Hiring the right person for a job is essential for any organization’s success. However, decisions during the hiring process often become subjective, leading to potentially negative consequences. Human Resources professionals need to ensure that the recruitment process is as objective as possible to support hiring decisions, not only within the organization but also with local and federal entities. In this blog post, we will discuss how to make the hiring process less subjective. I know! Some people may say that this is nonsense, but you will discover how to do it in this article.
1. Start with a clear job description
Before posting a job opening, a Human Resources professional must create a clear job description. The description should be comprehensive, including the necessary skills and qualifications. It is common to see job descriptions with a good intro not only about the company but also about culture and what this person will do in general. This will help HR professionals assess the candidate’s qualifications before setting up interviews and help keep the hiring process objective.
2. Identifying the key selection criteria (KSC)
Having a clear and realistic job description is the first step. At this point, you should understand the wants and musts for the position. For example, the candidate must be bilingual in English and Spanish, and you want the candidate to know some French, but this is optional. When you have all the wants identified and applicants with similar skills, you can base your decision on the wants. The process below will guide you in creating your Key Selection Criteria.
- Consult with stakeholders: Speak with relevant stakeholders such as hiring managers, team members, and supervisors to gather their input on the key competencies and traits required for success in the role. Their insights can provide valuable perspectives.
- Review job descriptions and performance expectations: Analyze the job description and any performance expectations associated with the role. Look for specific skills, knowledge, experience, and personal qualities that are important for success.
- Prioritize the criteria: Once you have collected information from stakeholders and reviewed the job requirements, prioritize the criteria based on their importance. Consider the must-have skills versus the nice-to-have ones.
- Use competency frameworks: Utilize competency frameworks, if available, to identify the core competencies needed for the role. These frameworks provide a structured approach to defining and assessing skills and behaviors.
- Align with organizational values: Consider the values and culture of your organization. Identify any specific values or behaviors that align with the role and incorporate them into the selection criteria.
- Ensure fairness and diversity: Make sure the selection criteria are fair, unbiased, and promote diversity and inclusion. Avoid any criteria that may discriminate against candidates based on protected characteristics.
- Validate the criteria: Once you have identified the key selection criteria, validate them with relevant subject-matter experts or experienced professionals in the field, or just talk with the hiring manager for alignment. Their insights can help ensure that the criteria are comprehensive and accurate.
Remember, to make the hiring process less subjective, it is important to continually review and update the selection criteria to reflect changing job requirements and evolving organizational needs.
3. Utilize structured interviews
Structured interviews are formal interview methods that have standardized questions and rating criteria. Structured interviews allow Human Resources professionals to compare and analyze candidate responses fairly. The questions asked should relate to the job’s essential duties so that HR professionals can determine who the most qualified candidate is for the role based on their skills, experiences, and approach to workplace situations.
In a structured interview, all candidates are asked the same set of questions in the same order. The questions are carefully crafted to assess specific job-related competencies, behaviors, and experiences. The interviewers use a scoring system or rubric to evaluate each candidate’s responses objectively and consistently.
The key features of a structured interview include:
- Standardized Questions: The interviewers ask the same set of questions to all candidates. These questions are typically developed in advance and reflect the job requirements and desired competencies.
- Clear Evaluation Criteria: Structured interviews use a predetermined scoring or rating system to assess candidates’ responses. This helps ensure fairness, objectivity, and consistency in evaluating candidates.
- Job-Related Focus: The questions in a structured interview focus on gathering information directly related to the skills, knowledge, and abilities necessary for success in the job role. This helps assess candidates’ suitability for the specific position.
- Elimination of Biases: Structured interviews aim to minimize biases by using standardized questions and evaluation criteria. This approach helps ensure that all candidates are assessed fairly and equally based on their qualifications and performance.
- Data-Driven Decision-Making: By following a structured format and using a consistent evaluation process, structured interviews provide reliable data that can inform hiring decisions. This data-driven approach helps reduce subjective judgments and increases the reliability of the recruitment process.
4. Utilize evaluation tools
Use tools to standardize the hiring decision, like a table that you will assign points to each skill on every interview and then compare totals. See the example below. You can make a copy of the template shown in the image below, following THIS link, and use it to make your hiring process less subjective.
5. Use pre-employment assessments
Employment assessments can also help Human Resources professionals make more assertive recruitment decisions to lead your hiring process less subjective. These assessments can provide insight into a candidate’s personality, work style, and how their past experiences could relate to the job they’re applying for. Pre-employment assessments should be unbiased, as they can help narrow down the pool of potential job candidates.
6. Blind resume screening
Blind resume screening involves removing a job candidate’s personal identifiable information (e.g., name, address, gender, age, etc.) from their resume during the screening process. This helps HR professionals avoid unconscious biases and make more objective decisions when reviewing resumes. This strategy is helpful in overcoming those biases that may naturally occur in the hiring process, which definitely makes the hiring process less subjective.
7. Consider a diverse recruitment approach
Recruitment is an integral part of the recruitment process, and there are many channels available to advertise job openings. Diverse recruitment strategies can help Human Resources professionals find the best and most qualified candidates while avoiding having a homogeneous workforce. Financial benefits, social status, or other generalizations should not be the base for recruiting someone. Every recruit should be thoroughly assessed, regardless of their background or qualifications.
In conclusion, implementing these practices can help make the hiring process less subjective, helping you support your hiring decision. Starting with a clear job description, utilizing structured interviews, hiring tools, and pre-employment assessments can help HR professionals develop a standard process to evaluate each candidate fairly. Blind resume screening aims to eliminate inherent biases, while diverse recruitment approaches can help HR professionals find the best person with the right qualifications without neglecting other important elements. Every work environment should genuinely test recruiting perspectives and be as objective as possible.