Comparisons and personal judgments are deeply rooted in human nature, as they are a way of categorizing things around us and orienting ourselves in the world we live in. Without such mental processes we would not be able, in everyday life, to make a decision, to figure out things that directly concern us, or to catch contextual information on the fly. The same processes can also lead to generalisations and preconceptions.
But what do we do when it comes to recruitment? Fortunately, there are various methods we apply at unosoft to guard against bias. Find out what they are!
1. Main mistakes to avoid in recruitment
1.1. Similarity error
Every judgement we make is based on a series of experiences, preferences and emotions we have had in the past. Thus, there is a risk of feeling an affinity towards a candidate because they listen to the same genre of music, went to the same college, or perhaps come from the same town as us. In order to make rational and objective decisions it is important to detach ourselves from our emotional baggage and look at applicants with fresh eyes. Otherwise, we risk being biased towards those who are similar to us at the expense of candidates who don’t have things in common with us, but are perhaps better suited for a role.
1.2. Error by comparison
One of the common errors in the recruitment process is also to compare applicants with each other. Thus, at the end of the recruitment, the successful candidate is the one who had the best answers or did better considering the results of the others. But is it the best choice for the role available?
1.3. Logical fallacy
“Has potential” is one of the descriptions recruiters often hear at the end of a selection process. If the advertisement for the job does not mention domain-specific knowledge or experience in a particular position, then this is not a problem: potential is relevant for an entry-level job.
Otherwise, the logical fallacy arises whereby there is a shift from assessing skills to assessing personality traits of applicants, which may or may not make them valued in the process.
1.4. Confirmation error
Reading a CV should not be influenced in any way by bias. The profile of the candidate must be drawn up in an objective and detached manner. Confirmation error consists in forming preconceived opinions when reading the CV, which are then reinforced during the interview by the questions asked. The error thus arises from the need to confirm one’s own beliefs.
1.5. The “halo” effect
Closely related to the confirmation error and the logical error, the “halo” effect arises from the amplification of some candidate abilities at the general characteristic level. Although recruiters are looking for a person with many skills, they may eventually end up accepting a candidate who meets only one of the required conditions.
To these errors, of course, must be added errors of too much indulgence or, on the contrary, exigency. Sometimes the choice may also be influenced by the opinion of the other people involved in the recruitment process. So there are many temptations everywhere, which is why it is important for any recruiter to be aware of their own cognitive processes and do their best to mitigate subjectivity.
2. measures for bias-free recruitment
Awareness of the errors listed above is the first step towards objectivity. The second involves applying measures to avoid thinking errors.
2.1. Establishing the profile sought
In order not to be influenced in the recruitment process, we need to know from the outset what we want from the person who will fill the vacancy. Setting the exact list of skills and aptitudes for a particular role is the standard against which we then measure each applicant. In this way, we avoid situations where we compare candidates with each other or where we assess different characteristics for each applicant.
The skill set required for the job is all that will allow CVs to be assessed without making personal judgements. We are less interested in the candidate’s city of origin, age or profile picture, but rather how well his or her skills match the skills we are looking for. A kind of checklist we tick off.
2.2. Making a checklist
Whether it is the interview or the knowledge test, in the recruitment process we always use the same set of questions for all candidates applying to the same advertisement. The difference, however, is the marking scale. So, again, we set a standard scale to which we relate to each answer received.
2.3. Planning several interviews
Subjectivity can come into play with any recruiter, but when a good proportion of the people involved consider the same candidate suitable, the chances of the choice made being the objective and correct one are much greater. That’s why we involve as many colleagues as possible in the testing and interview stages. On the one hand, we know we’ve found the right person when they get three or four positive responses. On the other hand, we get great pleasure from seeing candidates relax after the interview because they know who they will work with most often and if there is compatibility.
3. To be continued and improved…
The recruitment process is constantly changing to remain as impartial and efficient as possible. At the same time, recruitment will continue to be done with the help of people as it is relevant to how the candidate will fit into the team. Tools will help us select candidates based on their skills and training, but will never replace the human factor. In conclusion, anyone applying for a position at unosoft will go through a process designed to put objectivity first. Our goal is to give everyone an equal opportunity and let the best candidate win!