The Sprockets Platform

Top 4 Benefits of Using AI for Recruiting

Top 4 Benefits of Using AI for Recruiting Sprockets

We live in a world where artificial intelligence (AI) is applied in almost everything, including the process of recruitment. The use of AI for recruiting is only growing.

In our space, the key is to build lasting relationships. When you’re successful at establishing true relationships with applicants, you can make them look forward to your company’s goals and values. In turn, your new hires will become more invested in the company..

However, not all companies are successful in this endeavor.

The process of looking for new people, including establishing connections and retaining them is quite complex. Most companies receive a lot of resumes regularly, in addition to cover letters and recommendations. It can be quite difficult to determine which applicant is suitable for your office environment.

And with the fact that one bad hire can cost your company a staggering $50,000 or more, it’s imperative that you hire the right kind of people.

But imagine this: a technological advancement that allows you to assess people before they’re hired and predicts the success rates of applicants. It’s too good to be true, isn’t it?

But let me tell you this right now: in this day and age, artificial intelligence exists, and it can be used to make the hiring assessments and recruitment process much easier and more effective.

Such technology can perform the many functions of recruitment, including the pre-selection process, resume screening, and interview scheduling. When using AI for recruiting, you can spend more time on the most essential aspects of your company, such as building quality relationships with your best employees.

Adding artificial intelligence to the recruitment process will help you attract the right applicants for the job and make better choices on who fits best to vacant positions.


The Role of AI in Recruitment

In recent years, many articles and blogs have discussed AI and its feasibility in the workforce. AI for recruitment took the industry by storm, resulting in numerous HR conferences to tackle this technology’s benefits in the talent industry. Since artificial intelligence technology is one of today’s latest trends, it’s safe to say that we have so many years worth of enjoying what it can do.

Overestimating the capabilities of AI for improving the traditional recruitment process is a challenge. For example, companies can now make time-consuming and complicated tasks faster and simpler by employing virtual assistance. The future of artificial intelligence is so bright because it allows recruiters to complete unified profiles from monolithic data sets, which effectively matches the right skills needed for a vacant position based on the job profiles of the candidates.


How Artificial Intelligence is Changing Recruiting

First off, low-level tasks can be automated. It provides the HR team with more detailed information, reducing operational costs. Besides automating administrative processes, modern recruitment software has many other benefits. Other recruitment software can also allow recruiters to assess a candidate’s performance before getting hired.

Artificial intelligence startups make way for immediate value, altering the business model we are all used to. The process of recruitment is one area that creates value only for a very specific period of time, hiding some specific challenges for many tech firms. While they are used to unstable revenue streams, this model also means that recruiters will choose to pay per position over using the SaaS model.

By employing the workings of artificial intelligence, companies can now target specific elements when the recruiting needs are high. Additionally, using recruitment software can also help generate revenue.


4 Benefits of Using Artificial Intelligence in Recruitment

1. Automating tasks save time

We cannot stress enough how time is extremely valuable for every business, and the same holds true in the hiring assessments and recruiting industry. It’s possible to estimate the candidate’s skills using the many solutions provided by artificial intelligence. Software based on AI technology only needs a few seconds to analyze an incredible load of data and be able to come up with logical results. This, in turn, saves time, money, and resources.


2. Improved hiring quality

The HR department is responsible for selecting the right people out of many applicants. With artificial intelligence, the whole process can be automated and divided into several phases. To evaluate each candidate more effectively, recruiters can focus on collecting more data on each applicant. There are many solutions offered by the technology that help to assess experience and skills using special algorithms.


3. Fair decision-making

Regardless of how competent recruitment professionals are in your team, they can still make biased decisions, both consciously and unconsciously. This has become a common problem in many companies, but luckily, using AI in recruiting can counteract this. Business organizations are given the opportunity to hire only the best applicants that best fit what the available position requires due to the fact that all decisions are made based on the resumes and the information sourced from applicants and in their background checks.


4. Enhanced application of analytics

The recruitment and hiring team can now choose applicants based on their skills. This may seem basic but the analytics can show which specific position will use their full potential. Using this approach will increase productivity in the workplace. At the same time, it can motivate applicants to work on their skills. Additionally, using artificial intelligence recruiting technology has shown to have more accurate results compared to human recruiters.


