The Art & Science of Selection by Chris Gee, PhD

Welcome to the 2nd installment of our blog series on the importance of leveraging both the art and science of selecting top performers.

In our previous blog we demonstrated that the predictive power of a validated psychometric assessment tool is far higher than that of a hiring manager’s “gut-feel” prediction of a candidates’ future performance levels. With that being said, the use of both pieces of information was found to produce the highest level of selection accuracy, reinforcing the need for selection processes to include both art and science.

With 43 years of experience, and over 10,000 validation studies under our belt, SMG could see the critical importance of including both subjective and objective components within the hiring process. A multicomponent systematic process that quantifies and evaluates a candidate’s Talent, Effort, and Fit for any particular position within an organization.

What differentiates the Selection Rater from other selection processes in the marketplace, is its ability to guide the hiring manager from purely gut-feel to intuition. This is an extremely important detail, as the predictive power of intuition is far greater than simple gut-feel (which is ripe with conscious and unconscious bias). The methodology behind this critical transformation will be elaborated upon in the section labelled Fit Interview.

Step #1: Psychometric Assessment

The first (and by far the most important) step in the Selection Rater process is the use of a validated psychometric assessment tool like SMG’s Predictor of Potential (POP™). The POP™ is SMG’s flagship assessment and has been employed over 20 million times in 46 different languages over the past 43 years. The POP’s predictive accuracy is unmatched in the marketplace, properly classifying 70% of candidates correctly according to their future performance levels at the end of Year 1.  The only elements the POP™ cannot speak towards is the candidate’s  previous experiences, their skill sets, credentials, or any of the important intangible qualities, like their attitude and work ethic. This is where the art of selection comes into play.

Step #2: Structured Behavioural Interview

The second step of the Selection Rater process involves a standardized behavioural interview. The interview is intended to measure a candidate’s effort & attitudinal state and is designed so candidates can provide concrete and explicit examples of themselves demonstrating those critical competencies. Under the well-researched pretense that “past behaviour predicts future behaviour”, when leveraged effectively, this interview component adds significantly to the accuracy of the overall selection decision.  The statistical importance of this step hinges not only on the construction of the interview questions and scoring template, but also the ability to the interviewer. Consequently, it is imperative that a skilled psychometrician be apart of the development of the interview, and that proper training and follow up support is provided as well.

Step #3: Fit Interview

The third step in SMG’s Selection Rater process is where we leverage the subjective evaluation and experience of an organization’s hiring managers. As was evident in the last blog, their experience and input are valuable to the accuracy of the final selection decision. What SMG’s Fit Interview does however, is move this rating from pure “gut-feel” to a more informed state of intuition.

In the Selection Rater, hiring managers ask themselves a series of questions in an attempt to more objectively assess why they like or dislike a particular candidate. The step is intended to address the inherent subjective biases that exist with pure “gut-feel”, and therefore support a rating that forces hiring managers to use their “head” instead of simply their “heart”. The step also asks them to quantify their rating, so that this data point can not only be factored into the overall rating but can also be subjected to future statistical analyses similar to all the other components.

If all of SMG’s proprietary Selection Rater steps are systematically utilized and leveraged to their full potential, the Selection Rater’s ability to accurately identify and predict future top and bottom performers is 90%. The above schematic also reinforces the critical importance of including a validated psychometric assessment like the POP™ into your selection process, as it is by far the most important piece of information.  By using the POP™ and the Selection Rater together you can quantify your gut-feeling and find the right fit for your company. 

For more information on how to incorporate the Art & Science of recruiting into your hiring process, please contact us 416.746.0444 or