DEI Recruiting Strategy: Fair and Consistent Evaluation

Evaluating your candidates fairly and consistently against success profiles will reduce bias

Embrace human bias in recruiting, counteract with structured assessments

It’s human to have unconscious biases and preferences for the candidates and credentials that we’re already familiar with. While at Google, Laszlo Bock found that interviews are not predictive of future performance. 

Given these challenges, what can we do to accurately assess which candidate is the best fit for the job?

The common thread from leaders is that our screening processes should anchor on corroborated, data-based feedback on what a candidate can do. “We must use frameworks and rubrics so that our ratings are consistent,” John Foster, Chief People Officer of Truecar, says. “If we use a disciplined, pre-defined set of factors with clear definitions, that will result in less biased decisions and more objectivity. It will allow us to overcome gut instincts with numbers and science.”

Actionable Recommendations

Our customers like Zapier, Masterclass, and Coda have been successful by following these steps:

  • Use structured interviews. Evaluate every candidate for a given role against the same competencies, success criteria, and interview questions. Using the same success criteria makes us less vulnerable to our implicit biases and we can catch our assumptions. And when we ask every candidate to go through the same assessment process, we make progress on DEI because it puts everyone on the same playing field.
  • Bring software into your evaluation process to remove bias in human screening. Jeff Diana, Chief People Officer at Calendly, recommends, “Using software to understand candidate talent profiles scientifically is less biased than relying on hiring managers and recruiters to make decisions based on gut instincts.”

  • Train your interviewers and resume screeners. Calendly is committing to getting their recruiters certified that they know how to screen for diversity and embrace diversity in their candidates.
  • Creating reinforcement mechanisms in your process to assess consistently and catch natural biases. Jessica Yuen, advisor and coach to Chief People Officers, shares that “Adding reinforcing mechanisms is important to minimize human errors and balance biases. One company I advised did a double review of each candidate's resume. If both reviewers approved or disapproved, there was no discussion. But if there was a discrepancy, we discussed it to determine why. That helped both with training and with real-time actions.”

This is Step 3 of Searchlight's Playbook for DEI-driven Recruiting.  

  1. Be Data-Driven and Set Targets
  2. Define success criteria based on competencies and capabilities
  3. Evaluate your candidates fairly and consistently
  4. Active source from diverse communities, don’t rely on inbound
  5. Treat Quality of Hire as the North Star to continually improve your recruiting process


Is your team ready to transform your recruiting process? Schedule a call today with our product specialists 

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