HR’s role in recruitment called into question by shock survey

HR practitioners view every current recruitment method for senior roles as virtually worthless, exclusive research reveals.

Cranfield School of Management’s latest Recruitment Confidence Index (RCI), produced in association with Personnel Today, calls into question the contribution that HR can make to the recruitment process.

The survey of nearly 850 HR professionals shows that while 50% still use one-to-one interviews, 68% believe they are “not useful” as the main method of selection.

The RCI index shows that just 3% of HR professionals rate competency-based and one-to-one interviews as “very useful”.

Panel interviews and psychometric testing also fared badly in the RCI index. Three-quarters (78%) of the HR professionals said panel interviews were ineffective, while less than 10% believed they were useful predictors of job success.

But Keith Dugdale, head of recruitment at professional services firm KPMG, said interviews had merit if they were carried out properly and in conjunction with a formal recruitment process.

Only 2% of respondents said psychometric tests were very useful as a selection method, and only 10% of HR professionals said they always used psychometric testing when recruiting for senior-level positions.

Richard Smelt, group HR director at Carphone Warehouse, said: “A structured interview is invaluable to the recruitment process. But there’s not one Holy Grail.”

And there could be huge cost implications for getting the selection process wrong, Smelt added.

Rebecca Clake, resourcing adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, admitted that many employers found interviews ineffective. But she insisted that they provided a “valued interaction”.

Other highlights

  • 86% said written references were “not useful” when predicting the job success of senior-level staff
  • 25% rated qualifications as very important, compared with 70% who said experience was most relevant
  • 15% said appearance was very important when assessing suitability for a managerial role

Source: RCI

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