Making snap judgments during the hiring process can lead recruiters and hiring managers to erroneously eliminate quality candidates, while selecting applicants who simply aren’t the best fit for the job qualifications or the company culture. Snap judgments are often the result of various interviewer biases, such as:
- First-impression error: An interviewer may let a positive or negative first impression influence the outcome of an applicant meeting. For example, interviewers may let connections, such as a candidate who went to the same school or who has a mutual acquaintance, affect the way they view the individual.
- Halo/horn effect: An interviewer may let one strong point or one negative point in an interview completely overshadow their opinion of the candidate.
- Nonverbal bias: Interviewers may put excessive emphasis on a candidate’s nonverbal cues that are unrelated to job performance.
Here are four suggestions to decrease the likelihood of snap judgments in the interview process and identify the best possible candidates:
- Create a clearly defined interview process for every candidate: Bias is introduced into the interview process when different questions are asked of different candidates. Before interviewing for a particular position, craft a standard set of questions every interviewer will use with each applicant. This enables fairer comparisons between candidates.
- Use several interviewers: Gathering more than one person’s opinion on a candidate generates a more balanced view of the applicant pool. Ask interviewers to document their notes after each candidate meeting. Hold a joint meeting with all interviewers to discuss the group’s findings and reach a consensus.
- Consider using behavioral assessments to evaluate job and cultural fit: Behavioral assessments are scientifically validated questionnaires designed to determine a candidate’s compatibility with job requirements and organizational values. Asking every applicant to complete a behavioral assessment provides objective data to augment the interview process.
- Implement an applicant tracking system to reinforce the interview process and highlight the most qualified candidates: Applicant tracking systems are great for structuring the hiring process, but some systems are also uniquely suited to help organizations automatically eliminate poor candidates. Look for a solution that reviews, ranks and scores applicants based on responses that candidates provide during the online application process. Questions can be designed to focus on competencies and experience that are essential for the job. A carefully considered interview process in conjunction with a pool of qualified candidates decreases the likelihood of snap judgments and increases the likelihood that the best applicants will be hired.
To learn more about how process automation can help remove interview bias and improve the quality of new hires, download our comprehensive eBook “Stop Wasting Time and Money – Explore the Benefits of Recruiting Automation.”