Applications of Artificial Intelligence in Recruitment

Artificial intelligence has several applications to improve the whole recruitment process. Improvements include targeted advertisements that are shown to the right audience in the right timing. Using artificial intelligence allows for better analysis of users’ online activity by looking into the browsing history of potential candidates. To put it simply, you will have a way to check what your candidates have searched online and what websites are they known to visit. You can even see which of them have checked out your company website, Facebook page, and other social media accounts.

You can also use chatbots to improve more of your services and be able to talk to candidates and applicants. Advanced chatbots will not only hold a conversation, but they can also analyze the response of people using Natural Language Processing. This solution gives you information on whether or not that particular hire has the skills needed by your company. 

You can also make use of virtual assistants to avoid repetitive tasks. These tasks may include posting job ads, choosing candidates, scheduling interviews, and selecting who to hire. This results in a lot of time saved, as well as information saved, so you won’t lose whatever details are necessary for the entire hiring process.


Final Thoughts on AI in Recruiting

No matter how advanced and innovative artificial intelligence is, there are still some people who are reluctant to use it. Some people have questioned whether these machines are better than people, going as far to suggest that artificial intelligence will eventually replace them.

The use of AI in recruiting helps hiring managers and HR professionals, not harms. Artificial intelligence is not competition, but a way to increase the value of jobs done by humans.

Hiring assessments and recruiting technology based on artificial intelligence and are a trend that won’t disappear soon. Eventually, the whole world will realize how new opportunities can be derived out of this technology.


PEO Customer Testimonial: Propel HR

PEO Customer Testimonial: Propel HR 150 150 Sprockets

As President of Propel HR, an HR outsourcing and PEO company based in South Carolina, I am surrounded by small businesses and human resource professionals every day. I understand their pain points and work relentlessly to assist them with technology, advice, and other HR services. One of the greatest problems that companies face today is hiring the right people. Sprockets first approached me via a mutual connection. As they first presented the technology, I was curious to see if it would work. How could they build a personality profile based on 100 words?! So, I had them run a full analysis on my 29 operations employees as a test. … and Sprockets passed with flying colors.

I remember saying out loud while reading the report, “this is very much the culture around here”. Sprockets was able to measure our core values, needs, and collective traits. I beamed at the results and said “spot on” five or six times during review. The technology accurately measured the performance level of 29 out of 29 (100%) of my employees… all from a nine question online survey!

I immediately integrated Sprockets into our internal hiring process. We now use it as a screening tool to find candidates with the “right stuff” to be successful at our PEO, Propel HR. I have been impressed with the Sprockets technology and look forward to using it for years to come.

Lee Yarborough


Get in touch to learn how Sprockets can help your business start making the best hires today. Plus, learn from four more Sprockets customers on why they love our Applicant Matching System!

Firehouse Subs Franchise Extinguishes Employee Turnover with Sprockets

Firehouse Subs Franchise Extinguishes Employee Turnover with Sprockets Sprockets

Firehouse Subs franchise extinguishing employee turnover by introducing artificial intelligence into their hiring process with Sprockets.


5 AUGUST 2019

Little Rock, Arkansas

Sprockets, a Charleston-based technology company, is pleased to announce our latest franchise client, Firehouse Subs. Since its founding in 1994 by former firefighters, Firehouse Subs set out to build a dining experience where their customers were fed well while remaining focused on community involvement with their Public Safety Fund. 

AJ Richichi, CEO of Sprockets, writes “We are thrilled to be working with Firehouse Subs. Every dollar we save their franchisees directly impacts their ability to provide life-saving equipment to local first responders. With turnover costing $4,969 per hourly employee, it has never been more expensive or more important to hire the right people. We are honored to be a smart part of their positive impact on their communities.”

With over 1100 locations, Firehouse Subs provides world-class food and service to their customers. Find a location near you today! 


About Sprockets:

Sprockets is an AI-powered platform specifically designed for franchise owners dependent on an hourly workforce. It empowers operators to hire reliable, honest, and hardworking people in an industry plagued with triple-digit turnover and skyrocketing hiring challenges and costs.


