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The Future of Making Great Hires: How Structured Hiring Drops the Mic on Freestyle

As a recruiter, math may or may not be your strong suit. But the great thing about recruiting is it eschews the black and white world of numbers for the infinitely more subtle, infinitely more complex variables required to build and develop the right relationships with the right people.

Traditionally, the strength of one’s relationships and the end result of filled requisitions were enough; this focus only on results neglected the fact that in best-in-class recruiting, the journey is just as important (if not more so) than the destination. This means to make the best hires, recruiters increasingly must acquire proficiency with data and analytics, and transform talent acquisition from its lonely perch as one of the final bastions within most organizations where “gut feeling” matters more than math.

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How to Implement Structured Hiring: Steps #5 and #6—Interviewing Candidates and Reviewing Feedback

I hope you’ve been enjoying my blog series on Structured Hiring! Previously, we explored the meaning of structured hiring and then dove into how to implement it, including conducting the role kick-off meetingdefining your scorecard and planning your interview, and then creating an interview kit with these 4 types of questions.

Now, it’s time to touch on the next two (and final!) steps in the process—interviewing candidates and reviewing feedback during a round-up meeting.

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Creating Diversity in the Workplace: 3 Steps to Audit Candidate Interviews and Reduce Bias in the Hiring Process

We all know the hiring process is not always a meritocracy. Without a structured hiring process in place, even the most well-intentioned interviewers and assessors can fall prey to non-data-driven and misguided hiring decisions, often spurred by their own unconscious bias. Most studies show that we are all susceptible to some degree of bias, and, despite our best intentions and efforts to the contrary, we always will be.

This is not to say that we must accept the outcome of our biases. On the contrary, knowing this means that we have an obligation to take action to reduce it. Why? Reducing bias is not just the right thing to do; it’s also an essential step to forming more successful teams and companies as a whole. In short, diverse companies have been proven to perform better. And in addition, companies that make unbiased, data-driven hiring decisions have less employee turnover—80% less, in fact, according to this Harvard Business Review study.

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How to Implement Structured Hiring: Step #4—Create an Interview Kit with These 4 Types of Questions

Just last week, I explained steps #2 and #3 of the structured hiring process—defining your scorecard and planning your interview. (Click here if you’re interested in knowing what step #1 is).

Now that you have your scorecard attributes defined and an interview plan in place, you can create the interview questions that will help interviewers best assess candidates on the required attributes.

Creating interview kits is necessary for a few reasons:

  1. As an interviewer, coming up with good questions on the spot is difficult.

  2. An interview kit provides a consistent framework for assessing candidates, which gives you better data for making hiring decisions at the end of the process.

  3. Different types of attributes are best tested by different types of interview questions.

Let’s take a look at 4 different types of questions and assessments and how you should incorporate them into your interview kit:

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How to Implement Structured Hiring: Steps #2 and #3—Defining Your Scorecard and Planning Your Interview

In last week’s post, I introduced the first step in carrying out the structured hiring approach: doing a role kick-off meeting with your hiring manager.

Now, on to steps #2 & #3—defining your desired candidate attributes and designing a structured interview process that screens for these attributes. These two activities are typically done in tandem, so that’s why I’m combining them here.

Read on to learn exactly how to carry out each of these tasks:

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How to Implement Structured Hiring: Step #1—Role Kick-Off Meeting

Last week, I introduced our Structured Hiring 101 eBook and explained the benefits of the structured hiring approach. Structured hiring not only gives recruiting teams better outcomes, but it also gives everyone involved in the recruiting process (including the candidates themselves!) a better experience.

Now, it’s time to get to work and learn how to implement this impactful approach. In this post, I’ll cover the first and arguably the most important step—the role kick-off meeting.

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A Better Outcome and A Better Experience: What Is Structured Hiring?

Structured hiring.

It sounds like a good thing, but what, exactly, does it mean?

Structured hiring is an approach to hiring where, for lack of a better word, structure is inserted into your hiring process from beginning to end and at every point in between. This starts with defining a new open role during a kick-off meeting, and continues through the evidence-based final decision on who to make an offer to.

The 3 core tenets of structured hiring are:

  • The ideal candidate is defined by the business objectives of the job

  • A deliberate process and rubric is used to assess all candidates

  • Hiring decisions are based on data and evidence

Structured hiring is the foundation of our hiring process at Greenhouse, helping us make quality hires time and time again, successfully scale our team, and continue to meet the business objectives that propel the company forward.

So, why do we believe so thoroughly in structured hiring? Two reasons: It creates better outcomes and a better experience.

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Live from Greenhouse Open! Our Ultimate Structured Hiring Workshop

Yesterday was the kick-off of Greenhouse Open—our 3-day thought leadership and networking conference in San Francisco—where we’re exploring the latest discoveries and insights in the Talent Acquisition, People Ops, and HR industries.

Greenhouse’s VP of People & Strategy Maia Josebachvili and Director of Talent Acquisition Lauren Ryan led our featured session of the day—our Structured Hiring Workshop, in partnership with General Assembly.

About 150 people-people filled the room, eager to dive into the content and conversation that laid ahead. With nearly two-thirds of the group comprised of recruiters, and two-thirds of the room also stating that they were motivated to take their company’s interviewing process to the next level, we knew that it would be a productive afternoon—and it was!

Read on for some key insights and takeaways:

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Engineering Gender and Race Equality: How to Make Your Interview Process Fair

When it comes to gender equality on the job, everyone is well-versed in the discrepancy between men and women. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women earn 78 cents for every dollar earned by men. This is a result of decades of gender discrimination in the workplace. But while we can't change this fact, we can change the future. As a start, we need to examine where the bias originates. Then, we can propose a solution. And I will. Keep reading...

Many people relate the 78 cent statistic to failure in a company’s employment or management structure. However, it really ties directly back to hiring, originating in the application and resume review stage. This is where bias towards gender and race is most prevalent. (And I should note that even bias towards educational background comes into play here, too, with SEO dominating sourcing activities, and as a result, many qualified candidates falling by the wayside because “Harvard” and “MIT” are not in their profile).

And it is clear that bias exists in the hiring funnel and that this is a widely known issue, as we’ve seen diversity solutions sweeping the corporate world in recent times, including the addition of many diversity-focused roles in organizations. While there is no silver bullet to immediately fixing a lack of diversity initiatives in the corporate world, we can pinpoint a very viable solution by taking a look back in history.

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