How A/B Testing Can Help Improve Your Hiring Process

How A/B Testing Can Help Improve Your Hiring Process

Hiring is one of the most important tasks any entrepreneur undertakes, but it can also be the most grueling. Most business...


Hiring is one of the most important tasks any entrepreneur undertakes, but it can also be the most grueling. Most business leaders invest time into learning the basics of hiring, including posting job ads and asking the right questions during the job interview. However, some businesses fail to personalize the hiring process to fit their own unique work environments, which can make the difference between a perfect fit and a complete misfire.

In recent years, A/B testing has moved from being a web development tool to a solution for other areas of business operations. With A/B testing, also known as split testing, a business tries multiple strategies, using analytics to monitor results. A website developer could deploy two separate landing pages, for instance, and monitor for which version gets the most activity. As tech has grown more sophisticated, business leaders have learned that they can attach analytics to other processes. Through this, they can monitor results and tweak their efforts.

For hiring managers, A/B testing provides a viable opportunity to try various approaches to hiring. Many HR professionals feel increasing pressure to improve their recruiting, hiring and retention numbers. Also, smaller businesses without dedicated HR departments are forced to compete. If your organization is looking for ways to improve your hiring processes, split testing could be the answer. Here are a few ways A/B testing can help.

Improving Job Ads

Job ads have long been an integral part of reaching a large pool of potential applicants. But writing a winning job ad is an art. Using split testing, you can post multiple job ads, whether you put them all on the same job board or you spread them across a variety of sites. You can then test various job titles and use different wording within each ad. As applications begin to arrive, you'll be able to determine which of your efforts were most effective.

Businesses that constantly seek to hone their talent acquisition processes may find that they're increasingly able to win the top workers in their industries.

Optimizing Job Fairs

Among the many recruiting tools businesses use, job fairs remain popular for entry-level positions. By sending someone to a college campus or a large community, a business can have face-to-face interactions with a large number of people who are looking for work. If businesses do choose this approach, A/B testing can be used to determine whether it works at all and, if so, what type of job fair gets the best results. Even behaviors at the job fair itself can be tested. Recruiters can see if placement at a table near the door gets more traction than a table near the center of the event.

Improving Recruitment Emails

Businesses spend a great deal of time crafting an effective marketing email approach, with split testing offering a way to try out various subject lines to see which gets the most opens. This same concept can be applied to recruitment emails, especially if you're reaching out to prospects cold. With split testing, you can try out different subject lines to determine which get the most opens, as well as which get the most replies. As a result, you can hone your approach to give yourself the best chance possible to get a response from a potential recruit.

Testing Job Applications

Once a candidate has decided he or she is interested in applying, it's time to go through your application process. Generally, this means completing an online application. Without A/B testing, you may not know the best approach for this. Some would say you should make the application process complicated by collecting a large amount of information on the front end. This can help ensure you narrow the pool to only the most interested or qualified applicants. Others would say you should collect only basics like contact information and an attached resume. This might push as many candidates as possible to an in-person meeting. By trying different methods, you can decide which approach works best for your hiring process.

Getting the Right Answers

No matter how long you work on your interview questions, you won't always know for sure if you're getting answers you want without scaring potential hires off. A/B testing can help you test various sets of interview questions and match those questions to certain types of answers. While some candidates may genuinely be less well-spoken than others, you could identify certain questions that fluster candidates or lead to disappointing answers. This may not only help you improve your interviews, but it'll help you determine whether a particular candidate might be a good fit if you bring that person back in and ask a different set of questions.

The concepts of A/B testing can be put to use throughout your organization's daily activities. When it comes to your hiring processes, however, it can be especially beneficial. What's more, businesses that constantly seek to hone their talent acquisition processes may find that they're increasingly able to win the top workers in their industries.

This article originally appeared on AmericanExpress.com. Thanks for reading! My work is almost entirely reader-funded so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following me on Twitter, and maybe throwing some money into my hat on Patreon, on Paypal, or with Etherium: 0x24AC7A8fF92721b9827A03a6936Fe169b864C941

Journalist

My name is John Boitnott and I am a tech writer and digital media consultant. I write for Inc.com, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, USAToday and others. I have held dozens of positions at various TV newsrooms in the state of California. I worked in TV news from 1994 to 2009. I was a web editor for years at KNTV, the NBC station in the San Francisco Bay Area. held freelance writing positions at KGO, KRON and KPIX in San Francisco as well. I worked as a radio anchor, assignment desk manager, reporter, editor and producer at KEYT in Santa Barbara for 10 years.

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