How To Create A Memorable Candidate Experience

How To Create A Memorable Candidate Experience

It starts with the first interaction a candidate has with your company as an employer and encapsulates everything up until they are either rejected or accept a job offer. And more importantly, it’s the part of the recruitment process that can either lead to a wonderful candidate-employer relationship or a pathetic interview experience for candidates

Candidate experience refers to the experience a candidate has when applying for a position with your company. It is their perception of your company — good, bad or indifferent — after having experienced your hiring process.

Think about this – What are the various ways a candidate interacts with your company?

Job descriptions, social media posts and your careers page are often the first experience a candidate has with your company as an employer. From there, they may submit an application and be selected for a phone screen. This may lead to a round of on-site interviews, skills assessments, reference checks and, if you’re lucky, a happy new hire.

These touch points, in aggregate, represent the candidate experience. Each one of them is an opportunity for you to wow candidates or for things to come off the rails entirely. It all depends on how prepared you are.

Why is the Candidate Experience Important?

Half of candidates sever their relationship with a company due to a Negative Experience

A negative candidate experience can cost you more than candidates. It can cost you customers. Nearly half of candidates terminate their relationship with the company entirely after having a negative candidate experience.

72% of candidates share their experience online

3 out of 4 candidates share negative experiences they had with a prospective employer online. There’s no hiding from it these days.

More than half of candidates are deterred by negative reviews

55% of candidates won’t pursue jobs at companies that have negative online reviews. In order to combat these negative reviews, you should always respond to both negative and positive feedback so that future candidates know that you care and are working to improve the candidate experience moving forward.

60% of candidates will abandon a job application if it’s too long or confusing

When more than half of all candidates are abandoning applications due to their length and complexity, they’re sending us a clear message. Try applying to a role yourself to see how the process is, and take a look at your application completion rate metrics to improve this area of your process.

Candidates expect a short and sweet process

The top complaint among more than a fourth of candidates is that the hiring process took too long. To improve the length of your process, look into your time to hire to see how long it takes candidates to get through your overall hiring process.

Candidate feedback is a critical part of the hiring process

Candidates that receive constructive feedback from an employer during the hiring process are 4x more likely to stay in their talent community and apply for a future role. Don’t believe in the importance of candidate feedback? Consider this:

When Virgin Media calculated how much money negative candidate experiences were costing the company, it found it was losing the equivalent of $5.4 million each year. You can also calculate how much it’s costing your company not to provide feedback to candidates.

It’s one thing to understand what a good candidate experience is. It’s another thing to actually create a candidate experience that will leave your top candidates wanting more from your company as an employer.

Here are a few pointers for you to embrace, strategise and implement.

It all starts even before you meet any of the candidates.

1) Job Description
Use simple language. Even if candidates know your industry’s buzzwords, it’s best to keep job descriptions as clear and jargon-free as possible. Many stereotypical job description phrases (like “passionate,” “team-player” and “guru”) are overused to the point of being meaningless

List must-haves (not nice-to-haves) as requirements. Job descriptions with endless lists of requirements turn off candidates (particularly female candidates) who don’t think they meet every single requirement. It’s best to separate your ‘wish list’ traits from ‘must-haves’ to discourage strong candidates from bouncing.
Structure your job description to be easy to read. Job ads follow the same writing rules as blog posts and articles. They’re easier to read if they list the most important information first and are full of bullet points, active verbs and short sentences.

Tell candidates the title of your Hiring Manager, for context. A lot of people leave their jobs because of a bad relationship with their direct manager. It’s best to tell candidates who their manager will be, to help them with their research and give them more context for the seniority and growth opportunities of your open role.
Make management responsibilities obvious. If the role you’re advertising for has management responsibilities, make them explicit. ‘Manager’ job titles are in-vogue and don’t always translate into responsibility for direct reports. If your manager-level employees actually have to manage people, let your candidates know.

Outline your hiring process in the job description.

