If you are hiring staff and have chosen not to use a recruitment agency brace yourself for the onslaught. A job interview can be an emotionally charged affair. How can you bring objectivity in the equation?
Some small business owners have resorted to the grapevine to hire staff. It can have mixed results. Yes it saves on advertising costs and recruitment agency fees but the fact that someone is a member of your church or the relative of someone you play golf with isn't in itself a qualification for anything.
Introducing aptitude tests. How could you ever devise a test to see if someone is qualified to fill your vacant position? How do you find out how someone performs under stress? Is there a way to see if someone is fit to represent your company in face to face contacts with customers?
The internet has somewhat answered most of those questions. You can subscribe to an aptitude tests website and ask candidates to sit for the tests you see relevant to your selection process. When you call people for interviews you have some hard evidence of what they can do relative to other people who passed the same tests too.
Sounds too good to be true. How can a computer decide who is fit for the job? Should I hire computers instead of people? Tests are good to evaluate somebody's problem solving skills, to ascertain someone's ability to obey orders and work under discipline, to check how fluent the person is in a foreign language, to gauge a worker's industry knowledge, etc...
The assumptions to stay well clear of are results from personality tests. These tests where there are no right or wrong answer aim to fit people into pigeonholes insofar as their temperament and mood. In a business like in a family life would be hell if everyone processes the world in the same way. Some fresh blood will always balance the status-quo. Yes hiring is a risky process. Suffocating yourself in the same mental stale air is even more dangerous.
What if you spent a few hours to devise a list of 50 to 100 questions that would profile the applicant in relation to your work procedures, market segment and customer relations style? Wouldn't that be time well spent where you now have a tool to compare objectively both utter strangers from people who have been introduced to you as a favour?