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Assumptions in the Hiring Process Using Occam’s Razor

Too often candidates and employers make the hiring process much more complicated than it should be. The principle that more job seekers and hiring authorities should adopt is Occam’s razor, which advocates for simple assumptions to be used in the hiring process. Not only will this principle simplify the entire recruitment process, but it can also help employers find better candidates, and helps candidates better prepare for interviews. However, if you need further assistance in the hiring process, utilize our human resource consulting services which help candidates and employers find the best option for employment. Or, take a look below to learn more about how you can simplify the hiring process for yourself by not making complex assumptions.

Occam’s Razor and Making Simple Assumptions 

William of Ockham created the problem-solving principle known as Occam’s razor, a theory that expresses a simplified way of coming to a more beneficial conclusion. His theory states that when considering the best possibility, the one with the fewest, or most simple, assumptions should be chosen. Today, this principle can be effectively used in the hiring process because it acts as a model for both candidates and employers to follow. For example, if more people made fewer assumptions during an interview, they would be able to get to key details more quickly and with less frustration. Not only would the recruitment process and interviewing be much more simple for both parties, but it would also provide better results.

Making Assumptions  

Both the applicant and the hiring authority can benefit from making simple assumptions during the hiring process. Here’s how: 

Candidates 

Typically candidates make too many assumptions about their resume. These commonly incorrect presumptions are that their resume will be read, the person reading the resume will already know what to look for, and lastly that the reader will understand the message they are trying to convey. However, using Occam’s razor will allow candidates to better prepare their resume for what employers are actually looking for. Candidates should write their resume with the simple assertion that “I am a good employee and this is why.” This uncomplicated assumption will make their resume more clear and garner them more interview opportunities. 

And when it comes to the interview process, applicants should remember to also keep things simple. Your main goal as a candidate is to sell yourself to your potential boss. By straightforwardly explaining “here’s what I’ve accomplished and done for others and here’s what I can do for you,” you’ll easily get the attention of your interviewer and have a better probability of being considered for the job.

Interviewers

Using the simple assumption theory also helps interviewers, or hiring authorities, make uncomplicated assumptions that alleviate the stress of recruiting a new employee. Employers should consider these four simple assumptions:

  • Can the applicant do the job?
  • Do I like the candidate?
  • What are the risks associated with this applicant?
  • Can we come to an agreement for compensation?

These questions are uncomplicated and direct which allows hiring authorities to make better decisions in a shorter amount of time. This simplifies the entire process and typically provides better end results as well. 

Critical Thinking 

Another crucial way to find the best candidate for an open position is to test their critical thinking skills. To do this, start by giving your prospective candidate a business-related problem that would pertain to your company. Then ask them to solve the problem and analyze their results. When doing this you want to look for two key things – what their answer is (if it’s right or wrong) and how they came to this solution. The most important thing to figure out is how they think, so look for creative and surprising responses that you think will be a good asset to bring to your company. 

Also, don’t be afraid of politely pushing back during an interview. A critical thinker will defend their answer and give reasons to back up that defense. This shows the type of personality that is beneficial to have on your team and displays whether or not the candidate is confident in their own abilities.

Utilize Effective Human Resource Consulting Services

If the hiring process leaves you feeling overwhelmed, then connect with the experts at The Applied Companies. Our human resource consulting services are designed to help candidates and employers alike throughout the recruitment process. We help candidates find their ideal job and assist businesses in hiring appropriate employees. Whether you’re looking for a career or searching for the right candidate, we’re here for you. Connect with us today!

We’ve Got Your Back

Last week I sat in on a webinar about employment opportunities. It was extremely informative and well worth the time. I was appalled to hear that according to a national survey “job seekers felt losing a family member in death is less stressful than looking for a job”.  How sad is that?

The feeling didn’t come from a lack of job opportunities, it originated from their job search experiences and how they were treated. One of our “points of pride” here at Applied Staffing Solutions is how we treat candidates – we like to think we’ve got their back. Here are four tips every employer can use to help make job searches less stressful.

Be Kind

Kindness includes a warm greeting with a smile that reaches the eyes and says, “I’m glad to see you.” Even if you know immediately that the candidate isn’t right for your company, be considerate and give them a few friendly moments of your time.

Put Yourself in the Candidate’s Shoes 

Remember the Golden Rule and treat others as you would like to be treated. Do you remember what it was like when you were the one seated in the lobby, sweating bullets and hoping like heck you give all the right answers? Be compassionate to people who are trying to keep a roof over their head, food on the table and are mentally crying, “Pick me. Please, pick me!”

Grey is Great

If you aren’t open to hiring mature workers, please stop letting it show. I’ve listened to countless job seekers who are part of the aging workforce describe interviewer’s curled lips, sneers and amusement at their applying. Some of the many benefits to hiring baby boomers are their work ethic, knowledge, dependability, and incredible people skills. They can look you in the eye and carry on a conversation. Try not to doubt a person’s abilities based on their age.

Information is King

Supply job seekers with a complete job description, summary of benefits and the wage before the interview. If someone is qualified, skilled and talented, don’t low-ball the offer. Start the relationship off on a good note by seeing the value and worth of your new potential employee.

Written by Susan C. Fix, The Applied Companies Community Liaison Partner. Fix has worked 16 years in staffing services performing outside sales, recruiting, permanent and temporary placement coordination, career counseling, customer service and social media/business.

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