2) Make it easy for candidates to apply to your jobs
Careers Page: Careers pages are often buried in obscure sections of company websites. Make yours as easy to find as possible. Strcuture the layout of your Careers Page in a simple yet effective way. Select a theme that blends well with your main website and add features as necessary. Your Careers Page is a gateyway to your company culture, so be cautious and make it fun & engaging

Application Process: Keep it short & simple. Don’t make the candidates fret looking at your lengthy application process. It’s just useless.

3) Communication. This is the single most important factor. Your recruiters and hiring managers should be super responsive. Not laid back with a don’t care attitude. This severly impacts your recruitment experience. Respect candidate’s time, acknowledge their efforts and time. Send out regular emails on where they stand in your recruitment process. Even if they get rejected, ensure you send out an email outlining that you couldn;’t consider their application for now. There are umpteen number of automation tools and there is no reason for you to not do this
Always make the candidate feel valued and respected. Follow up with every applicant and inform them if they are moving on in the process or not. There is nothing worse to a candidate than hearing nothing back regarding the positions they have applied for.

When the candidate feels valued and respected, it raises the bar. Additionally, when a candidate sees that you treat them well, they tend to ramp up their performance to meet the expectations and show that the respect was not misplaced.

Many companies (including Fortune 500) are not treating candidates with respect during the interview process. They think they are in the driver’s seat, so they think they can keep a candidate waiting for an hour for an interview, not provide follow up on candidacy, not provide a warm environment, etc.

This impacts their bottom line because, even if the company does not hire the person, they still need to create an amazing experience because otherwise it can ruin the company’s reputation. You want every candidate to be brand ambassadors for your company.

69% of candidates would reject an offer from a company with a bad employer brand, even if they were unemployed (source).

So, gear up and get the ball rolling. Treat everyone the way you would like to be trated. Be the change you want to see. Start with yourself and slowly spread it to your team. Be a treandsetter. Be an awesome employer

The Big 4 Leadership Styles

The Big 4 Leadership Styles

Here’s a quick overview of the four leadership styles:

  • Pragmatists are driven, competitive, and they value hitting their goals above all else.
  • Idealists want to learn and grow, and they want everyone else on the team to do the same.
  • Stewards are dependable, loyal and helpful, and they provide a stabilizing and calming force for their team members.
  • Diplomats are the affiliative force that keeps groups together and typically build deep personal bonds with their employees.

Remember that leaders can be effective or ineffective within each of these four styles of leadership, and there are a million subtle variations, but these four leadership styles give us a way to pinpoint some major philosophical differences between leaders.

Now let’s take a deeper dive…

The Pragmatist Leadership Style

Franklin D. Roosevelt Pragmatist Leadership Style     Pragmatists have high standards, and they expect themselves, and their team members, to meet those standards. Pragmatists are driven, competitive, and they value hitting their goals above all else. They can be bold thinkers, unafraid of taking the road less traveled (even when others struggle or feel anxious). They are also hard-driving and often enjoy smashing through obstacles.

Working for Pragmatists can be difficult but rewarding. The job is not for the faint-of-heart or thin-skinned, but the opportunities to learn and become expert under the Pragmatist’s tutelage are second-to-none. The job can sometimes feel like an apprenticeship to a master artist or professor. This offers the potential for exceptional intellectual growth, but also for burnout and criticism. It’s a great situation for the right individuals, but employees who work for Pragmatists may find that bottom-line results can sometimes outpace softer measures like employee engagement.

The Pragmatist style is the least common of all the leadership styles, accounting for around 8-12% of American leaders. But, it’s interesting to note that top-level executives have a higher percentage of Pragmatists than other groups, like Managers, Directors and Vice Presidents.

Based on my observations, I consider Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jeff Bezos (CEO of Amazon) and Marissa Mayer (CEO of Yahoo) to be Pragmatists.