About Firehouse Subs:

Celebrating 25 years of business in 2019, Firehouse Subs® is a fast-casual restaurant chain with a passion for Hearty and Flavorful Food, Heartfelt Service, and Public Safety. Founded in 1994 by brothers and former firefighters Chris Sorensen and Robin Sorensen, Firehouse Subs is a brand built on decades of fire and police service, hot subs, steamed and piled high with the highest quality meats and cheeses and its commitment to saving lives through the establishment of the non-profit Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation®. The founders are the real deal, the food is their creation and the restaurant is built upon a family of franchise operators who share their same passion for generously serving food and community. This year, Firehouse of America, LLC (franchisor for the brand) will donate a portion of all purchases at U.S. Firehouse Subs restaurants to Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, resulting in a minimum donation of one million dollars. Firehouse Subs is consistently recognized as one of the leading brands in the U.S. among consumers. Newsweek recently named Firehouse Subs No. 1 in the fast-casual restaurant industry on its 2019 list of America’s Best Customer Service Brands. In 2018, Firehouse Subs was named the No. 1 brand in the restaurant industry that “Supports Local Community Activities” and ranks No. 1 among Fast Casual brands in “Food Quality” and “Taste and Flavor” in Technomic’s Consumer Brand Metrics rankings. Firehouse Subs was also named No. 2 in “America’s Favorite Fast Casual Chain” rankings by Technomic Ignite.

Enjoy more subs. Save more lives. To learn more, visit


Restaurant Customer Testimonial: Hall Management Group

Restaurant Customer Testimonial: Hall Management Group Sprockets

I am the Director of Human Resources and Recruitment at the Hall Management Group and use Sprockets as a hiring tool for restaurants. I have been in Operations and HR in the hospitality business for 15 years at companies like the Neighborhood Dining Group and Rays Restaurants.

Service is the most important thing in the restaurant business. At the Hall Management Group, we strive to share distinctive culinary experiences that celebrate Southern culture. Our goal is to always provide a dining experience that entice our guests to stay, enjoy, and come back, time and again. A huge part of that is hiring the right staff. We are known for our service, so we are very selective of who we welcome to the Hall family.

We are currently using Sprockets to hire Managers. The reports have been impressive and useful. It has saved me from extra interviews and bad hires. One example I always use is the time I had a great phone interview with a Manager candidate. Sprockets scored this person as a “red”, meaning they were a poor fit. But I went ahead and invited them to our offices in Charleston for an in-person interview anyway because they had all the qualifications. It took about 5 minutes for me to figure out that the person was a bad fit for the job. With Sprockets, I now only interview and hire people that have the core values, strengths, and needs of our top performers.

I would highly recommend their services to others in the industry.

 Jim Wahlstrom

Get in touch to learn how Sprockets is the go-to hiring tool for restaurants.  Get started with a free account and start making the best hires today. Plus, learn more from four more Sprockets customers on why they love our Applicant Matching System!

A woman on the phone and drinking coffee

How to Identify Action-Oriented Applicants

How to Identify Action-Oriented Applicants 1920 1280 Sprockets

Managing a restaurant is no easy feat. It takes a lot of time, planning, and a commitment to excellence. The one thing that can set your restaurant apart from all others is the people you hire. How well your restaurant runs is dependent upon hiring the best of the best, which includes action-oriented, self-driven applicants. 

Better screening of candidates results in less turnover and more profits.

Very few people are actually cut out for working in the fast-paced, physically and mentally demanding environment of a restaurant. Statistically, the average turnover in the restaurant industry is around 75 percent. Employees who survive are those who are already driven to success by their own personalities and stamina. Those who lack the proper attitude and ambition are quickly chewed up and spit out by the restaurant business. 

The process of advertising, interviewing, hiring and training is time consuming and costly. When a candidate doesn’t stay with the restaurant for more than a few months, it impacts your bottom line in a big way. 

You are reading this article because you are probably frustrated by the lack of candidates out there who have the right qualities to get the job done well. You have likely been searching for tips for hiring for restaurants only to find very little information available. There are no simple answers, but we suggest there is one specific type of candidate that restaurant owners should always be on the lookout for, and go after before another business gets to them. 

