Assessing and Selecting Candidates Without Bias

Steve LudwigHiring ChallengesLeave a Comment

woman playing violin

Our last blog post talked about how important it is to remove bias from job descriptions to ensure you have access to the largest talent pool possible. Excellent first step, now how do you remove bias from the application process, so you don’t get in your own way when hiring? 

To do this, we need to find ways to reduce implicit bias—those are the ones we don’t realize we have. 

In the 1970s and 1980s a number of orchestras adopted “blind” auditions, where people listening and judging musicians could not see the people playing. Research has shown that women were 50% more likely to advance to a final round because of this process. During the final round, the likelihood that female musicians would be selected increased by 30%. 

Automattic, the parent company of WordPress, Tumblr, and others, has a purely written interview over Slack. That means no one sees their face or hears the candidates voice either in person or over Zoom. That can take a lot of bias away and focus purely on the person’s written communication skills—critical for remote work. 

The Society of Harman Resource Management suggests removing the names from resumes as you review them. The fact is Larry gets more call backs than Jamal, same with Lisa and Leticia, even when all skills are the same. This will help level the playing field for candidates. They also suggest standardized interviews are better at predicting job success and minimize bias. 

Another growing practice is to provide a sample work test. It gives you a better idea of how they will actually perform. In fact, Automattic gives people that have passed the initial screening process a one-time paid contract that takes around 40 hours to complete. If they do well, they get the full-time job.  

When it comes to hiring salespeople, over the years we have seen huge biases. Some hire the person just like the last one they worked with, others hire people with a supposed long list of contacts not knowing if they know how to execute, or they hire someone just like themselves. This doesn’t mean it won’t work out, it just means that you are taking a bigger risk with that hire because your bias comes into play. 

We all know that having a successful first Sales hire can make all the difference in meeting your business and growth goals, that’s why we have developed The Right Five. Our automated, proprietary technology helps B2B tech founders hire their first salesperson right the first time. It removes any bias and focuses on the skills and the mindset needed to be successful — what we call a Pathfinder salesperson. 

Pathfinders have a very distinct and unique skillset that includes an ability to work with the ambiguity that occurs in startups that change and adapt as they grow. They have an excitement around building something new; are curious problem solvers; and remain positive no matter what comes their way.  

The Right Five delivers qualified Pathfinder candidates to you, removing any bias and taking the guesswork out of hiring that first Sales role, so you can get it right the first time.

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