The evolution of the recruitment process

  • FRIDAY, APRIL 3, 2020

If you have ever applied for a new job you will be familiar with some of the common steps in the process. Typically this may start with a phone screen with a recruiter or someone from the talent acquisition team of a company. This is usually followed by two rounds of formal interviews. These face to face interviews with up to three managers usually comprise of understanding your career history and achievements, your motivators, your interpersonal style and fit factor for their team, plus behavioural questions. Many of our hiring managers within the medical and pharmaceutical industry already use role plays or case study exercises in the final interview.

These traditional steps have their place, however research by Linked In Talent Solutions shows they don’t always highlight a candidates soft skills or weaknesses, and the process can favour the charismatic candidate who interviews well. Also, it can be hard to really get to know someone and understand their true ability if their interviewing skills are so well honed and their answers too rehearsed.

So what is changing?

We have seen an increase in the use of video interviews (either recorded or live) for initial screening and this is before you have even met a real person from the company. The recorded video interview is one way, and can be a daunting exercise. It usually consists of 4-6 questions and 1-2 minutes to record your responses on the first attempt. Click here to learn more about virtual interviews.

The use of psychometric profiling is widespread and typically has taken place at the end of the interview process and just before reference checking. However, some companies utilise psychometric testing earlier in the process – either between first and second interview, or sometimes right at the start before any interviews take place. The results are then used to determine who progresses through to the next stage. Click here to try some sample psychometric tests.

The casual “let’s just have a coffee” interview is another strategy used by managers with the goal to get to know someone in a relaxed environment. The pitfall for candidates is that the casualness of the meeting means they don’t do enough research and preparation, or they drop their guard and don’t treat it as a proper interview.

Field days or meeting up with a current member of team can be great if the role you are applying for isn’t one you have done before. It can also give you deeper insight into the company culture and management style, and it’s a great opportunity to ask questions you may not ordinarily ask in an interview. Just remember the team member you meet will be asked to give feedback on the meeting with you, so make a good impression.

Assessment centres are more common in the pharmaceutical industry recruitment process. These give candidates the opportunity to meet several people from the company and also to participate in a range of activities. These activities can include team work exercises and group interaction, interviews, role plays, sales analysis tasks and the opportunity to mingle more socially during coffee breaks and lunch.

Everyone expects to be asked for references prior to being offered a job, however, there has been an increase in the number of companies engaging the more thorough and in-depth services of a background checking company.

Additional resources:

Click here to learn more about background checking.

Click here to learn more about reference checking.