When employers adopt fair and merit-based hiring practices, they will be assured of identifying the most suitable candidates for their organisation, say experts from Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices.
Cultivating an effective workforce is at the forefront of every employer’s list of priorities and it begins with hiring the best-fit employees for the role. When employers adopt fair and merit-based hiring practices, they will be assured of identifying the most suitable candidates for their organisation.
When recruitment is merit-based, employers are also able to tap on a wider and naturally more diverse talent pool. Research suggests that when an organisation has a diverse workforce, it is more likely to have greater innovation, collaboration, and overall better performance.
Thus, employers seeking to build high-performing teams should consider these practical steps for better hiring results:
#1 Conduct a job analysis
Regardless of whether recruitment is required to urgently replace an exiting employee or as part of a longer-term plan to expand the team, a job analysis should be conducted prior to kickstarting the hiring process. As part of this, the employer should consider the following:
- What are the tasks and responsibilities of the role?
- What are the specific skills and knowledge required to perform the role successfully?
- What are the qualities and attributes required for a person to carry out this role well?
- What would ‘success’ look like for this role? These may be visible and measurable outcomes that should be apparent if the job is done well.
This will provide the employer with clarity on the exact requirements of the role, and ensure that the recruitment process focuses on these, and is free from any biases.
#2 Create a diverse recruitment team
While recruitment is traditionally considered the responsibility of HR, employers should consider assembling a diverse action team that can participate in the recruitment process and provide valuable feedback on the organisation’s hiring strategy and practices as well as the candidates themselves. This may be a short-term team put together for a single recruitment cycle and made up of diverse individuals from different backgrounds and levels of the organisation, to ensure that varied constructive viewpoints are considered at different stages of the hiring process.
For example, at the job analysis stage, an employee who is familiar with the day-to-day tasks of the role may provide feedback on the job scope, while a supervisor from a different team may share ideal employee attributes and skills that would promote better cross-team collaboration. These insights can help HR create a more targeted and accurate job description to be used in job advertisements. The Fair and Progressive Employment Index (FPEI) offers useful tips and ideas for employers seeking to put together diverse action teams.
#3 Maintain a fair and consistent hiring process
When recruitment is carried out in a fair, consistent and systematic manner, job candidates’ responses can be taken as a true reflection of their skills and abilities, rather than due to variations in the recruitment process. With this, employers can be assured that they are ultimately hiring the best-fit employees for their workforce. These are some ways to ensure a consistent and fair hiring process:
- Ensure non-discriminatory language is used in job advertisements.
- Tap on different sources such as the MyCareersFuture job portal to ensure sufficient reach to a diverse talent pool.
- Have an objective set of standard questions and interview script for interviewers.
- Provide training for interviewers and hiring managers on the practical skills of fair interviewing and hiring.
#4 Validate the recruitment process
The recruitment process does not end once the hiring is done. As a best practice, employers should evaluate the effectiveness of their recruitment process to understand if it is a valid one that consistently produces positive results. This can be done by reviewing past hires to identify whether employees who fared well in the recruitment selection process are also effective contributors to the organisation.
In some instances, this exercise may show that while some candidates do well at the hiring stage, they do not perform optimally in the actual job role. This suggests gaps in the hiring process that will need to be addressed. HR should then review the following:
- Does the advertised list of requirements for the job reflect the actual role and tasks that need to be carried out?
- Has the hiring process been consistent across the recruitment cycles? Is there a pattern of poor or good hires when certain processes have been dropped or changed?
- Does the recruitment team have the same understanding of how to accurately evaluate the candidates, so there is no subjective bias?
Creating a fair and merit-based recruitment process is an important step for employers who want to ensure they hire the best-fit candidates for a job, who have the skills, knowledge and attributes to contribute to overall organisational success. To stay relevant in a competitive hiring market, employers should also consider ways to assess their hiring and other employment practices against industry benchmarks. This would ensure that they have fair and progressive practices which will in turn, help to attract the right talent.
The Fair and Progressive Employment Index (FPEI) is a free, online self-assessment tool that allows employers to evaluate organisational workplace culture and benchmark their practices against industry peers. The FPEI offers insights and recommendations on how employers can leverage their workforce for better business and employee results.
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