Four Ways to Maintain Objectivity

By Angela Tysar
SeeGee HR Manager

Recruitment can often be a stressful, slippery slope; as the old adage goes, be slow to hire but quick to fire. Getting the perfect recruit to join your company is often harder than it seems, no matter how successful or strong your business may be.

Best practice regarding recruitment and selection is to keep calm and remain objective. HR teams can often find themselves dazzled by a candidate who has great presentation skills, but lacks the skills and experience the role requires. Hiring someone who worked for a household name corporation but is a poor fit to your business’s culture is also another sure way to fail.

The world of biases and subjective opinions within recruiting is a slippery slope that should be avoided at all costs.

Here are some tips to staying on the straight and narrow:

1.    Be prepared. Just as you would expect a candidate to do their homework before coming into an interview, the interviewer should do the same. Gain a stronger understanding of the position you are hiring for by documenting a job description and ensuring that you comprehend the role and its accompanying list of selection criteria. If a candidate's knowledge, skills and abilities do not satisfy the job description, move on.

2.    Be realistic. Only highlighting the company's best qualities can be a major downfall in the long run. Provide your candidates with a realistic job preview by disclosing desirable AND undesirable facets of the job, including its challenges and shortfalls. This reduces misunderstandings about the job and further helps identify the perfect match.

3.    Be aware. Know that having a bias is a common characteristic of human nature – even the most experienced recruiters can fall into this trap. The key is to identify your bias tendencies before they arise. For example, if you find yourself leaning towards a candidate simply because they graduated from the same university as you, this should be identified as a bias on your part and avoided at all costs. (Stay tuned to future blog posts defining the 10 most common types of bias.)

4.    Be thorough. Even though the need to fill a position may be urgent and immediate, a hasty decision may result in the wrong decision, so take your time in comparing the facts. Make sure the person has the right skills and attitude for your business, and ensure they are a great fit with your team’s culture. Hiring the wrong person could be a costly exercise for your business, both in time and money.

What other tips do you have for recruiters and combating their internal bias?


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