Do you or anyone you know have a sixth sense when it comes to recruitment? Is that “sense” completely unbiased and effective? If you answered “yes”, then you are not being truthful to yourself!
Statistics tell us that when hiring staff we get it “right” (That is a star performer, not just average or good) about 25% of the time. Imagine for a moment that you have a process you use in your surgery that delivers the right result for you only 25% of the time, what would you think of your process, not a lot I would guess!
So, how do you make up your mind when confronted with a hiring decision be it for a dentist, practice manager or chairside assistant? Well, generally people tend to prefer one of the two following approaches:
One of these approaches is using our “gut feeling”; you will recognise this because you will hear yourself or others say after an interview such things as “I really like the way they answered that question” or “I really like how they maintained eye contact during our meeting”
The main problem with this approach is that it can never be reliable enough. No matter how many times it may have helped you make the right decision in the past, it will still be just a game of dice the next time you use it. And, on top of that, have you ever considered what exactly is this gut feeling and how does it work? Bruce Henderson, founder of the Boston Consulting Group, defined it as “the subconscious integration of all experiences, conditioning, and knowledge of a lifetime, including the cultural and emotional biases of that lifetime.” This doesn’t sound very professional or scientific when it comes to recruiting new people for your team, now does it?
The second approach that people use when facing a decision is what they imagine to be the rational analysis. This approach consists of trying to methodically examine all the available information and data in order to reach a conclusion. This may sound as unbiased as it can get, but is it?
In most cases, even while every owner and practice manager may adopt and implement programs that they believe to be free of bias, they still fall short of addressing unconscious biases. Dr Banaji, a social psychologist at Harvard University, explains that “discrimination is veiled, not explicit, but rather more implicit, unconscious, because we ourselves are unaware of it”.
In his book, Everyday Bias, noted diversity consultant Howard J. Ross points to many studies indicating that these sorts of blind spots are ubiquitous in our lives. “Virtually every important decision we make in life is influenced by these biases, and the more they remain in the unconscious, the less likely we are to make the best decisions we are able to make.”
Some of these biases include:
The tendency for people to seek out information that conforms to their pre-existing views, and ignore information that goes against their views. For example, when an interviewer forms a distinct opinion about a candidate based on a minute piece of information such as the college they attended, before the actual interview, he or she is succumbing to confirmation bias. Great candidates may not make it to the interview or be perceived as less competent than others because of these assumptions. Your practice may be decreasing your chances of hiring great candidates due to interviewing confirmation bias.
The tendency to favour members of your own group (or those that you have more in common with). This bias can result in making poor hiring decisions by choosing a candidate entirely based on subjective criteria such as shared interests, hobbies, education, age, professional background or even similarities of appearance or name.
The process of cherry picking the information that we do like to perceive, while ignoring the ones that would contradict our beliefs. This goes hand in hand with the in-group bias. When we find a candidate that matches our initial preferences, we tend to notice only his or hers positive features, while unconsciously filtering out all the data that would contravene our viewpoint.
Status quo bias:
The fact that we would almost every time prefer the familiar things – the ones that we are already comfortable with. This bias prevents diverse hiring by making us prone to selecting the same type of employees that we have chosen in the past.
All of these could interfere with your reasoning. So what can we do in order to overcome all of these biases and use objective judgment when recruiting candidates?
Adding science to your dental practice hiring process is a great way to make the best decisions. This means using objective validated assessment systems to identify the candidates that suit your practice.
Lest face it, everyone’s competing for the best talent in today’s tough marketplace. Our recently launched cloud-based, next generation People Assessment Platform gives you the edge you need to get ahead.
Great people Inside (GPI) (www.greatpeopleinside.com) provides validated easy-to-use tools and processes to attract, assess, match, select, on board, manage, develop, benchmark and maintain workforces anywhere in the world. No longer is it expensive “one size fits all” assessments. With GPI it’s easy to select fully tailored data or measure only what you need, and what more you only pay for what you need!
Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your practice, can be a very challenging task. It requires a deep knowledge of your own dental practice culture and a keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your practice forward.
Of course, you can keep doing what you’ve always done too!
Where to from here?
Do you want to identify, select and retain the right people for your practice? Contact us today for an obligation free discussion and a free trial.
David Leahy, Director Directions Unlimited M: 0405-691-845
About Directions Unlimited: We are a specialist provider of customised people solutions and services to local and international clients. We provide state of the art assessment and development solutions to help you select, match, on-board, manage, develop, engage and retain top talent.