Some comments from hiring managers witnessed by recruiters:
And, did you hear the one about the senior hiring manager who:
Whilst I sigh as I recount these, and perhaps you do too, nevertheless they are real examples raised by recruiters, about hiring managers in some of our client organizations. The truth is, decisions and behaviours of all those involved in the recruitment process can be riddled with bias. This in turn leads to questionable decisions and candidate appointments that just don’t work out.
Recruitment is big business. In 2015, latest data from Bersin by Deloitte estimated that U.S. businesses spent an average of $4,000 per hire on recruiting in 2014, an increase of 7% over the previous year.
HR Review estimates that the overall financial impact of staff turnover across the UK in just 5 sectors amounts to £4.13bn per year.
Most organizations acknowledge that procuring the very best talent is imperative for driving competitive edge and future proofing the business. Some companies have also recognised that creating inclusion in the recruitment process will help them make better decisions and increase diversity. Building inclusion in the process means taking active steps to reduce bias, both conscious and subconscious.
This is the critical question. It’s usually the recruitment function that is responsible for mitigating the effects of bias in the process. They will be the ones analysing the process steps (see Fig 1) for non-inclusive practice and identifying process changes that help minimise bias. This is undoubtedly a valuable exercise and can often throw up quick wins for more robust decision-making.
The most common challenge facing recruiters is how to support hiring managers to make decisions that are more open-minded and objective. The assumptions, behaviours and decisions that happen as a result of bias can do real damage. You’ve only got to revisit the examples at the top of the blog to get a sense of this in action.
Let’s not underestimate how difficult it can be. First off, it’s not always easy to challenge what a hiring manager wants to do when they have a fixed idea what they are looking for. Secondly, how do you push back without damaging the relationship or making it personal? When you’ve tried a few approaches and nothing has really worked, it can be disheartening.
At PDT we run masterclasses to ensure recruiters are equipped to challenge flaky decisions and help drive behavioural change. Here’s a sneak peek into five of the underpinning principles of these programmes.
Conversations with hiring managers need to highlight the business benefits of taking a more inclusive approach. Recruiters have more credibility when they are able to make direct links between greater inclusion in the recruitment process and those business gains.
To truly gain the edge in your recruitment process; to improve the quality of your decisions; and to make those rather unfortunate hiring manager scenarios a thing of the past, it is well worth equipping your recruiters to drive greater inclusion in the process.
Download our “Unconscious Bias in Recruitment” Tool Kit to guide you through an inclusive recruitment process. Find out how, if unmanaged, unconscious bias can stop you from hiring the right talent, hindering the development of your organisation and potentially costing you thousands in time and money! Research shows that the total cost of losing an employee can be up to 2x the annual salary, while on average the cost of replacing a member of your organisation is £30,000.
PDT’s “Unconscious Bias in Recruitment” Tool Kit covers the following: