Talent Acquisition Part 4: How to hire the best people. Avoid Interview Bias.

You want to hire the best people for your business and the top Talent can improve your product and company performance.

However, a major issue that occurs during the hiring process and stops businesses from hiring the Talent they need is ‘Interview Bias’. It occurs when certain factors influence someone’s hiring decision and can have a negative impact on your business.

Avoiding it is a vital component of hiring the right Talent. However, ‘Interview Bias’ is a mistake almost all hiring managers make.

So how do you avoid it?

Structured hiring process

You need to get the most out of the interview process so you can understand if the Talent matches your company values and can play an important role in helping you achieve your mission.

To make this happen, your business needs to create a structured interview process that is consistent, concise and productive. There are many methods you can use to your advantage and all have their merits. But you should only select the methods that allow you to determine if the candidate has the right skill set for the role and their values to ‘life’ suit your business.

Methods for creating structured interview process:

  • One-on-one interviews: Determine if the Candidate is the right fit, both skills wise and personality wise, for the business and culture.
  • Panel interviews: Allows all stakeholders to get to know the candidate in an open forum.
  • Testing: Showcase the Candidates skills and ability level for specific tasks.
  • Presentations: Highlight the Candidates ability to understand where they can bring value.

There is no right or wrong way to create a structure. You must create the one that works best for your business. You can even use more than one method in a multi-step interview process. The goal is to create a structured hiring process that allows you to truly get to know each candidate and eliminates ‘Interview Bias’.

But where do you start? How do you ensure you create a process that eliminates ‘Interview Bias’, so you do not miss an excellent candidate?

Values and your business

Your recruitment process needs to be built on the same values you used to build your business.

Daily, you live by these values and the growth you are experiencing are on the back of these elements. Therefore, the individuals you want to hire must be hired against these values, otherwise, their approach, their outlook and their very attitude to work may not complement what you are trying to achieve.

To ensure you hire against values, you must:

  1. Outline the values you want every hire to match and ask questions that determine if the Candidate is a right fit.
  2. Confirm line managers understand and support the expectations and key criteria of the role.

To ensure this happens, when Red Executive conducts interviews, we utilise the Talent Scorecard we created. All Interviewers write down simple ‘open’ questions for each key area and gauge response directly against your values.

  1. Build a consistent process.

To reduce Interview Bias, every Candidate must have the same hiring experience and process. Therefore, you must clearly explain what Candidates can expect from the first interview until the final decision. You should ask every Candidate the same questions, in the same manner, and not let external circumstances affect the impression created.

This not only helps create a ‘Candidate Experience’ but more importantly, you will get a uniform understanding of each of the candidates.

The takeaway

There are still people who judge candidates based on where they work, who they know and treat each interview as an ‘ad-hoc’ scenario to understand if someone is right for their business. This creates inconsistency and uncontrollable elements amongst Candidates, such as mood and preconditioned perspectives, all which influence your decision.

Creating a structured process and hiring against your company values should be standard practice in the interview process. It may seem obvious and simple, yet, many businesses do not practice it, facilitating interview bias.

So, create a structure that allows you to evaluate candidates for their worth and not be influenced by irrelevant factors that determine if this person is the Talent you need.  Avoiding Interview Bias, allows you to make successful hires and makes your pipeline for future roles more powerful.

Have you experienced any instances of ‘Interview Bias’ and how did you overcome them?

Contact us for advice on how to overcome this costly mistake.

If you believe an Audit of your current business and its approach to Talent Acquisition would be useful, please take our Free Talent Acquisition Audit.

This was part four in our Talent Acquisition series. Stay tuned for part 5: No clear hiring process.

Did you miss the other parts in our Talent Acquisition series? Check them out:

Talent Acquisition Part 1: Mistakes to avoid

Talent Acquisition Part 2: Why a junior profile shouldn’t lead talent strategy?

Talent Acquisition Part 3: What role does Channel Management play in strategy?

This post was written by Martin Collins, Founder and MD of Red Executive.

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