What do the purchase of a car and the hiring of a candidate have in common?

By Paul René Pelland


What do the purchase of a car and the hiring of a candidate have in common?  

The answer: The importance of a “test drive” before buying!

If you’re like me, meeting a car salesperson is perceived as a slightly flavored experience of mistrust.

When I was a sales manager on the road, I experienced several opportunities to purchase vehicles.

I’ve always imagined that the interests of the car salesmen were not closely aligned with mine.

I was preoccupied by the belief that they were too motivated by the sale for them to align their priorities with my interests and needs.

So, I admit having a preconceived negative stereotype of car salespeople and if my first subjective impression of a salesperson suggests to me in any ways this stereotype, I turn around and leave before he or she can even address me.

My decision not to buy is firm & non-negotiable well before even giving myself the chance to check if my first impressions are justified.

On the other hand, if this vendor surprises me from the start, with an approach and appearance that does not suggest this stereotype, it may very well attract my confidence … even if it is not necessarily deserved.

From this moment, no matter what the quality of the product is, I’m already a little more predisposed to buy it.

However, regardless of the salesperson’s or quality of the product, the test drive has always made a significant difference in my final decision.

This story, by analogy, contains many of the principles and pitfalls of hiring.

The Hiring process is a sale in which CVs, letters of recommendation, interviews and psychometric tests are to the selection process, what the fact sheets, advertising slips, quality of the salesmen and independent expert reviews are to buying a car.

It is important, before committing to buying a car, to consider a broad set of information from several different sources.

But it’s the test drive that allows us to make the best informed decision possible when making such a purchase.

The need for a test drive also applies to the candidate selection process and allows you to make a more informed decision.

Test Drive your Candidates before Hiring them!

Comparative Analogy between Information Sources:

Buying a car Hiring a candidate
Specifications sheet Curriculum vitae
Advertising flyers Letters of recommendation
Meeting the seller Candidate Interview
Independent expert reviews Psychometric Test Reports
Test drive Hire Results Ltd. patented method

We all have first impressions, either positive or negative, relative to people we meet for the first time during social interactions.

There are certainly some of these strangers with whom we feel a greater affinity.

It’s normal and expected!

Now, is it possible that you experience similar reactions at the moment you meet different candidates for the first time in a hiring process?

Inevitably … right?

Can these experiences influence the course of the selection process?

The answer is not as simple as you think, but the potential for influence remains real.

Let me illustrate this with a simple case:

Two candidates apply for a position and you meet them for the first time as a recruiter.

Candidate #1

Female, 32 years old

Candidate #2

Male, 54 years old

Pretty Overweight
Dynamic & Enthusiastic Moderate baldness
Well dressed Eczema on forehead and eyebrows
Confident Visibly nervous
Firm hand shake Sweaty hands
Friendly outgoing attitude Reddish Complexion
Smart and Vivid Business Look Adequately dressed, tie a little too short
Great attitude Intelligent attitude, but very reserved
Active Social Networks:
Twitter – Instagram – Facebook – Linkedin None

Which of these two candidates will leave you the best first impression?

It must surely be Candidate #2 since he has the best experience; he is considered an expert in his field and, in addition, he has an impressive network capable of making the business move forward … Ahh Really

Okay, I admit that I’m leading you into a trap! And you probably are aware of it!

It can be any one of the two, or none of them. It depends on your specific inner state. But it doesn’t matter, right? We reassure ourselves by saying that we are professionals and that our first impressions will not influence the course of the process. True?

Imagine now that, for no obvious reason, Candidate #2 awakens an unpleasant feeling in you, more or less conscious, similar to the one I experience when I meet a car salesman. What are his chances of getting the job now?

Experience suggests that his chances are decreasing. Be honest, despite all your efforts, your unconscious malaise may be betrayed by a subtly nuanced attitude towards him and your perceptions may be less favorable relative to those you have towards candidate #1.

In addition, the subtle nuances of attitude you exhibit towards him may be unconsciously perceived and may impact on the quality of his reactions to your questions, further disadvantaging him in your perception of his performance in interview.

Here we have an example of the real risks of unconscious cognitive biases, that will, too often, influence the performance and selection of candidates.

