A struggle faced by many managers responsible for hiring new employees is to recruit fairly and objectively to allow all applicants an equal chance. While the recruitment and selection effort begins with the best intentions, personal bias can inadvertently find its way into the decision-making process. This can result in a situation that we as consultants see quite often; “We really like the candidate though, shouldn’t we just give them a chance?”
The answer? No.
The common problem with most selection processes is that we typically spend far too much time interacting with the candidates, this results in a relationship being formed with the potential recruit and we all know the more we like them, the harder it becomes to remain objective.
Making matters worse, interviews and other methods that involve meeting the candidates are often extremely prone to bias. A very well documented case of bias in recruitment is the humble interview. Interviews favour extraverts and disadvantage introverts, as the introverted generally do not establish rapport as quickly as their extraverted counterparts.
How can you recruit fairly and objectively?
Firstly, always identify the crucial factors for success in the role before you start recruiting. This means you need to gather all of the important stakeholders and clearly define what success within the role looks like.
Secondly, use a psychometric test to determine if the candidates have the desired characteristics, before you even meet them! Psychometric tests are by far the fairest, most objective and valid way to identify your top performers. They are non-discriminatory and will provide a way to easily view how the candidate measures up next to the predetermined key criteria.
To save yourself and the candidate from an undesirable outcome, don’t meet any of them unless you are sure they have what it takes to be successful in the role, this will dramatically reduce your chances of “falling in love” with the wrong candidate.