How to identify and avoid interview biases?

We are human. We make mistakes and as a recruiter one is prone to exhibit interview bias. Most interview biases are involuntary- unconscious one might say. As an interviewer it is one’s duty to recruit a person who can get the job done and who fits the job description criteria perfectly. A recruiter’s judgement affects the life of hundreds of candidates and ultimately the growth trajectory of the company. If it comes laced with bias, an organization takes a huge hit on its culture.

What is bias and how can it be reduced during interviews

A bias is a preconceived judgement against a person that hampers the interview process. As we continue to have feelings, exhibiting human tendencies in particular, we will be biased.

Identifying and avoiding interview biases

‘People like people who are like themselves’- this is a fact. When we come across a trait that we find impressive in someone, or that we absolutely loathe, regardless of how just we are- we are going to form an opinion. Here is a list of possible interviewer biases. Keeping this list in mind you will be able to identify scenarios and causes of interviewer bias.

Stereotyping:

This is when interviewers make generalized assumptions about a certain class of people based on appearances, race, religion, gender, etc. For example, one might consider females to fit the position of a receptionist more aptly or over-weight people get categorized as lazy!

First impressions:

When something grabs the interviewer’s attention, as soon as he sees the candidate, the interviewer accept or reject the candidate based on the interviewer’s perception.

Cultural Noise:

This is when the applicant doesn’t factually answer questions, instead he tells what the interviewer might want to hear, being from a certain industry or background.

While identifying is the first step and a very critical one, laying down a process to minimize interview biases is what every recruitment team wants to achieve.

Here are some simple yet effective mechanisms to minimize biases from coming into play:

1. Make recruiters aware of biases:

By making the recruiters aware of possible interview biases, they will be conscious of their thoughts and judgements. By acknowledging a situation one can take steps to alter his actions. The first step in avoiding interview biases is to identify it. The recruiters need to keep the above-mentioned points in mind. They must be exposed to the possible cases of interview bias over and over again until the points are engrained in the recruiter’s mind.

2. Unbiased language in Job Descriptions

A job description must be neutral, calling forth potential candidates with the right skill set regardless of age, gender or any other factor. One must avoid using words that trigger a negative reader response possibly driving away potential clients. Job descriptions targeting certain age groups or gender biases must be avoided.

For example, using words like ‘Ninja’ apparently drives females away, there are several such words that hurt chances of potential candidates even applying for jobs. There are tools available in the market which help you remove biases from job descriptions.

3. Standardized Interview questions

Designing a set of questions- including ice breakers makes the process more organized and fairs. There is less room for the interviewers to evaluate candidate leniently or severely. Questions are designed for the specific role and seniority when they are designed with deliberation and not spontaneity. This makes the evaluation more aligned to the role. Time and again it has been proved that having a structured interview process with a definite set of questions makes the interview process much more accurate.

4. Interview panel with more than one interviewer

This is pretty-obvious. The more the number of people interviewing the lesser the bias. There’s more perspective involved. Evaluations are not based on the gut feeling of a single individual. Even if one might be clouded by distorted judgement the other interviewer will be clear headed, making the interview process less biased.

5. Notes. Take Notes!

The human mind is always producing thoughts, always judging and always trying to gain perspective over any situation. Now, if interviewers take an interview without taking notes, their mind is allowed to remember what struck them as overtly positive or negative. Different panellists come up with different versions. They may or may not remember certain key aspects of the interview which should have been key while making a decision. And so, to avoid unconscious bias in interviewing, the recruiters need to take clear notes.

6. Having structured feedback forms

This point is in line with the previous point. When an interviewer makes use of a structured feedback form with respect to the applicant, it makes the process much more efficient. The interviewer knows exactly where to look and how to judge the candidate, the interviewer is forced to be more clear-headed. Structured feedback forms direct the recruiter in an organized, clear and fair manner, thus making the process simpler.

5 Masked Damages of Slow Recruitment Process

Slow recruitment process is the topic of discussion in many corporate set-ups. The ones who are impacted the maximum, are the lean organizations who cannot afford bench strength.

Some easily discernible ways in which slow hiring process impacts an organization are loss of revenue and brand image. But there is more to it than what catches the eye.

