Remove hiring bias: 6 objective ways to find A+ hires

by Jobbatical January 29, 2018

Don’t waste your chance to nab great talent. If you’re letting hiring bias get in the way, you’re doing your company a disservice.

The lack of skilled workers poses a risk to economic growth, and hiring managers are feeling the pressure to look in every corner to find the best talent they can.

Companies would be shooting themselves in the foot not to consider every available avenue for finding talent. There are hundreds of thousands of professionals ready and willing to relocate for the right opportunity, all around the world.

However, hiring bias prevents companies from excelling. When an employer rejects or fails to consider the perfect candidate because he or she lives across the world, the business misses out on the growth and success that a great hire brings.

Beyond that, the cost of a bad hire should scare any hiring manager enough to eliminate candidates who are a less-than-ideal fit in all fields except geography (i.e. they live next to the office).

Removing hiring bias from your team is an efficient way to find truly amazing candidates who will take your business to the next level. We encourage you to eliminate geography, race, gender, and citizenship from your [subconscious or otherwise] selection criteria, and look at these objective tells instead.

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6 unbiased ways to tell if someone is a great hire

Here are 6 ways to assess if someone is an A+ hire. Designed to help eliminate hiring bias, each of these methods will help you gauge skills and identify behaviors that are critical to on-the-job success.

Have candidates identify problems in your process

Give your candidates a quick summary of a process you want improved. This task will help you identify organizational skills, understanding of processes, and evaluate their critical thinking skills.

For example, you might notice it takes too long to get blog posts approved and published. Ask prospects to take a look and identify bottlenecks, as well as how they might structure it differently. Ask them to include any tools they would use to speed things up and increase efficiency.

Ask prospective employees to solve a current (non-sensitive) issue

If you’re facing an issue, or have a recurring problem, assign it to them as you would to a team member. Have them explain how they would resolve the issue and ensure it doesn’t come up again.

This task helps you identify your candidates’ problem-solving ability, but make sure the issue you give them doesn’t involve any sensitive information. For example, you can change or remove client names to provide anonymity.

Gauge their foresight for the industry

Have your candidates make 2–5 long-term and short-term industry predictions. The caliber of their answers will show you how invested they are in the industry, because it indicates they’ve either done their research or are fully immersed. Look for thoughtful, insightful predictions that your company and team members would find valuable.

Use a proven assessment tool

Assessment tools are perfect objective evaluators for a candidate’s ability to rock a job. Whereas a resume and interview can only tell you so much, an assessment tool that’s backed by science and benchmarking (more on that later) will provide an unbiased analysis of your candidate.

Assessments can give you details about your candidates’ behaviors and values, as well as their skill level. That means you’ll know whether someone lacks empathy, is introverted or extroverted, or has strong leadership traits.

Create a candidate success profile

A benchmark is a profile of the ideal candidate for a job. For example, you can create benchmarks by having your top performers take assessments, then using their results to evaluate incoming candidates. The closer a profile looks (skills, traits, behaviors, etc) to your top performers, the closer they are to your benchmark.

Create a benchmark of your best employees, and look for similar soft skills and other traits in your future candidates. If you are starting from scratch, take a look at these 7 traits that are great predictors of candidate success.

Learn what’s important to your candidate

Money, opportunity, career, benefits… Different motivators drive different people. Learn whether your candidate is career-focused or job-focused to differentiate the people who will push the limits (in a good way) from those who will do the bare minimum to not get fired.

Ensure you have incentive alignment between your business goals and employees’ goals. If someone is motivated by results, they will work differently than someone who is motivated by a salary.

That doesn’t mean your candidates should ignore what they’re worth financially, but when your employees have motivations that also contribute to business success, it’ll be easier to retain happy, effective A players.

Don’t waste your chance to nab great talent

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Most importantly, your new hires must believe in your company and embody your mission. As an extremely simple example; if you are running a travel agency, don’t hire a salesperson who hates travel.

Someone who wants to further your cause and is willing to be trained will be a more valuable asset to your business than someone with all the experience who is lukewarm about your brand.

Don’t turn away qualified candidates just because they aren’t from your neighborhood, especially if they’re ready to relocate. Your business will thank you.

This post is a part of Jobbatical’s hiring blog, designed to help hiring managers get their teams to the next level. To get our new articles straight to your inbox, please sign up for our hiring newsletter.

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