What kind of candidate should restaurant owners focus on to improve their chances of building an outstanding team? We suggest that you seek out action-oriented applicants to work in your restaurant. 


Why the action-oriented candidate? 

There are many reasons to focus on hiring applicants who have a natural go-getter personality. In fact, Ken Sundheim who contributes to Forbes, puts action-orientation as number one on his list of 15 Traits of the Ideal Employee. Sundheim says, “Hire employees who take action and take chances.  While chances may lead to failure, they will more often lead to success and mold confidence while generating new ideas. 

It’s fairly easy to see how managing a restaurant will become more efficient with staffers who are self-driven and action-oriented. They need less daily direction because they’ve been shown what to do and they can carry tasks out as requested. Sundheim points out how action-oriented employees impact the business revenues and, “stagnant employees won’t make your company money; action-oriented employees will.” 


How to identify action-oriented applicants

It can be challenging to find the job seekers who have what it takes to work in a restaurant. They are generally already working for other restaurants or hospitality employers. Your first exposure to them may be as a customer. You notice a very professional and outgoing member of wait staff who goes out of his or her way to delight you. This is someone who anticipates your every need and delivers a truly memorable experience.

Using this as your vision for action-oriented candidates, look for those who possess the following qualities:

Personal goal setting

Action-oriented candidates have personal and professional goals set for themselves. Or they may have already achieved a few life goals. For example, an applicant may have already earned a college degree in restaurant management or hospitality. Or he may be working towards some other personal goal, like climbing Mount Everest. 



In order to identify potentially action-oriented candidates, consider using pre-hire assessments to learn more about them. Use a proven assessment that includes multiple layers of validation to determine if an applicant fits this personality type. This can help weed out candidates who require a lot more hands-on direction. 


Power Words on Their Resume

Self-driven applicants oftentimes present a resume that includes subtle hints about their nature. Power words like “ambitious”, “motivated”, “self-managed”, “leader” are all indicators of a candidate who may be self-driven by nature. 


Extracurricular Activities

It’s always good to see an applicant who is active in the community or participates in volunteerism, playing a sport, or is working on an idea that may someday revolutionize the restaurant business. Action-oriented candidates need to stay busy because they have a lot of life experiences to pursue. 


High-Degree of Energy

Applicants who present themselves as highly energetic, bouncy, and eager to stretch their limits are often self-driven in other aspects of life. They enjoy their freedom, but they also demonstrate being able to play by the rules.  


Outstanding References

Don’t forget the importance of checking an applicant’s personal references. This can reveal much more about candidates and their personality. Ask each reference questions that are related to being self-driven. For example, “When you went to classes with the candidate, how did he approach homework assignments”? “The candidate started working on assignments immediately” is the sign of a self-driven person you want on your team.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Now that you have had a chance to review these tips for hiring action-driven applicants for your restaurant, you will likely spend a little more time reviewing potential candidates, but less time replacing employees. Hire smart and your results will be much better. 

When you’re ready to take the next step in your hiring process, learn how Sprockets’ Applicant Matching System can reduce employee turnover and improve productivity.

Executive Recruiting Customer Testimonial: DHG Search

Executive Recruiting Customer Testimonial: DHG Search Sprockets

As the President of DHG Search, we help clients recruit top talent in the Executive, Accounting/Finance, and IT space across a range of industries that include manufacturing, dealership, construction, real estate, and healthcare markets. We work with a broad range of clients spanning from small to fortune 500 companies. We have a large client base in the Southeast but have served clients in over 20 states. My 20+ years in business and 15+ in the executive recruiting space has provided with a career filled with learning.

I first met the Sprockets team after being introduced by our trusted partners at ADP. I instantly saw the technology as a way to differentiate ourselves from our competitors. I imagined using Sprockets for our clients we could run external Sprockets analyses to make better placements. The idea of matching talent that we source to our clients cultures is very appealing!

