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This Year Is the Year of Trust: 3 Guiding Principles for CHROs

BY Barbara Hyman


Is it just me or is the word ‘trust’ coming up a lot in your LinkedIn feed right now?

  • Trust through transparency and authenticity (Jacinta Ardern and her leadership during C-19)
  • Trust through caring for your people by putting them first before profit.
  • Trust through communicating really tough decisions with empathy and generosity (Brian Chesky and that letter).

For any relationship, trust starts early. That means trust starts to grow (or diminish) from your very first interactions with your future employee – from your application process through to how you conduct your interviews.

In our current reality of having to work from home and to interview remotely, building trust can be even more of a challenge.

If your Recruitment and HR team are looking to grow trust fast, and keep increasing it through your recruitment process, here are 3 shortcuts by which our customers swear.

1. It’s the end of the black box era – give every applicant feedback

With technology now in the market that ensures every single applicant receives fast automated personalised learning from their interview, there is no excuse for black-box recruiting.

Historically, recruitment is laden with ambiguity and secrecy.

  • Requiring a live conversation with an org psych if you ever wanted to know your results from sitting your 3-hour psychometric test
  • Receiving the ubiquitous reject email or call – you don’t meet the requirements of the role, or worse, ‘you are not a good culture fit’
  • The known unknown- that it could be weeks or even months until you know whether you get the job

Expectations have changed enormously for job seekers too.

Even a few years ago, we wouldn’t question the black box of recruitment, the lack of a reply, and certainly, we wouldn’t expect to receive feedback from an interview.  Or to be asked to give feedback

Any company can introduce a feedback request into their recruitment, but giving feedback requires real smarts if you don’t want to kill trust.

And that feedback needs to be meaningful, relatable useful and ideally immediate.  A feature enabled only by AI and only by smart human AI.

Today you can access smart AI to give every applicant that learning opportunity. And why wouldn’t you make that a priority in a world of growing unemployment and more disappointed candidates?

Plus, for a consumer brand, their candidate pool is usually also their consumer base and the bigger the brand, the more rejections they give out. In some cases, they are rejecting candidates in 6 figures. Which makes the candidate experience vital for the business even more than for your EVP.

No matter how many candidates apply and how many you bring through to your recruiting process, enhance trust by giving every one of them automated personalised feedback.

2. Kill the bias – commit to genuine blind screening

Barb or Buddhi? Who do you think has a greater likelihood of getting the interview? I don’t like my name much, but I don’t believe it’s ever been a factor in my career opportunities. Unlike Buddhi, my co-founder.  When I interviewed Buddhi for the role, he said he had experienced the ‘name’ discrimination himself.

An NYT article reminded us that simply having a ‘white name’ presents a distinct advantage in getting a job – call-backs for that group being 50 per cent higher. We have already written about the fact that no amount of bias training will make us less bias.

We worry intensely about the amplification of lies and prejudices from the technology that fuels Facebook. Yet do we hold the mirror up to ourselves and check our tendency to hire in our image? How many times have you told a candidate they didn’t get the job because they were not the right “culture fit”?

The truth is that we humans are inscrutable in a way that algorithms are not. This means we are often not accountable for our biases. And bias training has been proven not to be an effective guard against biased hiring.

Enhance trust with your applicants by committing to blind screening, at least at the top of the funnel. While it’s tempting in a world of ‘zoom everywhere’, video interviews are the opposite of blind screening.

Similarly relying on AI that uses deep learning models to find the best match, also don’t endear themselves to building trust with your applicant pool. They make explainability a real challenge for the recruiters.

Design your end-to-end interview and assessment process as much as possible to minimise the introduction of bias

  • Use screening tools that are agnostic of race, age and gender.
  • Use screening tools that rely on data that isn’t from a CV as that’s highly gameable.
  • Use assessment tools that candidates can relate to, that ask questions to which they can relate.
  • Leverage video only when you have to, to avoid unconscious biases creeping in.

Apply all the principles outlined in Point 2. to assessments via video. That includes having a structured set of questions with an assessment rubric that avoids rating variances. If someone is rated a 3 you want all your assessors to have the same understanding of what a ‘3’ looks like. That means you have to define that or leverage technology that does that for you.

Be intentional about the technology you choose to interview and assess your applicants, your future employees. The right choice will enhance trust.

3. Gut-based hiring is the fastest route to killing trust – use data instead

Ever experienced that sinking feeling when someone in your team or company gets a promotion and yet no one can understand why they were selected? It’s more demotivating than if an outsider gets the gig because you know it’s probably a reflection of some bias somewhere along the line.

Don’t let that happen to your candidates! It’s critical that they (and even your employees) know that all-important people decisions – like who gets hired and promoted – is made with the help of objective data.

This means avoiding all of this kind of data when making decisions: age, gender, colour or educational background. And dialling up on this kind of data: benchmark data on communication skills and behaviours like curiosity, grit and accountability – see Hiring for Values for further info on this.

Adam Grant, the well-known Wharton Professor and author of numbers NYT bestsellers, recently defined what makes for a good quality interview process on his podcast

“Reinventing the Job Interview” 4 ingredients. None of them suggested relying on gut feel. Instead, it’s about taking a structured approach, using a consistent evaluation rubric, relying on objective data and of course ensuring the candidate experience is truly candidate friendly, safe and accessible for all. Further reading: Give me data to make me smarter!

This matters more than ever now, with more remote workers and work where you need to trust that your people will do the right thing and can be productive while working with less direction and oversight.

You can try out PredictiveHire’s FirstInterview right now, or leave us your details to get a personalised demo 😀




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If the answer is “Yes” then watch the video to see how introducing AI into your hiring will make it 90x  faster and deliver you brilliant results.

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