Recruiting and Staffing

5 Ways to Evaluate Top Talent and Eliminate Job Search Bias

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Evaluating top talent for open positions becomes much simpler when you eliminate one commonality of the job search – biases.

The majority of the materials required in the recruitment process are from the job seeker’s own perspective. If done correctly, these materials will showcase the candidates in the best light possible. They come to you with their very own crafted elevator pitches, customized resumes, and personal portfolios that are self-written testimonials.

So, how can you conduct a fair evaluation of potential job candidates? The key is to listen in on what others have to say about them.

How you can eliminate bias

When assessing job candidates, your end goal is to determine the value or worth of the applicant in regards to their potential role in the company. You can evaluate top talent in your industry, without any bias, by considering some of the following techniques:

  1. Have recommendations take precedence. The flaws, weaknesses, and problems with resumes are extensive. Each material presented to you by the job seeker is cleverly manipulated to meet the job description and provided job requirements. Though resumes, portfolios, and first impressions are great initial indicators as to whether the candidate is a quality hire or not, recommendations are the best indicators of their actual potential. With the power of recommendations, these skills on paper can be brought to life by someone who has their own reputation to uphold.
  2. Take advantage of the listed references. Very similar to recommendations, references allow you to invite a third party to the evaluation process. How often do you pick up the phone and contact one of the provided contacts listed on a job candidate’s resume? For some recruiters, this step is overlooked. Though these references are likely to be fond of the job applicant, they are often unaware of the responsibilities of the new position. Therefore, their responses will help you to imagine for yourself how the potential hire would fit in.
  3. Listen to the chatter. Today’s technology allows you to seek out information that otherwise would not be disclosed. Many HR departments have incorporated social media into their recruitment processes, but you can take this a step further in the evaluation stages. In addition to learning more about the candidates and their interests on their personal social media profiles, you can also look into how other people interact and engage with your potential hires online. It is common for clients or customers to acknowledge a job well done via their social media!
  4. Utilize social recruiting tools. There are many online tools created to quickly source quality candidates in desired fields. With online social recruiting tools, user profiles can be scanned to determine a potential hires’ impact from the collective voice of the crowd. Rankings can be now be ordered based on how well candidates truly know the skills are you seeking, rather than how many times they purposely list them on their resume.
  5. Find passive candidates. Social recruiting not only provides you with the ability to search for quality candidates, it also gives you the means to locate and reach out to top talent that did not go through your application process. Passive candidates are diamonds in the rough. These are the job candidates not currently searching for a job, as they are already happy or content in their career. We believe this is where the “A” players and top talent reside. Since they are not in “job search” mode, you will be able to paint a better picture of the candidate without all of the biased documents.

The old school written recommendations and references as well as social recruiting in our digital age have one thing in common – a third party’s opinion. By encompassing a collective voice in your evaluation process, you can eliminate biases in order to discover top talent.

Do you make a point to eliminate bias in your evaluation process? How can you paint a full picture of top talent?

Jamey Jeff is the co-founder and CEO of RemarkableHire, a talent sourcing platform that uses social evidence to help recruiters and hiring managers find and evaluate the best job candidates. Connect with him at jamey@remarkablehire.com.