Before using the software with our clients, we engaged with an internal test. After sending out the survey to the team, Sprockets accurately predicted the performance level of 14 out of 15 employeeswithout any resumes, performance reports, or meetings. I couldnt believe it! Once I dove into the results, I was amazed by the accuracy of the report, especially the individual personality assessments. The assessment helped us validate an area for an individual that would help us guide a new hire to a higher level of review and performance because of the intel gathered through the score. We also used the assessment to validate a candidate that we ended up hiring as the score helped give us additional data points needed.

I immediately had clients in mind that will benefit from the Sprockets technology paired with our Executive Recruiting tactics. The team at DHG Search looks forward to staying in touch with Sprockets and building a long term relationship!

Brad Ledford

Get in touch to learn how Sprockets can help your business start making the best hires today. Plus, learn from four more Sprockets customers on why they love our Applicant Matching System!

Best Practices for Hiring Healthcare Candidates

Best Practices for Hiring Healthcare Candidates Sprockets

In the fast-growing healthcare field and low unemployment rate market, it can be difficult to hire in the healthcare field. From finding qualified candidates with the right technical and soft skills to casting a wide net, we recommend these best practices to improve your hiring process. 

Healthcare Hiring Challenges & Solutions reports that finding qualified employees is difficult in both the healthcare and manufacturing industries. In the healthcare industry, 68 percent of recruiters reported hiring difficulties in 2018, which was up from 50 percent in 2013. The problems of hiring in health care include the following challenges:

  • Fewer qualified applicants
  • Lack of technical skills
  • Hiring competition
  • Lack of work experience
  • Lack of basic educational skills

Astonishingly, healthcare job applicants often lack the most basic skills such as writing English, operating a computer, making mathematical calculations and reading and understanding English. The recruitment failure rate ranges from 40 percent to 82 percent across five types of jobs from hourly to CEO level

Hiring in the healthcare industry generates some unique challenges that other hiring processes don’t have. According to, these are some of the top challenges for healthcare hiring (& our solutions): 

Screening Candidates

Healthcare positions require unique skills performed by self-starters who can make important decisions on the fly. Each state, national licensing organization and company has specific criteria for hiring. Matching qualifications with jobs becomes more challenging when the criteria can vary extremely from company to company.

Solution: Using a pre-hire assessment easily and effectively sorts through applicants to show which applicants may be a good fit for the position and organization. Sprockets’ Applicant Matching System produces a Match Score for each applicant based on their mental makeup compared to top-performing employees currently with the organization.


A decentralized hiring approach for hiring at most healthcare organizations is necessary to fill critical positions, but inconsistencies can result in legal risks, poor job fits and increased turnover rates. Minimum standards of training must be met, but it’s also critical to assess individuals and their commitment to medical best practices.

Solution: Create a standard hiring procedure checklist that can be used for each department. This may include which job boards to post on, how many applicants to interview, and the criteria for choosing applicants. Using a pre-hire assessment, like Sprockets’, creates a consistent way to manage and screen candidates from department to department.


Sourcing Candidates

Finding qualified healthcare candidates may be the biggest challenge that professionals in the healthcare industry face. It’s not just about finding people with the right experience and technical skills, but people who have the right mental makeup and soft skills to interact with patients.

Solution:  These recruiting strategies for healthcare candidates can help you find the most qualified candidates for your job openings: 

  • LinkedIn

    For professional recruiting, LinkedIn is the top social site for recruiting healthcare candidates. Recruiters can search for job candidates based on job titles, college training, work history and other criteria. It’s important to keep your LinkedIn account updated so that your company shows up accurately on job boards. Letting qualified candidates find you is the best strategy for generating a pipeline of applicants.

  • Career Sites and Job Boards

    Third-party hiring sites are essential to keep up with the demands for qualified healthcare workers. These sites feature resumes from millions of qualified candidates who may be looking for a change. You can narrow your search using highly specialized criteria and still find multiple candidates.

  • Networking Strategies

    One of the best ways to find qualified healthcare candidates is networking. Recruiters can contact local job fairs, industry conferences and local meet-ups to build a network of job candidates. It’s important to track and monitor candidates of interest after these events and establish your own network of qualified candidates.

