American companies for many years filled almost 90% of annual vacancies from within the company, but that portion has now fallen to less than a third. Skeptics suggest that this decline is in spite of the fact that some research suggests that outside hires take three years longer to perform as well as internal candidates, and also cost more. Some worker selection techniques have gravitated towards a battery of tests, even remote criterias such as facial expressions and word usage. Many question such remote tests and argue that, consistent with federal discrimination laws, applicants should be tested for the skills directly required for the job.
Interviews remain the "go to" process, and the use has increased over the years, not decreased. Many believe the best interview strategy is to ask applicants the same set of predetermined questions, so that the answers can be fairly compared. It is believed that some managers may place too much emphasis on "culture," which tends to subject the applicant to the biases of the interviewers, with the results to recruit people like themselves. Even complicated testing algorithms based on the characteristics of existing employees can lead to the same result.
Everyone watches what Walmart does, as it is the country's largest private employer. Walmart is currently using virtual reality headsets to test which employees have the aptitude for promotions into management. The headsets place Walmart employees in real-life situations, to test their decision-making and leadership capacities as well as their skills. Common on-the-job issues can be virtually replicated and standardized for all interested persons, resulting in job-related selection processes without bias. Other companies using such programs include Johnson & Johnson and Farmers Insurance, which uses such VR programs for training.
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