Human bias is a powerful force on human thinking. In fact, bias results from “mental shortcuts” to make decisions efficiently. Going with your gut may be a natural instinct, but it has little place in modern talent recruiting.
Interviewer bias is not always intentional. But, it can manifest in a number of ways, including physical or demographic stereotypes. It may also include what UFL HR calls “like me” syndrome, or the tendency to select candidates with a similar cultural background as oneself.
Research by McKinsey reveals that highly diverse organizations are more profitable. Identifying and avoiding bias could be crucial to your entire organization’s success. Read on to learn about three important tools for fair recruitment.
1. Standardized Interview Questions
Hiring managers may prefer a conversational interview approach to unlocking insights into a candidate’s personality. Unfortunately, open-structured interviews can invite bias towards candidates whose personalities resemble that of the hiring manager.
Preparing a list of questions in advance is key. In fact, 85 years of research revealed that structured interviews are nearly twice as effective at predicting actual job performance.
2. Panel Interviews
Panel interviews have a reputation as being difficult to schedule. Further, they are sometimes overwhelming to job candidates. Yet, panel interviews can level the playing field significantly. With the help of a diverse panel of HR and subject matter experts, your organization can collect varied perspectives on candidate interview performance.
If you are using numeric scoring to rank interview answers, Dr. Matthew O’Connell recommends taking a statistical average of panel ratings to further control possibilities for bias.
Regardless of the size of your organization, including fellow team members within the interviewing process can help broaden feedback on that specific discussion; providing a more well-rounded perception of how that job candidate did.
3. Data Driven Candidate Rankings
Using quantitative or data driven tools to select and rank candidates is becoming increasingly common. This is especially the case as organizations use talent software to cull top resumes for initial interviews.
Maintaining this approach throughout the hiring process could eliminate your risk of making a gut decision based on conscious or unconscious preferences. HR leader Anne Sandberg recommends having a panel use scales of one to five (or other values) to generate data around how a candidate’s resume stacks up against job requirements.
A similar approach could also be used to rate candidates’ work during application processes that require a portfolio, work samples or test exercises. By using a diverse panel of experts to rank technical ability, communication, teamwork, and education against the position description, you can further reduce your interview bias risk.
Unlocking Unbiased Recruitment Processes
Recognizing the potential for bias in your hiring processes lets your organization create an equal playing field for candidates and establish a more diverse pool of talent. With structured interviews by a panel and quantitative candidate scoring, you can ensure the job offer is ultimately issued to the most qualified applicant.
Developing a strong EVP is not just critical to your organization’s culture, it can also make or break your talent recruitment process. Learn how to strategize one here.