  • Referrals

    You can find excellent candidates through referrals from company stakeholders, staff members and their professional networks. Referrals usually rank among the strongest candidates because knowledgeable people feel that these candidates are good enough matches for positions to recommend them.

  • Using Your ATS Tracking Software Skillfully

    It’s critical to use keywords and job descriptions skillfully to find the best matches in your database of resumes. This is an ongoing process that should regularly be updated to keep up with industry changes, marketplace trends, etc.

In review, sourcing, screening, and hiring healthcare candidates can be difficult, but creative strategies and innovative solutions can alleviate pain points. Check out our Applicant Matching System as a healthcare assessment or sign up for a free account today! Plus, check out the hard skills tests that compliment Sprockets.

The Simple Guide to Sprockets

The Simple Guide to Sprockets Sprockets

Hiring is difficult. Sprockets is simple.

Choosing the right applicants to screen, call for a phone interview, or invite in for an interview is difficult. Going through all of these steps is also time-consuming. When you add on the fact that 70% of new hires fail each year – time and money is wasted. Sprockets is the hiring tool you need to make better hires and reduce turnover, ultimately saving you time and money.


What is Sprockets?

  • Sprockets is a tool that companies and franchises use to hire the right people and reduce turnover.


Why is it important?

  • It costs $4,000, on average, to replace an hourly employee. People are a company’s most important asset.


How does Sprockets work?

  • Sprockets compares the mental makeup of your applicants to your best employees.


What is the result?

  • Your company hires more people like your top performers.


What do I get with a subscription?

  • Unlimited predictive assessments, applicant tracking, in-app support, integration tools, and an on-boarding/training session.


What is the return on investment (ROI)?

  • 5x your investment if you pass on ONE bad hourly hire in 12 months.
  • 11x your investment if you pass on ONE bad manager hire in 12 months.
  • 60x your investment if you pass on ONE bad hourly hire per month.
  • 132x your investment if you pass on ONE bad manager hire per month.


Learn more about Sprockets or get started by reaching out to our sales team.

The Best Scheduling Tools for Franchises

The Best Scheduling Tools for Franchises Sprockets

Scheduling hourly workers can be difficult. From an average of three shifts per day to filling shifts seven days per week, there are a lot of variables to account for. We know it takes a lot of work to account for requested days off, school schedules, and fair shifts.  Plus, when you’re managing multiple locations, the headache multiplies. Employee scheduling tools are here to help.

Even though scheduling and managing shifts is difficult, and often thankless, it has a large impact on the business. It affects whether people show up, if there are overtime wages to be paid, and whether staff members will be overworked and burn out quickly.

Luckily, there are many great scheduling tools available for multi-unit franchisees and businesses. These platforms are all part of the Software as a Service (SaaS) model that is popular today. We evaluated the best platforms based on features available, the price for the features, and the fit for multi-location franchises and small businesses.  Most of the platforms we reviewed have the same basic functions in common; scheduling, managing time-off requests, and use as a punch clock. However, some platforms missed out on some while others you can pay to add more features. These often ease your workload and streamline your scheduling process. Note that we split our recommendations into two categories, free and paid, but some of the paid options do offer a free trial to check out the platform before committing. The free plans we reviewed are 7Shifts, When I Work, Homebase, and Sling. The paid-only plans that we reviewed are Ximble, Humanity, Deputy, and TimeWorksExpressCheck out our recommendations and let us know if there are any we missed!

Free Plan Available

*Orange color denotes it is available with a paid plan

A table of information on free scheduling tools for franchises

Paid Plans

A table with information on paid scheduling tools for franchises

Using software tools to aid day-to-day franchise operations can produce a great ROI. They help you spend less time on busy work and more time growing your business. Check out how Sprockets’ Applicant Matching System can streamline your hiring process, help you hire dependable people, and reduce employee turnover with a free account, sign up here.

A woman shaking hands with someone, giving a first impression

The Impact of First Impressions on Hiring

The Impact of First Impressions on Hiring 1200 600 Sprockets

Do a quick internet search for “the most important things to do at a job interview,” and you’ll no doubt see many results about making a good first impression. Advice on making a good impression ranges from picking out the right clothing to perfecting a strong handshake. There’s no doubt that hiring managers and recruiters really do care a great deal about first impressions, but there is a strong argument that first impressions are tied to hiring errors more often than any other factor.

