As using video in the hiring process has accelerated in the era of Covid, we don’t expect that its adoption will be slowing down anytime soon. Using video to help hire candidates has not only proven helpful, but it has also increased companies’ overall hiring efficiency.
While we have seen numerous benefits related to video use, one issue tends to appear over and over again, and this problem’s name is bias. Candidates and hiring managers alike still have some hesitancy over using video in the hiring process for fear of discrimination or discrimination claims.
With the many types of bias that can appear during the hiring process, it is important to note that bias can appear at any point, whether using video or not. While it is thought that video adds layers of bias, that is not completely true. In many instances we can see how video actually works to eliminate bias that is present in traditional hiring processes.
Even hearing that, you may still be toeing the line when it comes to using video when hiring your next candidate, so here are some ways that you can reduce bias and still use the simple and efficient processes that video provides.
Structure your Interview Process
With an unstructured interview, there is typically no specific line of questioning, and interviewers can change questions or direction at any point. On the other hand, the execution of structured interviews is dependent on the idea that the interview is presented in the same manner every single time. Therefore, structured interviews are scripted and planned to ensure the sameness of candidate’s experiences.
There are many advantages to of structured interviews such as:
· Increasing the efficiency of the hiring process - structured interviews present more standardized questions.
· More reliable comparisons – each candidate answers the same questions so you can more accurately compare candidate answers
· Most importantly It helps reduce bias – everybody receives the same treatment and questions so no interview process differs from another.
You may be wondering how the sameness of interviews helps reduce bias. To explain further, unstructured interviews can produce random interview questions due to the hiring manager making quick assumptions and connections. Sometimes these connections end up being unrelated to each other, and ultimately unrelated to the candidate’s ability to perform. This is called an illusory correlation.
The danger of illusory correlations is that you can creates instances where one interview has great answers that make the candidate stand out, but in another interview, you didn’t get enough relevant information to compare candidates. Often this is the result of sporadic questioning. Now you will be more prone to go with the candidate that had the “better interview”.
At the end of the day, structured interview processes with asynchronous videos eliminate the possibility of different candidates receiving different forms of the same interview. This helps put all candidates on an equal playing field.
Diversify your Hiring Team
When one person or a group of people who are “too similar” participate in the hiring process, biases can influence decision making. The type of bias is called similarity bias or the similar-to-me effect. In basic terms, the similar-to-me effect is when hiring managers or groups find themselves leaning towards or recruiting candidates that are most similar to them.
This can be a good thing because you are likely recruiting someone you feel will fit right into company culture; however, the danger comes when you are closed off to other candidates that are different, yet their differences are irrelevant to their ability to perform and fit into the company.
If you have a diverse team collaborating on a hire, it can create a space for each member of the team to bring a different perspective when choosing a candidate. Humans, whether consciously or unconsciously, are prone to bias, so diversifying your hiring team will help control for factors such as:
· Candidate likeability, and
In a larger scheme of things, it minimizes the potential for groupthink, which increases critical thinking.
What is Diversity
Often, the first thing people think about when diversity is mentioned is race and gender. While that is not incorrect, it is important to realize that diversity is so much more. Nikola Bika explains that there are two different types of diversity – acquired diversity and inherent diversity.
While ‘inherent diversity’ can be attributed to characteristics that we are born with (race, gender, ethnicity, etc.), ‘acquired diversity’ is based on how culture, upbringing, life experiences, and education shape our lives and ways of thinking. So when thinking of diversity, it is important that we don’t forget about characteristics like age, disability, language, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status and religion.
Remove details such as race, gender, age, and other factors that encourage implicit bias
Implicit biases are when you make unconsciousness assumptions about someone based on irrelevant characteristics such as race, gender, age, or anything else that may be different than what you are used to. This can be a dangerous when thinking about using asynchronous video for video hiring.
While hiring managers are worried about accusations of bias, candidates are worried about being discriminated against before they even get a chance to tell you about themselves. So you may think that this is where video fails, but that is not so.
The great thing about asynchronous videos during the hiring process is that all videos aren’t built the same, and they aren’t all used at the same stage of the hiring process. Using video at any point of the hiring process improves the overall efficiency of the hiring process. So instead of using asynchronous video at the very beginning to see candidates, video can be introduced later in the process to meet a smaller pool of potential candidates or as a screening tool.
You also have the option to use videos that don’t show the candidates. Examples would be tasks such as creating short presentations or completing skills tests.
The hesitancy for using video during the hiring process is completely understandable, as the protection of companies and candidates are incredibly important. However, the initial perceptions created around using video are just that. The initial perception. Once you begin incorporating video and researching ways to ensure biases don’t seep into your hiring processes, it becomes clear that video is safe and one of the most efficient advancements to the modern hiring processes.
So remember, biases can appear at any point during the hiring process, whether using video or not, so it is important for employers to take initiative to make the playing field level for all applicants.