Recruiters
July 14, 2020

Biases In Job Recruiting: Things To Consider

The job recruiting industry has changed in the modern era. A simple phone call inviting a candidate for an in person interview has become a process of following crucial online steps that invites new room for growth and error.

Job recruiting has become pretty engrained in the online sphere. Instead of simple phone screenings leading to in-person interviews, the process has been somewhat complicated, or perhaps some would argue, simplified, by online tools that further weed out candidates. Job recruiters like the fast-paced nature of using recruiting software and professional networking tools to quickly assess candidates, especially when positions need to be filled “Urgently” and recruiters themselves are under pressure to hit a certain quota.

Still, job recruiting in the modern age, and with the current tools at disposal can create serious biases that might not have existed before the advent of so much technology. There are pros and cons of the digital process and the good old fashioned in-person recruiting strategy as well.

Meeting in Person vs. Meeting online 

Not everyone likes digital interview processes. Candidates sometimes complain of feeling anxious about their internet connection, how they present in front of a small MacBook video lens, whether the lighting in their apartment is good enough, or whether some unexpected noise like a car alarm will go off in the middle of their interview. These unpredictabilities make candidates weary of the digital job interview process but also influence the way recruiters judge. In other words, some recruiters, having conducted so many Skype interviews, for example, will associate cleaner backgrounds and better lighting with higher levels of professionalism from such candidates.

Meeting in person can thus be a huge relief for some candidates who feel that they can perform better with less uncertainties about their connection timing out, and also know that when they dress up, shake someone’s hand, and have good interpersonal skills, these attributes will push their candidacy further than simply meeting in the digital realm.

Content is King

Aside from those first moments of either a Zoom call with a potential employer or sitting in a new office space and shaking hands with an interviewer, the content of job interviews can be highly biased and the types of interview questions can really range quite drastically. Job recruiters today, on sites like Indeed, have candidates even take aptitude tests for certain positions before moving to the next round of interviews, which can seem like an unfair process if a candidate's ability to perform on timed examinations is not a real projection of that candidate's true worth.

Jason Dana, an assistant professor of management and marketing at Yale University, goes further by adding:

Research that my colleagues and I have conducted shows that the problem with interviews is worse than irrelevance: They can be harmful, undercutting the impact of other, more valuable information about interviewees.”

This brings to mind the fact that today's technology enables recruiters to do so much more with their time, assess new criteria via social media networking, but also leave new room for error as well. With more information and the possibility of new platforms to “get to know the candidate” begs the question if such strategies make it all the more likely that candidates have a higher probability of being judged unfairly in today's digital market.

But job recruiting must go on. In the digital era, job recruiting with online tools cuts costs significantly, expedites processes, and can ultimately lead to good hiring practices as well. Even with the opportunity for more bias today, here are some major benefits to the digital hiring process:

  • Videoconferencing can be quick and painless, allowing the recruiter to schedule a productive interview with an interviewee with just one Calendar invite
  • Recruiters have become savvy in comparing the strengths/weaknesses of ones professional networking profile on sites like LinkedIn for example
  • If candidates know how to work the system and expose their greatest strengths to potential recruiters, hiring can be a breeze
  • International positions have become available. The possibilities of securing a job, or internship, in a foreign country, has become a reality in today's job market
  • Being adept in the online hiring process has become an actual skill in itself, and exposes entry level employees to the nuances of competing in today's job market.
TagsRecruitmentBiasesInterviews
Michael Robbins
Writer
Michael is a writer that helps organizations align their mission and values to a wide audience.

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RecruitersJuly 14, 2020
Biases In Job Recruiting: Things To Consider
The job recruiting industry has changed in the modern era. A simple phone call inviting a candidate for an in person interview has become a process of following crucial online steps that invites new room for growth and error.

Job recruiting has become pretty engrained in the online sphere. Instead of simple phone screenings leading to in-person interviews, the process has been somewhat complicated, or perhaps some would argue, simplified, by online tools that further weed out candidates. Job recruiters like the fast-paced nature of using recruiting software and professional networking tools to quickly assess candidates, especially when positions need to be filled “Urgently” and recruiters themselves are under pressure to hit a certain quota.

Still, job recruiting in the modern age, and with the current tools at disposal can create serious biases that might not have existed before the advent of so much technology. There are pros and cons of the digital process and the good old fashioned in-person recruiting strategy as well.

Meeting in Person vs. Meeting online 

Not everyone likes digital interview processes. Candidates sometimes complain of feeling anxious about their internet connection, how they present in front of a small MacBook video lens, whether the lighting in their apartment is good enough, or whether some unexpected noise like a car alarm will go off in the middle of their interview. These unpredictabilities make candidates weary of the digital job interview process but also influence the way recruiters judge. In other words, some recruiters, having conducted so many Skype interviews, for example, will associate cleaner backgrounds and better lighting with higher levels of professionalism from such candidates.

Meeting in person can thus be a huge relief for some candidates who feel that they can perform better with less uncertainties about their connection timing out, and also know that when they dress up, shake someone’s hand, and have good interpersonal skills, these attributes will push their candidacy further than simply meeting in the digital realm.

Content is King

Aside from those first moments of either a Zoom call with a potential employer or sitting in a new office space and shaking hands with an interviewer, the content of job interviews can be highly biased and the types of interview questions can really range quite drastically. Job recruiters today, on sites like Indeed, have candidates even take aptitude tests for certain positions before moving to the next round of interviews, which can seem like an unfair process if a candidate's ability to perform on timed examinations is not a real projection of that candidate's true worth.

Jason Dana, an assistant professor of management and marketing at Yale University, goes further by adding:

Research that my colleagues and I have conducted shows that the problem with interviews is worse than irrelevance: They can be harmful, undercutting the impact of other, more valuable information about interviewees.”

This brings to mind the fact that today's technology enables recruiters to do so much more with their time, assess new criteria via social media networking, but also leave new room for error as well. With more information and the possibility of new platforms to “get to know the candidate” begs the question if such strategies make it all the more likely that candidates have a higher probability of being judged unfairly in today's digital market.

But job recruiting must go on. In the digital era, job recruiting with online tools cuts costs significantly, expedites processes, and can ultimately lead to good hiring practices as well. Even with the opportunity for more bias today, here are some major benefits to the digital hiring process:

  • Videoconferencing can be quick and painless, allowing the recruiter to schedule a productive interview with an interviewee with just one Calendar invite
  • Recruiters have become savvy in comparing the strengths/weaknesses of ones professional networking profile on sites like LinkedIn for example
  • If candidates know how to work the system and expose their greatest strengths to potential recruiters, hiring can be a breeze
  • International positions have become available. The possibilities of securing a job, or internship, in a foreign country, has become a reality in today's job market
  • Being adept in the online hiring process has become an actual skill in itself, and exposes entry level employees to the nuances of competing in today's job market.
Recruitment
Biases
Interviews
About the author
Michael Robbins -Writer
Michael is a writer that helps organizations align their mission and values to a wide audience.

Related Articles