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Build Your Career Get the Job

Want Happy Employees? Make Hiring Harder

Want Happy Employees? Make Hiring Harder
Credit: PathDoc/Shutterstock

If you want happier employees, you might want to try making your job interviews a little bit tougher, a new study suggests.

New research from Glassdoor revealed that for employers in the United States, a 10 percent more difficult job interview process is associated with 2.5 percent higher employee satisfaction later on.

The study discovered that on a five-point scale — where 1 equals very easy, 3 equals average and 5 equals very difficult —the interview level that leads to the highest employee happiness is 4 out of 5.

The research found that both the easiest and the most difficult interviews were associated with lower employee satisfaction. The researchers said possible reasons for this are that 1-point interviews are too easy to effectively screen incoming candidates, while 5-point interviews may be an indication of deeper dysfunction within companies, such as an aggressive work culture that is harmful to employee satisfaction.

The study's authors said it's critical that employers use job interviews to determine which candidates are the best matches for their open positions. [The 'Imaginary' Question Every Job Interviewer Should Ask ]

"Good matches lead to more productive and satisfied employees, while poor matches lead to low productivity and dissatisfied workers that can lead to higher turnover," the study's authors wrote.

The goal should be to create an interview experience that is difficult, but not overwhelming, for job candidates, according to the study.

"The optimal interview difficulty allows hiring managers to carefully screen candidates for ability and cultural fit, among other skills, without leaving the candidate feeling confused or defeated," the study's authors wrote. "Finding the optimal interview difficulty can help promote higher-quality job matches, encourage more satisfied employees, and ultimately help boost productivity and reduce employee turnover."

The results hold true for employers and employees outside the U.S as well. The study found a similar increase in employee happiness from tougher job interviews across the other five countries examined: Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany and France.

The study was based on a panel of more than 154,000 Glassdoor users who contributed both interview reviews and subsequent company reviews.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.