In this blog we would discuss some damages that stay beneath the surface yet are compelling enough to act upon.

Team Productivity: 

Longer recruitment process generates a lot of loopholes in the organization. Not on-boarding candidates on time makes uneven work distribution in the team that needs the team member and create a lot of stress. This directly hampers the efficacy of the work in the team. Ultimately it yields into poor product or service which you offer to the customer.

Utilization of Time: 

Too many rounds implies too much investment by the hiring managers which are equivalent to lost billable hours. Under those circumstances, a recruiter or hiring manager may end up with mediocre hires. This not only wastes the time but also hampers the company business.

Business Performance: 

Late onboarding means delayed productivity and delayed billing equivalent to lost revenue. Know the job role, know the market, target the right candidates to get the right hires faster. The key is to understand the definition of right hire for the role and the organization. Many a times we see hiring managers getting livid about getting profiles where stability is the issue. Stability is subjective. So can the job role have someone where you need someone with a fresh perspective every two years?

Drop-in Offer Acceptance

Once out for job search, candidates will use their time to appear for more interviews. Delay in offer only gives the candidates more time enough time to shop around and get the best offer in the industry.  Look for patterns in your offer decline ratios to uncover some insights.

Recruiter Morale: 

Most often than not recruiters are incentivized on the number of joiners that they get. Getting a candidate on board successfully provides a morale boost to the recruiter. This not only helps the organization to grow but also it contributes to business revenue. In contrast, the delayed recruitment process leads to delayed incentives and leads to low confidence and motivation.

If not all, some of the above can certainly be fixed by improving the collaboration between the recruitment team and non-recruitment stakeholders.

These impacts, though, are just the tip of the iceberg. What lies below are the reasons of delay and that is where Talent Acquisition Leaders should focus most. 

Take a look at our next blog to know about some easily overlooked reasons of delay.

talentpool-recruitment-solution-provider

Talentpool Recognized as One of the “10 Most Promising Recruitment Tech Solution Providers of 2020” by CIOReview

“Delivering Recruitment Software to Delight Recruiters”

Pune, January, 2020: We are happy to announce that Talentpool has been named as one of the “10 Most Promising Recruitment Tech Solution Providers of 2020” by CIO Review. The CIO Review editorial team, along with a renowned panel consisting of CEOs, CIOs and industry analysts, selected the most innovative and recognized companies from a pool of hundreds across India.

In today’s day and age, hiring managers and recruiters are adopting a more candidate-focused approach to optimize their recruiting efforts. Organizations need assistance to ensure a robust selection process that shows role clarity, thought through growth path and an unbiased selection process.

talentpool-recruitment-solution-provider

For the rest of the CIO Review magazine article, please click here

AI Applicant Tracking System: Future of Recruitment

If recruiters had a magic wand in their hands, what parts of their jobs would they apply the magic on?

Perhaps sourcing, the initial screening, assessment and then providing predictive analytics which will help recruiters understand the patterns.

Artificial Intelligence is the magic wand!

AI and machine learning can drastically change the way recruitment works. In the coming few years, we do see AI and machine learning being leveraged to remove some of the following from the recruiters’ task list:

Sourcing of Candidates

The first thing that recruiters do today is finding the right set of candidates as per the provided job description. Recruiters enter the experience range, education, domain and the portal gives them a list of candidates which match their criteria. Recruiters go through each candidate profile, speak to the candidates to fill in information gaps and share the resumes with the requisitioners. While the interaction cannot be ruled out, the searching bit can certainly be.

Therefore, Based on various search parameters, AI applicant tracking systems can extend the reach of the recruiters to a huge database of candidates that is available across portals. Recruiters can, in fact, extract information from various social portals to fill in gaps of information. As a basic solution, applicant tracking systems for recruiters can simply rank candidates based on keyword match. In an advanced solution, the recruitment software can match profiles against the past joiners for such positions and provide analytics.

Whichever be the extent of the capability of the solution – the recruiter benefits either way.

ai-applicant-tracking-system

Screening

AI enabled chat bots can screen candidates with tailor-made questionnaire used to assess various aspects of a candidate’s fitment – skills, personality or inclinations. When recruiters screen candidates, they ask questions. Based upon answers they either qualify or disqualify the candidate.