I have often observed several of my colleagues miss opportunities in retaining the best candidates due to these unconscious influences that shifted their attention, attitudes and preconceived ideas. Sometimes, their choice proved to be very disappointing once the candidate was hired.

If they had test driven their candidates as they do with cars before buying, their choice could have been different. Regardless of what the most seasoned recruiters might say, the hiring decision remains one, influenced by emotions, on both sides.

Because of these cognitive and emotional biases, the interview will often serve only to validate the first impression.

So, I learned that there were candidates who mastered the art of successful interviews based on these facts. They have developed the talent of fooling employers in the selection process.

All their “promotional packaging” is a major achievement, ranging from the quality of their CVs, references and ways to present and conduct themselves in an interview.

In contrast, there are candidates whose “promotional packaging” is not as dazzling and they fail to stand out as much during interviews.

Many of these may have the best skills and assets that are needed for the position, which unfortunately may not be demonstrated in an interview.

And, all too often, these candidates give way to the talented masters of the interview which in reality are not necessarily the best choice. This “contrast” effect casts a shadow on excellent candidates who will have been less spectacular.

What are we looking for: the best interview performance, or the best candidate for the position?

I understand that a majority of employers, and possibly because it is cheaper and simpler, still use the screening interview as the primary or only tool to evaluate their candidates when hiring.

Note that poor choices always result in high costs and certainly have significant negative consequences.

As far as I am concerned, my personal experience (along with that of many colleagues) is congruent with the theory of academicians, supported by a variety of observations quantified in the Field, and documented by many specialized authors, all confirming that there is very little correlation between interview performance and the ability to perform the actual key tasks for the job.

This is all the more true given that a host of tutorials are available online on “How to perform in an interview? “,” How to Break Interview Questions? ” “Or” How to prepare for the interview? “.

Not to mention all the professional firms that make their high fees supporting candidates in their preparation. Do your own research online and you’ll see! This method succeeds in making the candidate a very successful “promotional package”, whose main objective is to influence you during the interviews. Here, a test drive could be very useful for you in clarifying your decision.

The illustrated biases mentioned above are only a few of an impressive number of unconscious biases that influence us during the selection interview.

Whether we unconsciously seek a candidate who resembles us (mirror bias); whether or not we are influenced by gender, age or ethnicity; the number of unconscious biases influencing us is uncountable and it is impossible to know them all.

So, even if we are aware of these biases, these, coupled with the, often unadmitted, emotional component to hiring, will inevitably influence us, despite anything we do to avoid them.

How can we protect ourselves from these inevitable and potentially harmful influences? By managing them, using a structured selection approach and diversified assessment tools.

Our structured selection approach:

This is exactly what PRsPectives offers via the patented method of Hire Results Ltd.

Prior to the “Test Drive”, it is important to mention that our approach is part of a system that objectively handles the data into weighted results.

Hire Results Ltd will develop a profile for each candidate being assessed with Consistency, Logic and Equity. Recorded on a web platform, all the results of all the evaluated candidates are systematically compared at a glance.

Our approach will undoubtedly delay and significantly reduce the influence of emotions and other biases.

In addition, the employer’s assessment data can also be added to and integrated into this organized structure, which can be consulted by the employer in real time throughout the process.

“Test drive”: the assessment of a candidate’s ability to perform in the real tasks of the job:

Yes, finally, we arrive at the indispensable experience of the rigorous “test drive”.

The test drive, as proposed by the patented Hire Results Ltd. methodology, focuses strategically on the 20% of key tasks that are responsible for 80% of the Results in the position (Pareto’s Distribution 20/80 rule).

The aim is to evaluate objectively, through the participating experience and customized simulations, the capacity of each candidate to perform in real tasks, adapted for the occasion and identified as indispensable to the coveted job.

This is the essence of a rigorous road test!

The trial will allow you to confirm or negate the impressions that have been generated throughout the process.

Very often, we realize, with disappointment, that the performance of the talented interview professionals, who had impressed us so initially, does not meet expectations. They have fooled us!

On the other hand, one can be surprised to see the best performance appear among the candidates who did not initially impress, because they were overshadowed by the professional candidates of the interview.

Hiring mistakes can be very harmful and very costly for any business, regardless of its size.

We can help you manage the risks and, at the same time, improve the productivity of your teams. This is our focus that we commit to you.

Hop on with us and test drive your candidates.



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