The Idealist Leadership Style

Meg Whitman Idealist Leadership Style     Idealists are high-energy achievers who believe in the positive potential of everyone around them. Idealists want to learn and grow, and they want everyone else on the team to do the same. They’re often charismatic, drawing others to them with their intuition and idealism. They’re open-minded and prize creativity from themselves and others.

Working for Idealists offers the chance to be creative and to express oneself. Team members find they have an equal voice and that they learn by doing. Working for the Idealist often provides a very democratic experience. There isn’t as much process and structure as with some other leaders (like Stewards), and that can be a plus or minus depending on the employee. Idealist leaders are often found doing creative work, brainstorming around a table with like-minded individuals. For the appropriate people, working for the Idealist is a great situation.

The Idealist leadership style accounts for about 15-20% of American leaders. And based on my observations, famous Idealists include Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos) and Meg Whitman (CEO of Hewlett-Packard).

The Steward Leadership Style

George Washington Steward Leadership Style    Stewards are the rocks of organizations. They’re dependable, loyal and helpful, and they provide a stabilizing and calming force for their employees. Stewards value rules, process and cooperation. They believe that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and they move only as fast as the whole chain will allow, taking care and time to help those who struggle to keep up.

Working for Stewards offers the chance to be part of a well-oiled machine. Here, employees find security, consistency and cohesion. The job may not offer great opportunities for individual glory or an adrenaline rush, but it does provide great opportunities for team success. Stewards can often be found in mission-critical areas of the organization and they are often relied-upon by leaders in other divisions. For the appropriate people, working for the Steward is a great situation.

Similar to the Idealist, the Steward leadership style accounts for about 15-20% of American leaders. And based on my observations, famous Stewards include George Washington, Mother Teresa and Ginni Rometty (CEO of IBM).

The Diplomat Leadership Style

Mahatma Gandhi Diplomat Leadership Style    Diplomats prize interpersonal harmony. They are the social glue and affiliative force that keeps groups together. Diplomats are kind, social, and giving, and typically build deep personal bonds with their employees. They’re often known for being able to resolve conflicts peacefully (and for avoiding conflicts in the first place).

Working for Diplomats is often more fun and social than working for other leaders (especially the Pragmatists). Diplomats put less emphasis on challenging their employees, focusing instead on putting their people in positions that leverage their strengths in order to achieve success. Diplomats work to avoid having people feel uncomfortable or anxious, and Diplomats are typically thought of as highly likable. Traditional measures of employee satisfaction are often very high for Diplomats. For the appropriate people, working for the Diplomat is a great situation.

The Diplomat is the most common of all the leadership styles, accounting for around 50-60% of American leaders. And it’s interesting to note that, unlike the Pragmatists, top-level executives have a lower percentage of Diplomats than other groups, like Managers, Directors and Vice Presidents.

Based on my observations, Mohandas Gandhi and Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook) would be examples of Diplomats.

 

This write up was originally published by Mark Murphy and you can find it HERE

Why you need to partner with a Recruitment Agency

Why you need to partner with a Recruitment Agency

In today’s highly competitive, candidate-driven job market, finding and hiring the ideal job candidate is hard, very hard. This is one of the many reason why ambitious companies turn to recruitment agencies to help them recruit the right people for their open job positions.

Best job candidates are passive job seekers – they don’t actively look for a job, because they already have one. This means that posting your open job positions on job boards is by no means enough to attract the best candidates.

You need to formulate a great employee value proposition, craft a job post that will stand out, promote it on various social media and build a perfect career site – all that just to attract candidates and convince them to apply to your open job positions. Once you finally receive applications, you need to spend hours and hours to go through them and find qualified candidates. Doing all that takes time. It is a lot of (hard) work, time consuming, on going process and involves a lot of dedicated resources

It dosen’t mean no one won’t do it. You definetly should and we highly encourage you to devote more time on attracting top talents. But partnering with a Recruitment Firm gives you an edge. Recruitment agencies are professionals who recruit for living. They know the hiring market inside out. They have been doing 1 and only 1 thing their entire lives – Recruitng. This is why they probably already have candidates in their applicant pool who are exactly the right fit for your open job positions. This is a great advantage that can significantly shorten the full cycle recruiting process.
This bring us to the number 1 advantage, which is

Ability to identify talent

The benefit of a recruitment agency is they work with both employers who are searching for talent, and professionals who are on the hunt for career opportunities. As such, they are ideally placed to be ‘in the know’ and operate as an intermediary between the two parties. The knowledge recruitment consultants possess about how to avoid hiring a bad candidate can be extremely valuable; they know who is looking for work, how capable they are, and what sort of a salary expectations people have.

Once an employer has created a vacancy and established role criteria, recruitment agencies can set about finding suitable people for the position. The ‘ideal candidate’ is often the one who is not actively looking for a new job but would be open to one if the right opportunity presented itself. A recruitment consultant has strong networks and a clear idea of where to find these individuals.

Faster hiring

Using a recruitment agency will shorten the time needed to fill your open job positions. You won’t have to spend time attracting candidates and going through tons of profiles and applications to find a few qualified ones. A recruitment agency will do all that and deliver only a few top candidates for your consideration.

Also, a recruitment agency can usually find candidates much faster than you can. This is because recruitment agencies already have a vast talent network. When using a recruitment agency, you can tap into its large talent pool of already vetted candidates. This will significantly shorten your time to hire!

Highly qualified candidates

The third main reason why many companies turn to recruitment agencies is to improve their quality of hire. Using a recruitment agency will improve the quality of candidates in your recruitment process. It means that you will only deal with candidates who are carefully assessed and vetted.

Besides, recruitment agencies are experts in candidate selection. Agency recruiters are professionally trained to assess candidates. They use the best practice methods to differentiate real experts from good interviewees. They also have a vast experience you can benefit from.

Specialist knowledge

Using a recruitment agency will allow you to tap into a specialist knowledge your in-house recruiters might not possess. An in-house recruiter usually has to cover a wide range of different roles a company needs.

On the other hand, most recruitment agencies are specialized in recruiting for a certain industry, role or level. It means that they have better knowledge and deeper understanding of their targeted job market segments. As a result, recruitment agencies can provide you with valuable insight and useful advice that can help you find and hire better candidates.

Extended reach

Some candidates are hard to find. They may be passive or they may be selective. If they aren’t responding to job advertisements, don’t see themselves as part of your ‘talent pool’ and are too busy to search full time then the chances are that they may have relationships with trusted specialist recruiters in your sector. Even if they aren’t currently active, there’s a strong chance that a good recruiter will know who they are and how to reach them. Agencies have many networks – each consultant, candidate, client or collaborator has the potential to leverage their networks to help connect you to people with a range of skills and experiences, many of who would be off the radar of an in-house team or hiring manager.

Help with employer brand

If you chose your agency wisely then they can give potential candidates a real insight in to your business – what it’s like to work there, benefits and career openings available, and a feel for the culture. If you partner closely with agencies, let them spend time getting to know you and some of your key managers, then they should be able to represent you as an employer of choice.

Access to key strategic skills

The number one reason that companies give for using a recruitment agency is to gain short term access to key strategic skills, a reason that been growing in importance over the last 3 years, now overtaking covering leave and peaks in demand. With talent shortages now potentially hindering growth it’s not surprising that this is the case. Whilst some of the reasons I’ve already given may refer more to permanent recruiters, many also offer the opportunity to bring in qualified, experienced help at short notice. These flexible solutions are particularly crucial for a long term project or initiative.
Offer industry insight

Another benefit of a recruitment agency like Staffio Search spend all day, every day, working to provide staffing solutions for organisations across a range of industry sectors such as finance and accounting, financial services, interim management, technology and office administration. As such, they have significant expertise and jobs market insight, internationally, nationally, and locally, which employers can tap into as they plan their recruitment strategy.