In fact there are various point solutions which accomplish this today. With tailored questionnaires for each job requirement, the screening tools cover skills screening, cognitive aspect as well as culture fitment screening. Some online applicant tracking systems are capable enough to mask demographic markers ad present the screening result so that biases can be ruled out completely

Under screening, also comes assessments which include various formats such as conversations with a chat-bot or video interviews where the responses are later analyzed through an algorithm to provide insights to the recruitment team.

Candidate nurturing

Leveraging existing candidate database is the Achilles’ heel for most recruitment team. For the lack of an easy way to get to the most suitable candidates, recruiters ignore the database. On the other hand, AI- enabled recruitment software solutions can use machine learning algorithms to find the patterns and match candidates who are most likely to find the position interesting. 

Based on the suggestions, recruiters can engage such candidates and effectively use their existing database.

Employee Referrals

Artificial intelligence solutions also makes it easy for recruiters to get the right kind of referrals. Based on the job requirements, AI solutions can go through an employee’s connection and suggest people who should be approached by the employee. This not only simplifies life for recruiter but also for the employee.

Human Interactions are hard to replace in the field of recruitment. Even the best applicant tracking systems will find it hard to replace the value that a recruiter can add. However, artificial intelligence minimizes these interactions and brings it down to the more meaningful. It takes away a lot of less value-adding tasks from the recruiter’s plate. The technology will only help recruiters move up the value chain in the process of recruitment. Artificial Intelligence coupled with Machine Learning applies insights to the daily recruiting process and makes it richer and more effective.

In conclusion, AI based applicant tracking system will help recruiters by automating manual task which improves quality of hire, reduces cost per hire and timeline in recruitment.

Today’s Recruitment Methods May Not Work Tomorrow – Are you future ready?

You already have a rock-solid recruiting team ready to build an outstanding workforce. You are consistently filling up positions at a reasonably okay cost and within a decent timeline.

While you are thinking, it could not get any better, inefficiencies are gnawing at your processes and making them weaker to weather the test of time. Take a step back, analyse and look for these discernible signs:

(more…)

Manage Candidate Relationships – An approach to handle Talent Acquisition issues

My brief stint in “Talent Acquisition” (recruitment) field gave me exposure to an entirely new area, which I had not ventured out before. I could observe, the various working styles of recruiters, interacted with them on a daily basis, understood their problems, and the way they tackled them. I also got an opportunity to deal with a number of recruitment vendors and their recruiters as well, to understand their issues and motivations. All the exposure and experience has made me immensely rich in my understanding of the job market, candidates, recruitment companies, organizations recruiting people and lastly, the recruiters.

I have seen these recruiters toiling to continually run this mammoth ‘recruitment’ engine for feeding the ever-increasing appetite of good, employable, retainable and productive candidates for the organizations they work in. (more…)

How to Induct and Orient New Recruiters in Your Team

In this generation’s workforce, quality talent may come and go in a split second! Your recruiters are part of the same workforce. Ensuring that your recruitment process runs seamlessly without a hitch, it is critical that your team feels motivated and part of the bigger organizational goal. It becomes all the more important when you have new recruiters joining your team.

Here are a few of the top tips to effectively get your new team members started on the right note:

(more…)

Tips to Hire Cost-Effectively!

Hiring costs and time-to-hire new candidates can increase quickly. One must consider these low-budget hiring strategies for better results.

  1. Boost your careers page
  2. Hire via social media
  3. Leverage employee referrals
  4. Use video-screening methods
  5. Structure the process better to reduce employee turnover

According to a study conducted by SHRM, “the average cost-per-hire is around $4,129.” This ends up becoming an add-on for companies who are planning to fill multiple positions in the entire year.

(more…)

Top 4 Signs of an Inefficient Hiring Process

From ensuring that recruiters give your hiring managers enough to create a healthy pipeline to figuring out if the interview panel is selected and ready for the upcoming interviews and then managing the candidate communication to reduce no-shows, a recruitment team and in turn, the recruitment head is always busy.

There is hardly ever enough time to pause and introspect and look beyond the sprint cycle of currently open positions.

But in the loop of rinse and repeat, are you becoming increasingly redundant?

(more…)