A fair recruitment and hiring process is just what the doctor ordered during these times companies are rethinking their internal processes. Remote work, racial equity, and other changes to the workplace are occuring.
For hiring managers, this is an unprecedented age to search for and onboard talent. The hiring process incurs a number of different stages from picking a job advertisement platform, choosing the right pre-employment assessment, to successfully onboarding their new hire. Hiring managers and recruiters know they help build a health company and therefore want to ensure every stage is easy, accessible, and fair.
Why does it matter that a recruitment process is fair?
It’s more than just feel-good rhetoric to want an equitable hiring and recruitment practice. Candidates determine whether your company succeeds or fails. If recruitment processes are not fair or not transparent, the best candidates will not choose your company. The employees that will contribute the most value will opt for a company that prioritizes a smooth candidate experience and one that prioritizes making it as bias-free as possible. Who doesn’t want a fair shot at a position?
This is especially with the changing workforce. Millennials and Gen Z make up more than 50% of the workforce. Millennials alone will comprise 75% of the U.S. workforce by 2030. Why is a transparent hiring process critical for attracting and retaining talent now?
The odds are against companies. One study done by Deloitte shows that Millennials do not trust companies to act ethically. Who can blame them? Remember United Airlines pulled a passenger forcibly from their seat. Facebook sells user data to third-party service providers. The company boasts a score of 68 out of 100 on the ACSI scale, close to the lowest of any social media platform. Note: the industry average is 73. Monsanto has generated some of the most harmful chemical products like DDT, PCBs, and Agent Orange — the herbicide used extensively in Vietnam and linked to 400,000 deaths and half a million birth defects.
You can see why candidates are already doubtful of companies. A transparent hiring and recruiting process needs to build trust. When Millennials and other generational employees work at a high-trust culture, they’re actually 22X more likely to stay with the company.
In short, if you nail the hiring and recruitment process, it’s a great strategy to build trust and retain top talent.
How to build transparency into every step of the hiring process:
1. Job Advertisement
Employers may be looking to crank out a job advertisement lickety-split. After all, time is money. However recruiters should spend enough time with managers to understand the skills and values needed for a role.
This is the first step in fairness---understanding that every job counts within a company. Though some roles, like an executive position, may require more thought and time than other positions (like an internship), care should be infused into what the manager is looking for as they build their team.
Second, choose words wisely. One study found that certain words in job posts discouraged women from applying. To create a fair recruitment process, we want to be conscious of gender-coded language. These words seemed innocuous enough---”driven”, “force”, or “support”. But they also happen quite often. One study in the UK found 478,175 words that carry gender bias in 77,000 advertisements. This means that every advert had an average of 6 male-coded or female-coded words. Use tools like Gender Decoder Finder to assist your job description creation.
Third, post to a variety of different channels. Not only does a recruiter expand their funnel and talent reach, it’s creating a more equitable process. LinkedIn is a popular platform to advertise. Google Jobs is another. But some candidates may not use these tools or may have limited access to them. Some companies post only to certain universities when they’re recruiting entry level positions. Though organizations have their own policies in place regarding recruitment, hiring managers possess a responsibility to ensure as many different types of people have access to apply.
2. Access to Interview
Interviews should be easy to conduct for both the interviewer and the interviewee. Part of an equitable interview process is that the candidate can easily have the interview. You’re looking for quality, that special talent to fill a job vacancy. Make the interview easy to finish. With the arrival of COVID-19, organizations are finally implementing changes to their hiring infrastructure they should have had all along: making interviews digital and remote.
Remote video interviews are now common-place---and the best way to cast the net of finding the best talent. But what hiring managers also know is how time-consuming scheduling interviews is---especially the initial interviews. Use tools like Retorio that can help recruiters conduct a pre-employment assessment (part of the interview process) remotely and quickly with AI. With video, organizations have candidates record their responses on video to make it faster for both candidates to submit and the human resources team to review. Video interviews create a fair system to access and conduct an interview.
3. Interview Questions
The point of an interview is to learn more about a person’s professional competencies and to gauge their personability as a team member. Interview questions that do not produce information that helps your potential employer choose the most qualified applicant is unnecessary. Age-related questions like “‘What year were you born in?’ do not comply with a fair recruitment process.
As candidates want a transparent hiring and inclusive hiring experience, they demand boundaries. Research finds that 14.3% of professionals believe interviewers should follow a set list of interview questions for every candidate. Create fair interview questions.
In general, avoid inquiring about a candidate’s:
If you don’t have a set of interview questions you pose to all candidates yet, this may be the time to review and create a standardized interview question sheet. You can give these out to internal managers as they interview applicants.
4. Scoring Candidates
Historically, this has been the most difficult part of hiring to ensure fairness. Interviewers and hiring managers may follow strict guidelines on how to score candidates. However their experiences with a candidate remains subjective. Unconscious bias rears its head at this stage quite often, penalizing or rewarding candidates due to a manager's personal biases, whether unconscious or conscious. An interviewer bias is when a recruiter makes a judgment about an applicant not based on their competency, but on irrelevant personal impressions. This is often the result of how our brains work: we like mental shortcuts and breaking down things quickly to comprehend the picture. It’s often unintentional.
Recruiters and organizations are supporting their hiring processes to avoid this unintentional bias via technology, like a pre-employment assessment, multiple interviews, and AI video analysis. Retorio automates the best candidates for a job based on their video responses. The hiring managers then reach out to the candidates Retorio suggests could be the perfect fit. Leveraging technology at this stage helps to avoid well-researched phenomena like candidates that are taller earn more money or how women are 30% less likely to be considered for a hiring process. Using third-party metrics creates a certain amount of accountability and support within the scoring stage.
You want your new hire to feel mainstreamed into a company. Part of that is employee orientation and educating them about processes. New employees should feel welcomed and like you’ve been expecting their arrival. A successful onboarding process has team members up to speed. Make it a fair process to all employees---whether they’re your marketing lead, developer, or the office cleaner---by offering them the exact treatment and access to resources. Some companies roll out the red carpet for a standout computer engineer. They make them feel welcome and valued with company swag, a lunch buddy, and a clear list of expectations. But the same company may not give the same star treatment to a junior product manager or a business development manager. Hiring managers must take note that transparency and fairness does take a toll on the culture and morale of employees.
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