Recruitment consultants understand employer needs, candidate expectations, and the impacts of supply and demand on the jobs market as a whole. This means they are ideally situated to help employers make educated decisions, which have a positive impact on the bottom line.

We can help you hire exceptional talents. Let's start a conversation

Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work 2020 Revealed

Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work 2020 Revealed

The results are in: Glassdoor announced which 100 employers made the cut for “Best Places to Work.”

The job search and recruiting site compiled the list using reviews and ratings from current employees. Among those reviews, Glassdoor executives noticed a trend: employees are prioritizing their work environment and corporate culture.

Fun Facts:

  •  Dell Technologies, Slack, and SurveyMonkeyare included for the first time in Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work rankings.
  • 31 of the 100 best places to work are tech companies, over 3 times more than any other industry.

During the year-long eligibility period, employers considered for the large list must have received at least 75 ratings and employers considered for the small & medium list must have received at least 30 ratings, respectively, for each of the eight workplace attributes (overall company rating, career opportunities, compensation and benefits, culture and values, senior management, work-life balance, recommend to a friend and six-month business outlook) taken into account as part of the awards algorithm. Glassdoor’s award methodology is defined here. Among the more than one million employers reviewed on Glassdoor, the average company rating is 3.5.

So, now let’s see who the most promising companies are. 

Glassdoor in their blog post says – ‘As we enter a culture-first decade, it’s only appropriate that the #1 Best Place to Work winner is a culture carrier with unlimited PTO, empowering leadership, and smart, supportive colleagues. Uplifting values like being humble, empathetic, adaptable, remarkable and transparent,

HubSpot is the winner of the most authentic and trusted workplace award.

The top ten Best Places to Work in 2020 are:

1. HubSpot 

Company Rating: 4.6 

2. Bain & Company 

Company Rating: 4.6 

3. DocuSign 

Company Rating: 4.6 

4. In-N-Out Burger 

Company Rating: 4.6 

5. Sammons Financial Group 

Company Rating: 4.5 

6. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory 

Company Rating: 4.5 

7. Intuitive Surgical 

Company Rating: 4.5 

8. Ultimate Software 

Company Rating: 4.5 

9. VIPKid 

Company Rating: 4.5 

10. Southwest Airlines 

Company Rating: 4.5 

CLICK HERE for the complete list

Unconscious bias in recruitment: How can you remove it?

Unconscious bias in recruitment: How can you remove it?

There’s a lot of talk around diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Companies try to get rid of any form of discrimination from their hiring process. Some of them are actively looking to attract diverse candidates, e.g. by applying blind resume screening methods or by hosting female-only career days.

But what happens when the final hiring decision is distorted by unconscious bias? Could you be biased without even realizing it?

Science says yes. Our minds make decisions intuitively, before we’re aware of it. Research proves that, too; we’re not immune to implicit bias. We like to think that logical arguments drive our decision making, but in fact there’s unconscious activity going on inside our brains that affects our judgements and decisions. And this includes hiring decisions, too.

What unconscious bias means in recruitment

In the hiring process, unconscious bias happens when you form an opinion about candidates based solely on first impressions. Or, when you prefer one candidate over another simply because the first one seems like someone you’d easily hang out with outside of work. Even in the early hiring stages, a candidate’s resume picture, their name, or their hometown could influence your opinion more than you think. In short, unconscious bias influences your decision – whether positively or negatively – using criteria irrelevant to the job.

Is it really unconscious, though?

