Posts Tagged ‘interview tips’

Are Your Hiring Managers Biased?

December 13th, 2013

hiring manager biasWhen you are in a position to assess people for employment at your organization, you may think that you have an open mind as you consider each applicant. However, it can be easy to hold biases that you are unaware of, according to a recent post by Lou Adler at Business Insider. By keeping possible bias in mind while conducting interviews, you will stand a better chance of finding the best people for the positions you seek to fill.

For example, you may be guilty of anchoring, which happens when you attribute too much value to the initial information you receive during an interview and then come to a conclusion before getting all the information you need.

Adler recommends that hiring managers strive to delay making any yes-or-no decisions for about 45 minutes, ensuring they will give as much weight to details they learn at the end of the interview as they do at the beginning.

Conformation bias is another problem that hiring managers face. They look for evidence to confirm their initial decision about a person, and then fail to see any information that conflicts with the first impression.

A hiring manager might make an effort to find “proof” that the applicants that they don’t like are simply incompetent, while ignoring facts that do demonstrate competence. A good approach here is to pause for a moment during the interview and seek out details that will counter the first impression.

Time pressures can also contribute to bias in the form of a perceived need for closure. When hiring managers feel rushed to come to a conclusion, they do their company and the applicant a disservice. Instead of worrying about how much time you are taking to do the interview, make a point of asking questions until you get all the facts you need to make the best possible decision.

Another problem with bias has to do with the concept of sunk costs. As hiring managers spend more time making a decision about applicants, they will feel the weight of how much time they’ve already invested doing interviews.

The result is a tired manager who will just settle for the next applicant who seems right for the job. To avoid this problem, remind yourself just how important it is to keep interviewing candidates and giving them all your full consideration. The future success of your company may very well depend on the decisions you make. To keep yourself objective, exercise your curiosity to discover the special skills and knowledge that each applicant brings to the table.

Ignorance of personal bias can lead to an increasing number of bad hires at your organization, as well as missed opportunities to bring in highly qualified applicants. By checking yourself for bias, you’ll have a leg up over other organizations whose hiring managers are less aware of their own bias.

A Guide to Fast and Efficient Hiring Practices

March 4th, 2013

best hiring practicesDespite high unemployment rates, many HR professionals and recruiters are still finding it difficult to attract talented candidates to fill open positions at their firms. HireRight’s 2013 Employment Screening Benchmarking report notes that 52 percent of respondents said their biggest challenge is hiring and keeping talented employees. In fact, employers may actually be discouraging excellent candidates from applying, writes Kathleen Davis in an article about the report and its detailed infographic at Entrepreneur.com.


First impressions are important not only for job seekers but for employers. As many as 75 percent of job seekers told HireRight that a job posting’s look will influence whether they bother to apply, and that they spend less than half a minute examining any given help wanted notice.


To improve the situation, your business should make sure that job postings convey your brand—some 51 percent of applicants said that job notices don’t offer accurate branding messages. What’s more, giving your candidates a strong first impression of your company paves the way to them becoming customers, even if they don’t wind up working for you. The report notes that 32 percent of respondents said they were less likely to buy products from a business that failed to respond to their applications.


Even when your job notices do properly reflect your company’s brand, it’s important to keep them fresh. After a notice has been up for about 15 weeks, candidates tend to think the job is no good.


With people living out more of their lives on the Internet, social media is playing an increasingly important role in the job recruitment process. HireRight reminds employers not to settle for using Facebook and LinkedIn, but to also use blogs, Twitter and YouTube to get out the message.


When was the last time you tested how long it takes to fill out an online application for your firm? HireRight’s report shows that 60 percent of applications made online took at least 10 minutes, while an astonishing 8 percent took an hour. Given the state of recruitment software available now, your application should require five minutes or less for applicants to fill out.


The report also underscores the importance of courtesy. You may practice excellent customer service with your clients and customers, but how are you treating your job candidates? Providing a personal touch and treating each applicant with courtesy will prompt 90 percent of them to encourage their peers to come to work at your firm.


Companies with poor hiring processes stand to lose the best job candidates to their competitors, as well as deter potential customers. Prudent business owners will want to take a close look at their practices and try implementing some of the changes suggested by HireRight’s report.