Traditionally, the evaluation process started with a brief introduction of the candidate followed by gruelling questions and answers session. The questions were one-sided, from the evaluator and answers came from the candidates, more like a college viva-voice. This method of evaluation did not really require the evaluator to have any hands-on experience in the role or even be knowing the subject matter. All it took to be an evaluator was to be in possession of a set of questions and answers that could be executed during the evaluation.

As per survey across Indian IT industry, less than 10 % of organizations have a carved-out section for technical evaluation. The evaluators are technical team members full time in delivery assignments with little experience and no formal trainings in assessing candidates.  Bringing out the best in a candidate is a skilled job that calls for an acumen in people’s skill along with a good hold of the subject matter and analytical skills. It is worthwhile for the evaluator to invest time on the best practices to analyse the potential and best fit:

  • Q&A is out, conversation is in: A calmer, less tensed atmosphere helps the mind think better and brings out the best solutions. A casual discussion of the projects done, roles handled and ownership taken prompts the candidate to elucidate on their work experience. In addition, a few pointed questions on primary skills can decipher the clarity of understanding.
  • Listening skill: This can’t be emphasized more. In the CoVid era as hiring is primarily done for remote workers, it is crucial to be candid with the candidate and listening well to weigh the odds of onboarding the individual. Listening carefully will also help to funnel down the questions and judge the depth of expertise.
  • Be comfortable with silence. It pays: Silence after the candidate has spoken, may lead to elaboration of the answer by the candidate. It is needed for the evaluator to not fill the conversation with chatter and provide purposeful gaps. The breaks could be time for the the candidate to consider questions to be put to the evaluator.
  • Come prepared with real use cases: This will let the candidate think on the toes and come up with genuine approaches. Real situation tests the underlying strength of the candidates’ work experience and measures their confidence on the role. It is better to steer clear of theoretical questions and bank on situation-based tactics.
  • Its not about you: At all times the evaluator needs to keep in mind to let the candidate speak first and speak more. An 80/20 speaking time ratio for the candidate and evaluator goes a long way. Even if the role you are filling has a different demand than what the candidate knows, give them an opportunity to demonstrate their skills. This will give a wholesome picture of what the candidate can bring to the table and where they need mentoring.

As the job scenario recovers from the pandemic, organizations are soon to be seen in a hiring mode and effective candidate evaluation will ensure faster upsurge from the recession. In a competitive market it is vital for the evaluators to put their best foot forward and pick the fittest candidate for their teams’ productivity.

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