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Hiring Decision and Biases - How to Overcome Them?

Searching for and hiring a good employee is not an easy process, anyone who ever dealt with this, knows what I’m talking about. To make it more complicated, HR officers often have to address the problem of their own prejudices.

Although we all like to believe we are free of bias, we still very often fall short of addressing our unconscious biases, the hidden ones, but so very crucial in making the decision.

It’s also possible to go another, opposite, way - to like a candidate for some inexplicable reason (not based on qualifications, of course), and to just look for any flaws in other candidates in order to justify your preference.

And last but not the least, how many of you believe that listening to your intuition, your “gut”, your “inner voice” is very important when hiring? Precisely.

We are all humans, emotional beings, and we all have different intellect, so how can we improve our hiring process and avoid, well, ourselves?

First of all, we have to be very well-informed about the culture we are working in.

Sometimes the cultural differences are so big it mustn’t be neglected. If possible, always let the interviewing panel make the decision.  

Every panel member should provide his/her evidence on candidate’s competency and motivation.

You can also do a phone interview with pre-scripted questions first, this can eliminate a lot of biases based on appearance. My favorite prejudice breaker is not starting the interview right away. I walk with the candidate to offer a coffee, tea or water, giving him/her the opportunity to relax a bit (job interview can be very stressful for some people. Well, for everyone, actually). These pre-interview small talks can even give you some valuable information about the candidate, while enhancing the human side of the process.

It is also helpful if you wait, for example, one day after you finish all the interviews to make the final decision.

Finally, try to be honest with yourself, know your weaknesses and try to be fair as much as possible, sooner or later, we all find ourselves on the other side of the table.

Work smarter not harder. 🍀

I'm just a chat away if you need me. 🗨


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