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Executing a Bias-free Recruitment Process

Executing a Bias-free Recruitment Process

Someone recently walked me through a recruitment process she went through to get her current job and how it differed significantly from anything she had experienced in the past. And I thought, “Wow, this is what a recruitment process would look like if there were zero bias.

While I will not be mentioning the company’s name, let me run through the process and tell you what piqued my interest in it.

No resume!

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First of all, no resume was required for the application. According to her, the job description was clear about what and what one would be required to do on the job, what skills and education one needed to have, etc. After reading through the JD, she created an account on the portal to start the application.

What I like about this is that the job focuses on the exact activities one would do in the role. Also, her explaining this process to me opened my mind to how resumes may have been introducing some biases into the recruitment process. When you consider the fact that people pay to get well-crafted resumes these days, then you will agree that shortlisting applicants based on the resumes may not necessarily give you the best candidate. Because, of course, the best candidate may not have the best resumes. And besides, why should resumes be the basis for judging when the person is not employed to write resumes for a living?

Testing the skills

After setting up the account and filling out brief information on her profile about her education and work history, she was required to take a basic English test. Now, even though the JD had specified that one needed to be fluent in the English Language to take on the role, this step ensures that the people who have applied actually have this fluency they claim to have. The test was graded with stars, and only those who scored four stars and above could proceed from the stage.

Reenacting a real-time workday

After the test of the English language, the next stage was to test the actual skills. This stage took 3 hours. The applicant was given a brief (of a task that she would typically do on the job) and had to work on it online and submit it within the stipulated time. This is a real-life task, and the way I see it, this stage shows the recruiter how the applicant can perform on the job in terms of the quality of tasks delivered, timeliness, and ability to follow instructions.

The second part of this task took 1 hour, and the applicant was given a task to rate work done (maybe from their archives) and explain why it is good, great, or bad and what they would do to improve on it. Again, this tests the person’s understanding of the expected results. If you are seasoned in a specific skill, you should be able to tell when it has been done right or wrong or what can be done to improve on a poorly done job.

Up to this point, the grading is done independently by parties who neither know the name, gender, or other specifics of the applicant they are grading.

Interview at last!

By the time the applicant gets to the interview stage, she has aced all the other stages and established the capacity to deliver on the skills for the job. At this stage, all left is a series of friendly chats with designated company executives to establish a culture fit and the applicant’s social/communication skills. Once this is done, the applicant can expect an offer. But not so fast; there is one more stage.

Are you who you say you are?

To confirm that an applicant did not have an imposter to help him through the previous stages and tests, the last test is to confirm capacity. In this stage, the applicant takes another test, which is designed to detect any fraud. Once this test starts, if the system detects any side conversation (suggesting help from a third party), light from another screen (suggesting the applicant is consulting other sources), or any other thing of such, the test will be submitted automatically. Also, the video feature has to be put on the whole time to be certain that the applicant is the one taking the test.

Conclusion

Last came the offer, and by the time she resumed the job, it was a smooth ride. The onboarding process went smoothly, and she could immediately get on with tasks and deliver within the given timeframe.

This, for me, is what a recruitment process without bias would look like, and I like every stage of it. No doubt, it may take some resources to set it up, but I think it is something hiring teams should consider. Also, given the high staff turnover rates resulting from people employing staff who cannot deliver on their job roles, it is truly worth considering. It also puts some responsibility on the recruiter to establish what the new employee would do daily before putting out an advertisement. There is no point in hiring for a role if you cannot figure out what a typical workday would look like.

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