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  • Event Saves Employees’ Time While Filling Positions

    January 25, 2017 | By NACE Staff

    Best Practices
    A young man interviews for a job while attending an employer event.

    TAGS: recruiting methods, interviewing, spotlight

    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

    Rural Sourcing Inc. (RSI) believes in making “smart hiring decisions” and, to accomplish this, the firm employed a rigorous interview process that included a human resources interview, a technical phone interview, an on-site interview with two to three RSI colleagues, and a coding assessment.

    “The downfall to this process was the amount of time our colleagues were taken away from client work to meet with each candidate,” explains Margaux Kaynard, RSI’s vice president of human resources and recruiting.

    “In 2015, we decided to implement an ‘Interview Day’ pilot program that would optimize our colleagues’ time by having them interview candidates on one day, rather than over multiple interview days. We are able to do this without compromising the quality of the interview process, and give candidates an exciting way to interview and possibly earn a job offer for after they graduate.”

    RSI’s human resources manager conducted on-campus interviews to pre-screen 35 May graduates for technical ability, teamwork, and problem solving. Of this group, 20 candidates were invited to RSI’s onsite “Interview Day.”

    The “Interview Day” interviews lasted three hours and included assessments of:

    • Technical knowledge
    • Teamwork
    • Conflict management
    • Leadership ability
    • Presentation skills
    • Coding

    “We provided many opportunities for each candidate to network with each other and RSI colleagues as a way to assess leadership and culture fit,” Kaynard says. “We started the ‘Interview Day’ event with a software development challenge during which each candidate was placed in a group and given all of the necessary information to complete an exciting technical task.”

    The goal of the project, she says, was to assess teamwork and problem-solving skills as well as technical and presentation ability. Each candidate then had the chance to show off his or her individual skills with a coding assessment in either Java or C#.

    “One-on-one interviews with RSI colleagues gave the candidates the opportunity to discuss their goals and aspirations, and their past experiences,” Kaynard says. “The day wrapped up with a Q&A session during which candidates were given the chance to ask questions and offer feedback.”

    The methodology RSI used to determine the program’s success was to compare the number of RSI colleague hours required to interview 35 candidates using the firm’s standard process and the hours required using the “Interview Day” process.

    All told, the “Interview Day” program saved 240 RSI colleague hours—a time saving of 76 percent—and resulted in the hiring of seven new associate-level colleagues.

    “We hired 35 percent of the candidates who participated in the event,” Kaynard points out. “In addition, the coding assessments, which are scored against a national average, provided us a score that gave objective insights into the candidates’ programming skills and thinking processes. Thus, we were able to find higher-quality candidates due to the ability to compare with a group of like peers.”

    Due to the program’s success, RSI implemented the “Interview Day” program in its new Albuquerque, New Mexico, location in 2016. The firm brought in 40 candidates and hired seven to fill new positions.

    Kaynard recommends that any firm looking to develop an “Interview Day” program be prepared and organized.

    “We set clear expectations with the interview team so they knew what to look for in an ideal candidate and crafted a form so we could have thoughtful conversations about everyone to ensure we were making good decisions,” she says.

    Kaynard also suggests interjecting fun into the event.

    “These college students are putting hours into researching, traveling, and spending the better part of a day on site with your firm,” she points out. “Make them want to work with you and your team. Thank them for their time, feed them a lot, and take a few moments to laugh and have a good time getting to know the personality of the candidates.”