The hiring process has always proved fertile ground for bias and nepotism. But while favoritism based on group affiliation (college, sports, etc) is common to the point it is second nature, a diverse workforce is proven to increase an organization’s revenue. But even outside of profit, a culture of diversity is necessary for cultivating ideas and building healthy relationships. To make matters more difficult, much of the hiring decision is based on data extraneous to the resume. Qualities like empathy, motivation, and ability to work in teams can only be gleaned from an interview setting- and once the interview is over, this data quickly turns to a foggy recollection. In his article “AI Is Helping Job Candidates Bypass Resume Bias and Black Holes,” Mark Newman indicates that this is where AI comes into play. In a video interview setting, AI has the ability to quantify what was previously unquantifiable. Facial expressions, intonation, and vocabulary are all compiled together to provide a comprehensive, quantifiable picture of each candidate. As that database grows, so too does the AI’s accuracy. “Question quality can finally have an objective measure,” Newman states. No more nebulous interview questions, and candidate responses can be cross-referenced with the responses of the best hires. The end result? A much fairer hiring process. Not only does AI cut costs and speed up onboarding, it doesn’t care about an applicant’s club membership or what their favorite sports team is. Find Mark: LinkedIn
Increasing the engagement of workers in the workplace leads to quantifiable gains in productivity and overall success. Tracking this metric should give insight into the best way it can be increased, but employees can be wary when asked directly. Surveys are a better option; but even then, how do you know they are being answered honestly? In his article “Six Tips for Getting Real Answers From Your Employees,” Steffen Maier provides six survey design tips that will make your employees’ responses a more accurate reflection of their sentiments.
- Allow for anonymity. “Making your surveys completely anonymous will give your employees the security they need to answer freely,” Maier explains. If the results are not anonymous, employees will respond in the best interest of their job security, painting a rosier picture than they would otherwise.
- Provide a reason. Mass surveys tend to be ignored. Giving a reason for the survey and indicating that its results will actually be taken into consideration provides employees an impetus to complete it.
- Ask the right questions. Keep questions simple to avoid question fatigue and survey dropout. Use neutral, non-loaded words to avoid unintentional influencing of responses. “Be conscious of your word choice,” Maier says.
- Include factors that can be validated. Use objective terms with universal definitions. Knowing if something is “easy” will not help you create better policy- but knowing how many hours employees spend on an activity will.
- Come up with an action plan. If no change occurs as a result of the survey, how many employees do you think will spend time on the next one? It is critical to act on the results.
- Market your changes internally. Make sure you follow up with survey takers to indicate action is being taken. Commit to devising a strategy based on the survey results, and let employees know that strategy.
Find Steffen: LinkedIn
The interview process provides a unique opportunity in that a candidate can be evaluated beyond the scope of their resume. It is important to discover the “abstract qualities that will allow them to succeed in the culture of your organization,” Amy Zimmerman states. She goes on to compare the interview process with the dating app Tinder. Base qualifications, usually enumerated by a resume, allow recruiters to swipe “left” or “right.” Swiping “right” creates a smaller pool of suitors, and these are evaluated on a deeper level. It is critical both in dating and recruiting to draw out those more intangible values that make a candidate the perfect fit. Zimmerman provides five questions to do this very thing.
- “What are three negative personal qualities that someone close to you would say you possess?” This question reveals the candidate’s self-awareness and willingness to be transparent. Do not accept “positives-disguised-as-negatives.”
- Add two fractions (ie, “What is 3/4 plus 1/2?”). This question provides “insight into how they handle an unexpected question/situation,” Zimmerman explains. The workplace is rarely predictable, and how candidates respond to this sort of question will reflect how they will react to unpredictability in the workplace.
- “On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the absolute best in the world at your role, where would you rate yourself? And what separates you from being a 10?” This question also works to draw out the candidate’s self-awareness- but more importantly, it reveals their ambition and roadmap to better personal growth.
- “Finish this sentence for me: Most people I meet are _______.” It is important to know how a candidate views others. Valuing others is key to workplace success.
- “Give me the first name of someone with whom you work very closely.” A quick response to this question shows that the applicant is capable of building relationships at work and flourishing within your company’s environment.
Find Amy: LinkedIn
The wounds of years past can often bleed into the present. Tenured employees can carry grudges against management that they will transfer to new hires. Broken trust can be used as a workplace weapon to bludgeon disagreement into submission. A healing strategy is necessary to move forward and through broken trust- not around it. Michele Reina provides a seven-step roadmap to restoring trust in the workplace:
- Observe and acknowledge what’s happened. “Give the gift of awareness,” Reina says. “Healing begins when leaders recognize what has occurred, its effect on people and the system, and the resulting losses.”
- Encourage feelings to surface. If people have the permission to express their feelings constructively, they will. Concealed feelings will only breed further enmity.
- Give yourself permission to get support. If you’ve followed steps 1 and 2, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Contacting a third party support network can do wonders to keep the process going forward.
- Reframe the experience. “Help people understand the bigger picture of ‘what happened’,” Reina explains. Build the broken trust experience into an opportunity for learning.
- Expand ownership. Encourage people to take responsibility. While they may not have played a role in the initial trust break, they are responsible for how they respond. Constructive attitudes are necessary to overcome historical hurts on trust.
- Offer release through forgiveness. “Listen for what needs to be heard and understood for (your people) to feel ready to let go,” Reina says. Forgiveness is not forgetfulness, but it provides needed closure for all parties.
- Let go and move on. If you’ve gotten through these steps, you’ve earned the right to move on. Learn and grow.
“The moment any of us stop paying attention to trust is the moment we risk losing it,” Reina says. Find Michele on her website.
Video is becoming increasingly prevalent as internet use continues to burgeon in all demographics. AT&T reports that 50% of its Internet bandwidth usage is video. Across disciplines from instruction to recruiting, video is gaining dominance over traditional text. “It’s a great way to engage a candidate, tell a story and build a relationship that leads to the most qualified candidate applying for your job posting or joining your talent community,” Jessica Miller-Merrell explains. She provides six easy strategies for effectively using video in your recruiting efforts.
- Video Job Posting. This gives potential candidates greater insight into the daily goings-on of your company. It allows you to provide a more personal presentation than a bulleted list of desired qualifications.
- Embed Your Video. Utilize social media to spread your videos. You never know if and when a video might take off.
- Use On Demand Video. On-demand video streaming platforms like Periscope “can help you engage new viewers and candidates in real time.” An added bonus: live videos don’t require editing.
- Video Interviews. “As people become more accustomed to video being a part of their lives, they also become more comfortable with video interviews.” Replacing phone interviews and screenings creates a more personal initial experience. And predictive analytics makes it possible to evaluate candidates en masse.
- Video Introductions. Allowing candidates to submit a video introduction alongside their application gives them the opportunity to present themselves as an individual distinct from their resume.
- Video Job Fair. “They’re efficient, cost effective and extend your reach beyond geographic barriers,” Miller-Merrell explains. Video Job Fairs have all the advantages of Video Interviews and Video Introductions, but carry the additional benefit of providing a single, publicized hub around which candidates can congregate.
Find Jessica at her blog.