Impartiality is not just an ethical issue in recruitment.
If an appointment is seen as unfair or a complaint is made it could also become a legal matter.
Therefore, it is important to observe and maintain consistent standards when interviewing and evaluating candidates at all times.
Key Selection Criteria
Rather than looking at candidates from a subjective point of view, you should evaluate every candidate equally against a set of pre-determined key selection criteria.
These criteria could include:
- Application documentation – the contents of the candidates’ CV and covering letter;
- Knowledge – the knowledge required to successfully perform the role;
- Skills – the necessary technical skills;
- Education – the qualifications necessary to perform the role;
- Experience – including relevant industry, career or management experience;
- Personal suitability – how close a ‘fit’ they are with the team dynamic and company culture.
Never rush making a hire
It is also important to never make a rushed or on the spot decision. The results of candidate evaluation should be discussed by everyone involved in the recruitment process, notes compared and references checked before any decision is reached.
If several candidates are a close match, be sure to conduct a second round of interviews. If none of the candidates seem suitable, don’t just select the best of a bad bunch. Rather re-advertise the position and start again.
If you are lucky enough to have identified more than one candidate to invite in for interview, you must ensure that you have some structure around the interviewing process.
There is no point asking one candidate a series of behavioural- or competency-based questions and then asking the other candidate(s) an entirely different set of questions. Each candidate being interviewed for the same position must be asked exactly the same set of questions. Then you can actually rank each response based on an even scoring process.
Think of an airline hiring a new team of flight attendants, or a bank putting on a new shift in their call centre. The dedicated recruitment team will interview dozens (if not hundreds) of candidates for these roles and each candidate will be asked exactly the same set of questions.
Assuming you are not an airline, bank or hotel chain, even though you might not be looking to hire a group of people, you still need to ensure you have a fair assessment and benchmarking process in place so that ultimately you end up hiring the candidate who literally ticks all the boxes.