Matt Alder, HR thought leader and curator of the Recruiting Future podcast, observes that bias doesn’t always happen unconsciously: “I think there is probably some conscious bias going on when people are making decisions to employ people who think will fit in to their culture or adhere to the very similar people they’ve already got.“

Here’s a passage from the book ‘We Can’t Talk about That at Work!’ that describes a video being shown to a group of people:

A man and woman walk silently into the room, never speaking, and the woman walks in behind the man with her eyes looking slightly downward. The man is wearing shoes and the woman is barefoot. The man comes to a chair and sits down, and then the woman sits on the floor next to him. The man acts like he’s eating something from a bowl. He then passes the bowl to the woman, and she eats from the bowl. When she’s finished, the man puts his hand just above the woman’s bowed head – it looks as though he’s almost pushing her head up and down – though his hand never actually touches her head. Then, the man stands up and leaves first, and the woman leaves behind him.

Those who saw this video where then asked to describe it, and, more often than not, they used phrases such as ‘subservience’, ‘male dominance’ and ‘gender inequality’.
Do you want to know what really happens in this video, though?

In the scene you just saw, the woman and the Earth are actually the two most sacred and revered aspects of their specific culture, so much so, that only the woman is holy and good enough to sit on the ground and touch it with her feet. Men can only experience the Earth through the woman. The man is charged with testing the food before it is proven fit for the woman; in case it is poisoned, he would die first. He is also charged with walking in first to deflect any attacks, and thus, to safely lead the way for her to walk unharmed.

We tend to make assumptions based on what we – think we – know, based on our background, based on our personal preferences. And then, we act upon these assumptions. Matt offers a recruitment-related example: “Hiring managers choose candidates that they have a good feeling about but can’t explain why they want to hire that person.”

But is it necessarily a bad thing, though, to opt for people who’ll fit with your culture? Or, people you think you and your teams will get along with? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

(Un)conscious bias is costing you money and talent

Biased hiring decisions result in less diverse teams. And less diversity hinders your business productivity. “If you literally just put it into Google, you find article after article and research piece after research piece that says businesses perform better when they have greater ethnic and gender diversity,” Matt explains, “more diverse companies produce more revenue.”

But, he adds:

We don’t have to make the business case for diversity anymore.

You aren’t just trying to reduce unconscious bias in recruiting at the moment you select candidates; you must go further back and reduce that bias in where you find your talent in the first place, especially when talent shortage and skills gaps result in a less-than-optimum candidate pool for a job opening. So, you’re not just looking to diversify your team, but also diversify your hiring process: when you cast a wider net and explore new candidate sources, you reach out to people who already have the right skill set, yet didn’t make it into your hiring pipelines using your usual strategy. “People are finding it very difficult to find talent in the way that they’ve always done,” Matt says, “so they need to think more creatively and be more flexible about how they get the right skills in their business.”

And you can do that by removing the barriers and start looking at candidates with non-traditional backgrounds. In one episode of his podcast, Matt talked with Dominie Moss from The Return Hub about untapped talent, which takes us back to the concept of assumptions: we’re often biased against people who took a career break or want to make a career change and this could actually cost us great and candidates.

“I think that the companies that get that, are tending to be more successful and are tending to outthink their competition. Now, whether they are able to actually act on it and actually make a difference, that’s the key,“ Matt notes.

How to remove unconscious bias from the hiring process

First and foremost, we need to be aware of our biases. We might not able to get rid of them completely, Matt says, but it’s important to build awareness and help people think more consciously when making hiring decisions.

Bias could be everywhere

Unconscious bias in recruitment is common during the resume screening phase. This is when we move forward or reject applicants based on how close they are to our picture of the ‘perfect candidate’.

But that’s not the only step of the hiring process where we should be looking for unconscious biases. Even when we decide to move a candidate forward despite a lingering feeling that they’re not quite suitable for the role, that initial impression will follow – or haunt, really – us throughout the hiring process and it’s likely we’ll disqualify them at a later stage.

To identify potential biases, we need to look at every step of the entire recruiting cycle, from the recruitment marketing techniques we apply to the moment we bring people on board. Matt elaborates on this by sharing an example of one company that was struggling with hiring female employees. Their challenge was not that they didn’t attract female candidates; rather, they noticed, that men were far more willing to accept a job offer compared to women.

