Five Trends to improve your Selection Process

Illustration: Studio Fee Overbeeke

Selection process often still very poor

In many organisations the quality of the selection process is still very poor. The unstructured interview is still the most used selection instrument, and there is not a lot of evidence that interviews are a good instrument. The selection criteria are most of the time not based on thorough data analysis, but more on lists made by HR and managers based on their gut-feel, common sense and experience. Improving the quality of the selection process of candidates seems to get more attention, and of course that is a positive development. Selecting candidates  in a professional and scientific sound way, is a basic requirement for creating high performance organisations. Five trends that can help to improve the quality and attractiveness of the selection process.

Five selection trends

1. Improved profiles, with more relevant criteria

With good people analytics, it becomes easier to improve the selection criteria. What are the characteristics of high performing employees that are currently working for an organisation? The more data you have available in the mix, the more refined your profile can become. Be aware: do not rely only on artificial intelligence to create your profiles (ref. the recent Amazon example), but combine machine intelligence with the human intelligence of recruiters and subject matter experts. Not only job performance data is important, but for example also tenure and the length of the daily commute. Recently I saw an analysis made by a call centre. The call centre (high turnover) is looking for candidates who perform well (above average calls per hour, and high NPS), who are staying longer than one year. It turned out, that many of the current employees in this pool lived close to the location of the call centre, and worked part-time. With this information (no AI required), they were able to refine the profile of their ideal candidate.

2. Gamification

A selection process that is fun, can certainly help to improve the candidate experience. Gamified tests, video-interviewing and tests using virtual reality can be used to increase the fun-factor, without diminishing the validity of the selection process. There are many providers with nice innovative tools. To mention a few: Arcticshores, AssessfirstCammioCubiks, Hiretual, KnackPymetrics  and the  The Talent Games,

3. Testing personality and cultural fit

Organisations are more and more recruiting for roles, and less for specific jobs. Organisations are looking to fill their talent pools with candidates with certain personality characteristics (e.g. a high learning agility), future proof capabilities (intelligence, team skills, certain technical capabilities) and where there is a good cultural fit (a good match between the culture of the organisation and the values of the candidate). Good personality tests are readily available (see some of the providers under 2). Cultural fit is maybe best tested by interviews, and there are also some providers where the cultural fit can be tested (example: Companymatch).

4. Selection analytics

Analytics can be used to refine the selection criteria (see 1), and also to improve the selection process. A nice example can be found in Work Rules of Laszlo Bock (page 109). At Google they tracked the accuracy of interviewers (how good was the prediction of success of candidates of interviewers), and interviewers with a high accuracy are used more (and/or their opinion is valued more). Interviewer accuracy is something almost every organisation can measure. There are many more data points in the selection process that can help you to improve the quality and the efficiency of the process (accuracy of tests used, quality of referrals, speed vs accuracy etc.).

5. A more attractive pre-selection process

Selection and pre-selection are also important for employer branding. Especially pre-selection offers a good opportunity to give candidates an impression of what working in an organisation entails, combined with a first selection round.


A nice example is what Harver has developed for Rituals in The Netherlands. When you apply for a job in one of the Rituals shop, you are received by a nice future colleague (see picture above), who gives you a tour and also gives you the opportunity to do a light assessment to test your suitability for Rituals. There are various providers, as Cubiks, providing similar intelligent and attractive solutions.

The Video

If you prefer videos above blog posts, watch the video with a summary of above blog post.

trends in selection

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