So, your team is deciding whether to hire a candidate, let’s call her Amanda.
What happens when your team can’t agree on whether to hire her, even after extensive debate?
This is going to happen more often than you’d like. In fact, unanimous feedback probably shouldn’t be what your hiring team wants to achieve anyways. People are different, and a healthy mix of opinions paints a much more proactive picture of a candidate’s potential fit at your organization.
TTI Spotlight: Unconscious Bias With Gail Tolstoi-Miller
It’s your job as a hiring manager to sift through the differing opinions and chart a clear course of action — all while maintaining a process that ensures your hiring decisions are fair and not clouded by bias.
This is where standardization comes into play. By putting a procedure in place for your entire team, your hiring team can put the factors that matter first, eliminate bias, and ensure you’re making the right hiring decisions.
Here are some things to consider:
Focus On Core Skills
An unbiased hiring process begins with standardizing your interviews. First, establish a set of guidelines that are “must-haves” for your particular job req, and craft a standard list of questions surrounding those core skills. This makes the playing field even for all candidates, and your hiring team has a clear-cut basis of comparison, whether you’re conducting group interviews or not.
Respect Your Values
As we’ve written about before, finding the right candidate goes beyond just evaluating for particular skills — they need to have a good cultural “fit” too. Make sure your company has a set list of core values in place that allows your hiring team to create guidelines for how a candidate should fit within your organization. These guidelines should go beyond a particular job listing’s requirements to encompass a broader picture of a perfect candidate — including factors like career development, aspirations, and the overall mission of your organization.
Now that we have some guidelines in place, let’s get back to Amanda. If there was a deadlocked discussion around Amanda’s candidacy, clearly some people on your team thought she’d be a great hire — and some definitely didn’t.
If your hiring team comes to an impasse with talent that meets all of your core skills and cultural guidelines, then there may be some bias behind why some members of your team may not be sold on that particular candidate.
To identify the issues, it’s important to make sure all the members of your hiring team are transparent on why they feel a particular candidate isn’t right for the job. Are their reasons personal, or based on a “gut feeling?” Are they leaning towards another candidate for reasons outside of your guidelines? Challenging your hiring team to evaluate their own reasons for approving or disqualifying a candidate can expose flaws in their personal evaluation process, leading to more responsible hires later down the line.
When All Else Fails…
A standardized hiring process is the backbone of consensus-driven hiring, and in a perfect world, hiring should be a piece of cake once you have one.
But people aren’t perfect, and no matter how tight your hiring process is, deadlocks are still going to happen from time to time. And deadlocks only mean one thing — a longer time-to-hire process that puts you at risk for losing out on top talent.
At that point, it’s important to consider all of the factors, make an executive decision and move on. You may ruffle some feathers, but if you base your decision on the process in place, you’ll be able to justify your decision — and spark change for future hiring decisions, too.
Want to learn how digital interviewing can help standardize your interviewing process?