Hiring and the Problem of Subjectivity

  • By Mike M
  • February 2022

The recruitment process is so subjective and we’re not nearly as good at assessing people as we think we are. Two people ask a candidate the same question. They both hear the same response – but interpret it in 2 different ways. You’ve had that experience before. So, which one of the “receivers” is right – and are either even grasping what the candidate meant?

When I do some for our training sessions, I love to ask the question “How good are you at sizing people up?” The average – after asking this hundreds of times – is likely around a 7.5 out of ten. We think we’re so good at this and yet organizations still suffer because of bad hires. We struggle to properly align people and we still suffer from average performance in a large percentage of our workforce.

I always point to the divorce rate (about 40%). Plus, all the people who are unhappy. Yet we think we can learn what we need to know in an hour-long interview. In “6 Failproof tips for Hiring Amazing People”, HR Executive Armando Lopez talks with Donald Miller about gut feel, corporate culture and liking someone. We’re all so different in evaluating these pieces. He makes a great point in ensuring everything is compared against what’s needed in the job to try to neutralize biases towards a candidate. Define what you need in the role and then critically assess your candidates against your benchmarks.

How are you adding objectivity to your recruiting process?

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