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  • Stiffer hiring checks to ensure right fit (Straits Times)

    Jul 27, 2016
    stiffer hiring checks to ensure right fit

    It is common for senior-level job candidates to be put through several rounds of interviews and tests.

    But now, companies are extending this rigorous hiring process to mid-level candidates as well, in a bid to get the best workers.

    Employers at both local and international firms told The Sunday Times that mid- to senior-level candidates can be interviewed as many as 15 times by separate groups of staff in formal and casual settings.

    Some companies are checking writing and presentation skills by getting job applicants to submit and present business plans.

    At firms such as semiconductor solutions provider Infineon, hiring managers are also using computerised personality tests to decide if they can work with potential hires.

    Having more rounds of interviews and tests lengthens the process and makes it more tedious.

    But bosses find they can make better-informed decisions about whether candidates will sink or fly if hired.

    Before, Kannan Chettiar (now Managing Director of Avvanz Pte Ltd) would hire staff after three interviews but many disappointed him. They could not meet sales targets, and their writing skills were poor.

    "I was spending so much time correcting their mistakes. Then I realised this problem could be solved if I spent more time and effort looking for the right people," he said.

    In April, he asked candidates to submit a business plan and explain in writing how they would deal with various challenging scenarios. Candidates are now put through six rounds of interviews and written tests.

    "I have hired better staff since putting in place a tougher hiring process, " said Mr Chettiar.

    Similarly, job seekers at apartment rental website Airbnb can be interviewed up to 15 times by separate groups of staff with varying seniority levels from various departments. Some interviews focus on personality rather than skills.

    "(The multiple interviews) are worth it if, at the end, both Airbnb and the candidate feel certain the position is the right fit," said Ms Lena Sonnichsen, its communications chief for the Asia-Pacific.

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