How to mitigate bias with structured hiring: A recap of the Greenhouse and Hiretual summit

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Over the last several months, the way companies work and hire has changed across every industry. As we move forward, sourcing, nurturing and retaining talent will be more important than ever.

Jacqui Maguire, Senior Director of Talent Advisory at Greenhouse, recently participated in Hiretual’s 2020 Virtual Partner Summit, a discussion around hiring best practices on the path to business recovery.

In her presentation – Reducing bias in your hiring process: The what, how and why of structured hiring – Jacqui spoke about how hiring teams benefit from data-driven processes and inclusivity. You can watch the entire presentation here or read on for a recap of the main points.


What is structured hiring?

When you make hiring decisions based on data instead of instinct, it’s pretty straightforward to say you’ll be making better decisions. And that’s really what structured hiring is. It’s a deliberate and intentional process that enables you to collect data and then use that data to make informed hiring decisions, instead of leaving those decisions up to chance or gut feeling.

When you outline the business objectives driving the need for a hire and specific goals that will be achieved by the new hire, your interview team is able to focus on the key attributes necessary to achieve those goals when selecting a candidate.

For example, say your business has a goal of expanding globally. You may be hiring a Head of Global Operations with a specific goal of opening six new locations in twelve months. Your interview team would focus on assessing whether the candidates have the attributes and experience necessary to achieve that ambitious goal, such as knowledge of global real estate and the ability to manage competing priorities and strong cross-functional partnerships.


How does having a structured hiring process reduce bias?

Using data and evidence to make hiring decisions means evaluating a candidate based on their skills and how likely they are to succeed in their role. The consistency and focus of structured hiring makes the process equitable for everyone.

All interviewers go into the interview with the same scoring rubric, which means they’re all evaluating the candidate’s skills against the same set of attributes that were deemed necessary to achieve the goals associated with the role. This shapes the discussion afterward to focus on who is the most likely candidate to lead the business to success.

It sounds obvious but it’s widely acceptable to use gut instinct to make decisions in hiring, something you would never use to run other parts of your business.


How should you implement a structured hiring process?

Setting up a structured hiring process starts with a well-structured kickoff meeting where recruiters and hiring managers align on two things. First, what the business needs of the role are and, second, how success will be measured for that role. Teams can then build the list of attributes a candidate will need to be successful in that particular role. This list will be the scoring rubric used to evaluate candidates during the interview process.

During the actual interview, each interviewer should have an interview kit that provides a clear purpose for the interview and set questions they should ask to assess each of the attributes on the scoring rubric. In a structured hiring process, the focus is not on what the interviewers felt or perceived. Instead, it is about how the candidate displayed attributes that will lead to success in the role.


Why does structured hiring make diversity sourcing more effective?

The key to impactful diversity sourcing is gaining insight into your candidate pool. Companies now have access to technology that can help. For example, the Hiretual and Greenhouse integration allows hiring teams to use artificial intelligence (AI) diversity filters to evaluate their current sources of candidates for diversity and seek out new sources.

With a structured hiring process, you know what attributes are necessary for success in a role, so you’re not depending solely on sourcing for specific experiences. This broadens your ability to source from different backgrounds and experiences and it reduces reliance on arbitrary qualifiers, like an MBA requirement. These types of degree requirements are thought to create a disparate impact against candidates from underrepresented groups in your pipeline.

Inclusive hiring helps companies to build an environment rich in creativity and perspectives. And structured hiring is the best way to leverage the technology that can help companies do that in a way that’s fast, effective and fair for everyone involved.

To check out Jacqui’s full presentation or other sessions from the Hiretual’s recent Virtual Partner Summit, you can access the full, on-demand recordings here.

Emily Brooks

Emily Brooks

is a Partner Program Manager at Greenhouse. She refines and executes program strategy for our vast integration ecosystem of over 300+ partners. When she’s not working, she enjoys perfecting her taco recipe and relaxing on her terrace in Greenpoint.

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