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Trust is the leadership and organisational trait for the times 

BY Barbara Hyman

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A special Roy Morgan survey on ‘Trust’ and ‘Distrust’ of government leaders in March this year showed New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern scores the highest ‘Net Trust Score’ of all – meaning the ‘Trust’ felt toward the New Zealand leader far outweighs the ‘Distrust’.

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern has highest ‘Net Trust Score’ of all political leaders while Australian PM Scott Morrison has a ‘Net Distrust Score’ to overcome.

At this very challenging time, Jacinda Arden has stood up to the task. Her ratings are off the charts. How did she do it?

She has built a trusted personal Prime Ministerial brand through her casual clothes and addressing of the people via youtube, whilst sitting on her couch at home, after putting her kids to bed.

Trust is fast becoming or is already the organisational trait that is critical for now …

It’s the lack of trust that limited work from home until now

It’s trust in leadership that makes your workers give lots of discretionary effort

It’s the trust that gets you through the dark times when you have to ‘furlough’ and somehow retain the commitment and loyalty of thousands of your people

For big-name consumer brands, your customers are both the people in the store buying your products and the people who want to work for you. When you only have so many jobs to go around, when your candidates are an extension of your consumer reach, you can still give them dignity, you can do even better and give them a hand up, just by changing how you recruit.

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

2. 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.

3. 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.

 


Suggested Reading:

Fairness Comes When You Replace Humans with Machines

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