31 August 2023 |

Recruiting Woes and No’s

By Hebba Youssef

Q: What are your thoughts on behavior tests as part of the recruitment process – DISC / StrengthsFinder?

I think these kinds of assessments are better suited for employees after they are hired to bring awareness to their strengths and opportunities and how they can better work with folks.
During the recruitment process, it may result in screening out qualified candidates. These candidates may be fully qualified for the job, and work really well with the team, but have a personality or style that is not “stereotypical” for that role. People can also score differently on these assessments each time they take them – so how reliable are they really? Lastly – I would not recommend taking on the legal risk of discrimination that comes along with using them to make hiring decisions.

📣 Marcie Chavez, Director of People

I agree with Marcie that these tests can be used to understand strengths (i.e. StrengthFinder) to build the growth and development of an individual or teams who are already on board.  The down side happens when using these ahead of hiring end up being rooted in things like test bias.

What if a specific hiring manager wants candidates that are only great in the Executing domain on StrengthFinders?  As HR folks, we may know that the role needs those strengths, but also could use someone that is heavy in strategic thinking domains.  A leader may gravitate to someone just like them. 

Marginalized groups are also historically impacted by these assessments when used in an unfair way.  A certain ‘personality’ shouldn’t be the driving factor for value add.  These leave an unfair advantage that leans towards even more subjectivity in hiring.

📣  Cassidy Edwards, Director of People Operations At Tradeblock

Q: I want to hire more diverse candidates but I  get a mainly homogenous group applying. Help!

Inspect your job descriptions. Are they full of masculine-coded words like ninja, dominant, fast-pacedborn leader? Sounds like a fraternity recruitment ad. Research shows qualified women are less likely to apply to roles with non-inclusive language.

Audit requirements. Does your early career talent really need a Master’s degree and 5+ years experience? Reduce the minimum requirements to apply. Studies have found that women will only apply to roles where they meet 100% of minimum requirements, whereas men only feel they need to meet 60%.

Intentionally look elsewhere. Expand your recruiting pool to meet your desired candidates where they are. Advertise on HBCU and MSI campuses. Post on women and LGBTQ-focused job boards. Connect with Veteran’s groups.

Is your Recruiting team diverse? Look inward at your own team–are your leaders, Board, talent team diverse?

📣 Cassandra Babilya, Culture Leader & Career Coach

Additionally, look at the marketing materials presented to applicants. Does your careers page, social feeds, and website signal a commitment to diversity and belonging? Are you showing off your company’s unique value to an applicant? Are employees’ voices represented in authentic ways?

📣 Jessie Fields, Talent Development and DEI Leader

Q: How do you recruit when you’re also looking for a new job and don’t love the company you’re recruiting for?

I’ve been in this situation before. I would channel your colleagues that do love the company, and leverage their feedback to candidates. For example, if the employee asks, “What is the culture like here?” think about those employees who love it and what would they say and rephrase it. “Many of our employees would describe it as…”  Because the truth of the matter is, some people thrive in certain companies and situations while others don’t. So while you don’t love it, someone else may.

Additionally, I think it’s imperative to remain professional no matter what. If a candidate asks about things you don’t like about the company, or what are some of the challenges in the company, you shouldn’t paint a rosy picture with no issues or completely vent about all the problems. I think you can tread carefully and be candid, while still positive and professional.

Oh. And try to get out of there as soon as possible and recruit for a company you DO love! 

📣 Marcie Chavez, Director of People

I would think back to times that I really enjoyed working there and what I was doing. It may have been a fun company wide event, or working through a problem with leadership. Channeling that energy helped me sell the company to others and I would forget (momentarily) that I didn’t love it.

📣 Beth Reed, Senior Human Resources Manager