Having a Consistent Hiring Process Can Minimize Bias

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Interviews have long been trusted as the most effective way to identify which applicants are worthy of receiving a job offer for a given role. However, this mindset fails to take into account the sheer unpredictability and fluidity of the traditional job interview.

Without a framework in place to govern the process, gauging the effectiveness of the traditional approach to hiring becomes very difficult. This leaves employers without much capability to make improvements, since there’s no baseline from which to work or measure.

With the latest hiring software, however, employers are able to implement automated hiring as a means of not only determining which candidates are best suited for a position, but also to eliminate bias and inconsistency from the equation altogether. By using a structured set of predetermined questions, it ensures that all candidates are given the same fair and consistent consideration for the role in question. Let’s discuss this approach in action.

 

A Worthy Example

Within mere seconds of meeting someone new, you already start to form a series of preconceived notions on who the other party is and what he or she represents. In personal relationships, this can be a hindrance, but in a professional setting, it is a pathway to real trouble. For the most part, companies are expected to remain as objective as possible, not taking into account personal details of job applicants and viewing them solely for what they contribute to the company. However, these first impressions — no matter how grossly inaccurate they may be — often shape the decision that hiring managers make to pursue a candidate or pass them over.

It takes a truly innovative, forward-thinking organization to acknowledge this problem and take action to prevent it from mucking up any recruitment efforts. In the right circumstances, confirmation bias doesn’t have to be a concern. Just ask Google.

The company has been lauded for its novel approach to hiring, focusing on what they call structured interviews. These interviews have a consistent structure and focus on behavioral and situational criteria for evaluating candidates such as sample work assignments, tests of general cognitive ability, and problem solving — all of which have proven more effective than a traditional, unstructured interview format. To make sure there’s less bias in the process, Google even brings in completely objective interviewers from elsewhere in the company to provide an outside perspective. While this system isn’t the same as automated hiring, it does underscore the vital role that structured and consistent hiring processes can play in a company’s long-term hiring success.

 

How to Get Started

Now that we’ve discussed the value in minimizing bias, you’re probably wondering what strategies need to be put in place to accomplish this lofty-sounding goal. Some tactics may simply boil down to the details — using gender-neutral, inclusive language throughout a job description, for example. Nevertheless, let’s take a closer look at some general tips that you might want to consider.

  • Introduce a concrete structure: The foundation for a consistent hiring process is having a firm structure in place. This makes it easier for both the applicant and the employer, since similar questions can be naturally grouped together, keeping the interview flowing properly. Though looser interviews may feel more conversational, the more structured approach ultimately ensures that more substantive ground is covered every single time and every candidate is asked the same questions in the same way.
  • Focus on skills assessments: In keeping with a consistent format of the hiring process, it becomes a lot easier to compare one candidate to the other. Rather than dealing with unquantifiable answers, the questions here center on the skills required for the position — both tactical skills and softer skills like communication. There are few more accurate ways of getting a feel for what a candidate is capable of before you even bring him or her onboard.
  • Actively strive for greater diversity: Without a potential bias standing in the way, companies are more likely to develop greater diversity in its workforce. Still, we recommend that businesses set specific diversity goals and track progress throughout the year. In this way, companies can maintain that diversity is a priority at all times and combat even subconscious bias within their hiring process.
  • Have a scoring system: We mentioned earlier how important it is for companies to be able to compare candidates accurately. So, once a structured interview process and rigorous skills assessment is carried out, applicants’ responses need to be evaluated against the same metric and ranked according to how well they performed. This makes the process fair for all candidates, and the most qualified individuals are certain to rise to the top.
  • Consider your company’s visa sponsorship policy: Don’t let a company policy be what holds you back from attracting a diverse and skilled workforce. Take this opportunity to review any relevant visa sponsorship policies, and consider whether this may be alienating some workers out there who could be the perfect fit for your open position.

 

Farewell to Bias

With automated hiring on your side, we know that you’ll soon notice the difference. You can always go back to a traditional hiring process to find candidates for an open position. However, that doesn’t mean it is the most effective use of a company’s time or resources. In today’s increasingly competitive professional landscape, businesses need to be more innovative with their hiring. That means re-evaluating what once seemed like a foregone conclusion.

The consistency and reliability of automated hiring to generate results will likely help propel this approach in the years to come. This will slowly replace the traditional way that companies hired new employees. The fact that the process actually treats applicants more fairly, and minimizes the role of any personal bias, is simply a bonus that businesses should embrace. More than anything, the focus should always be on which candidate will bring the most to a company. Automated hiring is one surefire way to accomplish just that.

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