cultural fit was often overlooked, with organizations focusing primarily on technical skills and qualifications.  

Modern Alternative: Today, we see greater importance placed on assessing cultural fit during hiring. This involves evaluating a candidate’s values, work style, and alignment with the company’s mission and vision. Cultural fit assessments help organizations build cohesive and productive teams, fostering a positive work environment and reducing turnover. Understanding what motivates a candidate to explore the role is key to determining their long-term success with your team. Our jobs fuel our pursuits, impact our communities, and directly affect what feels like input/output to us. Understanding how a role, company, and team will impact the life of a candidate is something a lot of companies fail to look at. For example, if you have ever tried to get a candidate to relocate when their kids are in the last two years of high school, you’ll know that challenge. The last thing you want to do is talk a candidate into a role. If they are on the fence, then find out why.  

The Stats:  

A survey by Robert Half found that 91% of employers believe that cultural fit is as important as, or more important than, skills and experience when hiring. 

According to Glassdoor, 84% of job seekers consider culture a key factor in choosing where to work. A positive cultural fit can improve employee satisfaction, engagement, and retention. 

The Wrap Up 

As the job market evolves, organizations must adapt their hiring practices to remain competitive in attracting top talent. Outdated practices such as overemphasizing academic qualifications, relying solely on resumes, and lengthy application processes are being replaced by holistic evaluations, alternative assessment methods, and streamlined application procedures. Additionally, cultural fit is gaining recognition as organizations strive to build cohesive and productive teams. By embracing modern hiring practices, organizations can increase their chances of finding the best-suited candidates, foster a diverse and inclusive workforce, and position themselves for success in the dynamic and competitive job market. 

More than recruiters, Titus Talent Strategies is a team of Talent Optimizers who genuinely care about the work we do. We empower companies to put the right people in the right seats through informed, connected strategies that combine data with an empathetic understanding of what makes people tick. We recognize that our partners are investing in us and that results mean more than just people placed in a role. It’s about impact, connection, and quality!  

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