HR's Misreading of the Labor Law is #1 Cause of Hiring Bias

HR

In my semi-retired state, I’ve decided to give away my best secrets for recruiting and hiring the top 25% with a new type of training program. Many of them are highlighted in the infographic above. You'll be able to learn and apply them all just by reading Hire with Your Head (4th ed, Wiley. September 2021) and becoming a participating member of our virtual book club.

This audio sample will help you understand the differences between our performance-based approach and more traditional hiring practices. Even though what you'll hear is basic commonsense, HR won't like what's proposed and tell you that you can't use it. Worse, hiring managers will complain at first, too, since they have to define the job as a series of key performance objectives (KPOs) rather than as a list of skills, experiences and competencies. This is despite the fact that they have to clarify job expectations this way during the on-boarding process.

But if you can get past both hurdles, here's what will will happen when you start using the Performance-based Hiring process described in the book to hire people:

  • You'll expand the talent pool to include more diverse, outstanding and high potential talent who have a different mix of skills and experiences than listed on the job description, but who can hit the KPOs out of the park.
  • You'll expose and minimize interviewer bias using the Quality of Hire Talent Scorecard to collect specific evidence to rank the candidate on the factors that accurately predict on -the-job success.
  • You'll increase assessment accuracy using the Hiring Formula for Success in combination with the performance-based interview guide you can download from the online Appendix.
  • You'll avoid mistakes hiring people who talk a good game, but won’t or can’t deliver the results by asking the Most Significant Accomplishment question.
  • You'll increase job satisfaction and minimize turnover by measuring intrinsic motivation to excel.
  • You'll close more offers by offering the best job, not the most money.

Stop Making Legal Excuses for Not Trying to Eliminate Bias This Way

You'll need to show this part to your HR leaders and corporate lawyers if any of them pushback on trying these ideas out. Some background first.

As part of the fourth edition of Hire with Your Head I asked the #1 labor attorney in the U.S. to review the idea of describing work as a series of key performance objectives for legal compliance. You can download his full whitepaper here, but it's also in the book. Here’s his short summary:

… because the Performance-based Hiring system does differ from traditional recruiting and hiring processes, questions arise as to whether employers can adopt Performance-based Hiring and still comply with the complex array of statutes, regulations, and common law principles that regulate the workplace. The answer is yes.

In particular:

  • A properly prepared performance profile can identify and document the essential functions of a job better than traditional position descriptions, facilitating the reasonable accommodation of disabilities and making it easier to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and similar laws. 
  • Focusing on “Year 1 and Beyond” criteria may open the door to more minority, military, and disabled candidates who have a less “traditional” mix of experiences, thereby supporting affirmative action or diversity efforts.
  • Conducting performance-based interviews ensures that the interviews will be structured and properly focused and minimizes the risk of an interviewer inquiring into protected characteristics.

It all comes down to the idea that being more efficient doing the wrong thing often mistakes activity for progress. However, sometimes you have to convince people they're doing the wrong things. It turns out that's often the biggest obstacle to getting better at just about anything.

Posted in: Diversity Hiring, Passive Candidate Recruiting

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