People spend longer on their work commute than they do making a recruitment decision. Job interviewers are risking landing their organisation in legal hot water, according to research released last week. On average, around half (54 percent) of UK interviewers are unable to correctly identify illegal questions, yet staying the right side of the law scores low on their list of concerns.
In addition, those who rely on their intuition make hiring decisions could be wasting their organisations thousands in costs and time by selecting the wrong person for the job. Almost half of all interviewers globally (47 percent) spend less than 30 minutes reviewing candidates' interview results before making a decision - less time than it takes the average Briton to commute to work.
Business leadership consultancy DDI's 2008 Global Interviewing Practices and Perceptions report surveyed 1,900 interviewers and 3,500 job-seekers across the globe and discovered some sobering facts.
Despite being a requirement for nearly every job in the world, the interview process isn't given the time it needs. Interviewers frequently come unprepared for discussion or turn candidates off with their behaviour.
Steve Newhall, Vice President for Europe at DDI, comments; 'Job interviews are simply not being given the time and effort they deserve, and could be opening up businesses to costly legal problems. The average interviewer is far more confident about their abilities than the research shows they should be. In the current climate, organisations cannot afford to risk wasting valuable time and money in hiring the wrong person into critical roles. '
He continues; 'This research underlines the need for organisations to have properly developed assessment and selection processes in place, and a greater awareness of the impact a good or poor hire can have on the organisation. '
'Businesses' due diligence when bringing new people into the organisation is often worryingly lax. The rapid time taken to make hiring decisions, the lack of more than one perspective and the fact that interviewers believe they're doing a better job than they really are leads to a dangerous mix.' Despite UK interviewers faring well compared to their global counterparts - they are among the least likely to rely on 'gut instinct' - they are still over-rating their abilities.
Other key findings from the report show that; 88 percent of interviewers think interviews are 'important' or 'very important' (55 percent). Yet almost half (47 percent) make hiring decisions in 30 minutes or less.
Almost three-quarters of interviewers (73 percent) rate their interviewing skills an A or B, and 87 percent rate the overall quality of their hiring decisions as A or B. Yet 64 percent also worry they'll miss important information about a potential employee's weaknesses that will show up later on the job, and many cannot identify illegal questions.
Interviewers' other concerns are getting enough information to make a decision (46 percent) and allowing one aspect of background to influence others. UK interviewers are among the least likely to use 'gut instinct', with only 32 percent saying they use this to make decisions. In comparison, 56 percent of their US counterparts claim to rely on this. Job-seekers reported that their top 'turn offs' during job interviews were interview techniques that were more like interrogations (43 percent), taking too long to get back to them (42 percent) and not being up-front about details like salary, hours and expectations (39 percent).
Interviewers in Australia, France, and Germany appear to be the least aware illegal interview questions, with 60 percent unable to correctly identify them. But even in high-profile lawsuit locations such as the US and Canada, 20-40 percent of interviewers are still unable to recognise illegal questions.