Don't Trust Your First Impression

First impressions can be misleading— and, as we discussed earlier, can affect recruiters with unconscious bias. In fact, according to HR Morning, 90% of hiring managers maintain their first impressions of candidates, even after they’ve been speaking with each other for several minutes. In light of this, you may be wondering, "What can a smart recruiter do to counteract the likelihood of making a snap decision based off of a poor first impression?"

Before the interview

You’ve written a thorough job description and carefully screened your candidates. The next thing you need to do is write down a list of exactly what you’re looking for in a candidate. Include notes on what skills you think are important, as well as any problems you want this person to contribute to solving in your company.

During the interview

As the candidate is talking, make sure you take notes on what he or she is saying— even if you personally aren’t a fan of the person. Writing down what the applicant says and how he or she responds to your questions can help remove the bias— after the interview, you can see how the candidate’s responses stacked up against what you’re looking for, and ensures that you don’t just retain biased memories.

After the interview

Get other people on the team or who will be working with the new employee involved in the interview process. If you test candidates’ skills, get another set of eyes to look over the applicant’s work. Also, if you use digital job interview software, make sure you share the candidate’s interview with other people on the team and get input.

At all times

If you find yourself saying “yes, but…” about the candidate, then there’s a good chance you’re still thinking with your gut. Though it’s important to pay attention to your instincts, acknowledge when that bias is pushing you, and try to determine what is causing the disconnect.

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