Research has found that most people form impressions about personality based on facial appearance within a few milliseconds of meeting another person. Most business owners who’ve had to hire employees know that it’s easy to judge someone based on how they look. Maybe you’ve made assumptions about a job candidate’s friendliness or customer service skills based on appearance. The problem with this approach is that first impressions are often inaccurate.

Of course, the fact that first impressions aren’t always accurate doesn’t mean that they don’t have a place in hiring. It just means that it’s important for hiring managers and business owners to rely more on data-driven hiring methods than on their first instincts when hiring. At Sprockets, we believe that your personal insights are more valuable when paired with pre-hire candidate assessments. Learn how first impressions are used during the hiring process so that you can lead your organization towards hiring practices that rely on hard data instead.


Taking a Closer Look at First Impressions

We’ve all heard that making a great first impression is essential in both our professional and personal lives. If you’ve been through a high-pressure job interview, you likely worried beforehand about the impression you’d make. As an interviewer, you’ve probably made snap judgments about job candidates on at least a few occasions. That’s because humans are programmed to judge others based on their facial appearance. We all have first impression biases that are shaped by our culture and by our families.

No doubt you can think of a time when your first impression about someone was wrong. Many humans still depend on first impressions to make important decisions. You’ve probably been right about people more often than you were wrong about them, and you believe that your instincts will be just as accurate when you interview job candidates. You’re certainly not alone in your assumptions. Thirty-three percent of hiring managers say that they know if they’ll hire someone within seconds of meeting them.

Relying on these first instincts, however, is a big mistake during hiring. Data-driven hiring reveals that working based on first impressions can lead you to hire the wrong people more often than not and to miss out on the most promising candidates. Why? Some candidates who are actually weak performers on the job know-how to present themselves well. Other candidates who have incredible potential may be too nervous to make the best first impression possible.

There is also convincing evidence that good judges of character can only make accurate conclusions about people who are being honest. Unless the person you’re interviewing is very bad at lying, you’re not likely to get an accurate impression of their character. Many applicants lie about important work experience or education information. Of course, good first impressions that are based on inaccurate information provide nothing of value to the hiring process.

How Hiring Assessments Can Offset First Impression Bias

First impression bias can impede effective hiring. Thankfully, there are HR tech solutions designed to help you look past first impressions to overall candidate quality. One of the most powerful tools in your recruitment arsenal should be hiring assessments. Such assessments use tested metrics and data to determine how well a given candidate might fit an open position. Assessments can be tailored to reflect the needs of your industry and the culture of your organization. Sprockets is proud to provide assessment solutions that are tailored to the unique needs of those filling high-turnover positions.

Pairing your first impressions of a job candidate with the data you glean from pre-hire assessments is an effective way to pick the right hire. Assessments show you if the candidates you favor have the skills and personality traits to succeed in your workplace. If you move towards using assessments, be sure to provide appropriate training to your hiring managers. It’s important to talk to team members responsible for hiring employees about the shortfalls of relying on first impressions in hiring so that they better understand why they should weigh their own impressions against assessment data.

Using a standardized assessment for all potential employees mitigates bias in the hiring process. That’s because assessments outweigh the unconscious biases we all have. It’s also because you’ll have assessment data to back up your hiring decisions if you are questioned by an unhappy job candidate or government agency. Remember that not all candidate assessments are created equal. You should work with an experienced assessment company that can clearly explain the metrics used to assess potential hires. Having a comprehensive understanding of how the assessment process works will help you better use assessment results to your advantage. Knowing how your assessments work is also essential to mitigating hiring discrimination charges.

Of course, using pre-hire assessments doesn’t mean that you don’t need to think about the first impression a candidate makes. You should look at your initial interactions with job candidates to determine how they might react to your clients. You should also pay attention to any gut instincts that something is off with a job candidate. If you have a very negative first impression of a candidate who does well on an assessment, spend some extra time checking their employment references. Remember that accurate, high-quality information always benefits the hiring process.


If you’re ready to transform your hiring process, contact us today. Click here to learn more.