Using Big Data to Improve Candidate Experience

August 2, 2016

Today we are happy to announce Glassdoor’s Candidates’ Choice Awards, a list of the Best Places to Interview in 2016. Based on candidate feedback shared on Glassdoor, these companies stand out as having world-class practices for effectively screening great new hires.

Here are the top five Best Places to Interview in 2016:

  1. Sherwin-Williams: 88% interview score
  2. Grant Thornton: 87% interview score
  3. Caterpillar: 86% interview score
  4. BNY Mellon: 85% interview score
  5. J. Crew: 85% interview score

Better Hiring Through Science
From an economist’s perspective, what is special about Glassdoor’s Best Places to Interview list is that it is based on science. It uses insights from our own research about what makes a great hiring process to call out employers who are following top practices for interviewing.

For example, recent Glassdoor Economic Research indicates there is a fundamental link between interview difficulty and the quality of job matches—how well candidates are matched to positions, a key driver of productivity. Similarly, we’ve documented how excessive delays in the hiring process can be harmful both to job seekers and employers.

What’s remarkable about our Best Places to Interview award is that these research insights have been baked into our awards algorithm, using data-driven findings on what makes a great hiring process to identify winners of this year’s award.

Screening is Everything
In some ways, the interview process is the most important function served by company HR groups. The most valuable asset inside most companies today isn’t their equipment, buildings or intellectual property. It is their people.

How we screen job candidates affects everything inside the firm: company culture, the pipeline of ideas and innovation, and the flow of talent that drives competitive advantage over the long term. The interview process is the main channel by which companies find and retain great people, providing the basic fuel that drives great workplaces.

Over the past year, we’ve worked hard to uncover what makes interviews work best, based on unique data from Glassdoor. We’ve examined which sources identify the best job candidates, how company bureaucracy can create needless delays in hiring, and how easy job interviews can actually be harmful to employers over time.

Doing Interviews Better
What can employers do to improve hiring processes? Research points to several improvements, which are low-hanging fruit at many companies today. These include:

  • Sharpening up interview difficulty, focusing on testing specific on-the-job skills during interviews;
  • Moving toward standardized interview questions to reduce interviewer bias and allow more objective comparisons of candidates;
  • Cut unnecessary candidate screens (such as layered interviews) that add to hiring delays without significantly improving candidate quality; and
  • Use data, experimentation, and statistical methods to study what actually works and doesn’t in company interview processes.

Many companies today effectively use data science to guide marketing, product and financial decisions. But human resource groups have lagged behind, in terms of using A/B testing and data to make smarter hiring decisions.

In today’s world of growing data on candidate experiences, hiring decisions, and on-the-job performance there are more opportunities today than ever to make hiring more scientific and effective.

By incorporating our own research insights into this year’s Best Places to Interview award, we hope to contribute to that goal. 

For more information about the Candidates’ Choice Awards, and a list of the Best Places to Interview in 2016, please visit the blog and press announcement. Employers: to learn more about how you can rethink your interview process, visit the Glassdoor for Employers blog or download our new eBook, How to Conduct Better Interviews.