“When they did some research, they found out that there were various reviews about the company that suggested that people wouldn’t want to work there.” The HR team was completely unaware of these reviews, so they remained unaddressed. And job seekers often look at company reviews on Glassdoor, Indeed, or another job site before they make their final decision to accept or decline a job offer. “That was one of the things that was causing the problem in their process,” says Matt. “But, they would never had spotted that, had they not actually analyzed what was happening at each stage of the recruitment process and where the disconnects where.”

To really understand where your biases are, you need to monitor your recruitment process on an ongoing basis, gather data and pinpoint where the problems are, Matt explains. “Is it the type of applications you attract? Is it the fact that people get into your recruitment process but, then, leave? Where people are coming in and where do they drop out? Sometimes, the problems can be identified as coming down to specific individuals or specific teams within the organization.”

The role of technology in increasing diversity

“There’s a sense that actually, technology could fix this,” Matt says. There are tools that hide applicants’ pictures. Or, tools that automatically post your job ads in multiple places, broadening the outreach and reaching more candidates in the ‘unlikeliest of places’. One of the latest trends is also making parts of the hiring process anonymous.

In one episode of his podcast, Matt discussed with Penguin Random House about how they went through a whole recruitment campaign without looking at resumes at all. “They didn’t ask any questions about people’s backgrounds, or even their names, or their ages. They literally got them to complete a written exercise. Anyone could do that. And, they only met the shortlisted applicants at the very, very last stage. The final interview. They had no idea who was coming through. What happened was they ended up recruiting some people who would’ve never made it through their traditional recruiting process because, for example, they didn’t have a degree at the time. They found that it was very beneficial for their work.”

But, technology is not a panacea. Matt recently described how AI could help build a more objective hiring process, but how, at the same time, it’s also tied with the human factor. “Do technologies bake unconscious bias in recruitment in the way their algorithms work and in the way they match people? Do they actually make things worse? That’s a debate that we’re probably going to be having for many, many years.”

Fighting the root of unconscious bias in recruiting

Instead of relying only on the most advanced technologies, Matt recommends thinking about how we can improve ourselves, too. He mentions the example of a company that had a very specific problem: a lack of women in senior roles within the business. Being very committed to solve this problem, they realized that there were various unconscious biases in the way hiring managers were doing interviews and selecting people.

This was not an issue that technology could fix. “Instead, they ran a series of courses and workshops to bring it into focus and to make people aware of what their biases were and how that was playing out.”

Matt gives another perspective, too: removing unconscious bias is not independent from your overall business objectives. You need to consider what you want to accomplish and how you’ll get there.

“Companies really need to think about how they are assessing people through processes. ‘What are the skills, experience, competencies, that we actually need in this job?’ And, if we were all open-minded about where we could go and source those competencies, we might find we employ very different people, to the people that we’ve got.”

And that’s a good thing to do for one more reason: “it’s important that businesses reflect the societies in which they’re based.” Societies are diverse, so unconscious bias in recruitment could quietly sabotage the effort to build equally diverse workplaces. “I think that’s critical, particularly in our current state with so much uncertainty, the need for people with different viewpoints and different life experiences coming into businesses. Because there’s visible diversity, but [there’s] also diversity of thought,” Matt concludes.

Can we truly get rid of our biases?

There’ve been some great initiatives from companies that try to build more inclusive work environments globally. There’ve also been various organizations and communities that actively support minorities in the workplace. There have even been people who are dedicated to increase diversity within their company (for example, through the role of a D&I Manager.)

But all of these efforts don’t guarantee that we’ll become completely unbiased. Unconscious bias exists even if we’re genuinely pursuing more diversity in our hiring process. We can always start, though, by trying to understand where biases are coming from and how they affect our hiring decisions; we may not be able to completely discard our unconscious bias, but, ultimately, we’ll be more conscious of it when it does happen.

 

Credits: Published on Workable by Christina Pavlou