We all know that recruiting the right people is critical to an organisation's success. However, the best way to do this is still debatable. When we talk about people, we talk about subjectivity, there is nothing black and white, which makes the process of recruiting more complex.
A recruitment process consists of several phases involving 1) job analysis, 2) job post, 3) screening, 4) interview and 5) proposal and hiring. A good recruitment process involves reducing the bias that exists in the assessment of one person by another (e.g. the recruiter) in all of these stages.
Most common problems in recruitment
- Job analysis - Identify the skills needed to successfully perform a job. There is often no data to prove the correlation between competencies and work results. Then again, do these work results ever get measured? Like productivity, performance, or motivation?
- Job post - Endless requirements list requested by the hiring manager, who is searching for the golden unicorn. The list contains generic and unconceivable information such as "build long-term relationships".
- Screening - Unconscious bias in the selection of candidates during screening, leading to a lack of objectivity. The human being is unable to process large amounts of information, especially those that make up a CV, and therefore unconsciously resort to categorization. When there is an excessive cognitive load, we use heuristics, a mental shortcut to make quick decisions, which leads to various types of unconscious biases.
- Interview - Unconscious bias in the way we approach the candidate during the interview. The most common type of bias is "similar-to-me". Employers tend to prefer candidates who are similar to themselves. This preference influences how the interview is conducted and tends not to focus on competencies.
There are many methods studied in behavioural science on how to prevent these problems. All of them share the core assumption of standardization for each hiring stage. A structured and previously defined selection process to apply in a similar way to all candidates. For example, an interview script considering the challenges of the job and the essential skills for its success.
Standardization in each hiring stage
Benefits of standardization
The standardization not only prevents the problems described above, such as unconscious biases but also prepares all parties involved in the process, such as hiring managers and candidates.
For the candidate, the consistency of their experience throughout the process promotes a positive image for the organisation’s employer brand. This influences talent attraction, the conversion rate in offer acceptance, and positive references. An unpleasant experience for the candidate damages a company's reputation.
A structured recruitment encourages a methodical and bias-free data collection, enabling a more objective data analysis. Data simplifies and supports decision-making and helps predict the performance of the candidate in a job.
A good recruitment process is a standardized method that provides consistency to the candidate, allowing a measurement and prediction of the candidate’s future performance in a job. Furthermore, the collected data during the recruitment might be an opportunity to improve your hiring methods.