We've unpacked 5 reasons why lack of professional support is a common operational problem a business owner deals with and how to fix it.
First, let's focusing on Reason #1. It’s important because it instantly puts you at risk of employment lawsuits and high turnover costs; PLUS, practically every business owner is responsible for hiring their own staff. So, let’s get down to business.
Reason #1: Lack of Professional Support Leaves You Vulnerable to Making Hiring Decisions Based on Your Gut Feelings Instead of Legally Defensible Criteria
During a lot of hiring processes, the job offer is commonly given to someone based on:
How acceptable they appear to be
What they’ve done in the past
How well they seem to fit in
An interview is often a required part of the process, because it helps the hiring manager decide whether a job candidate looks the part, can do the work, and fits in the job and business.
And while the interview is a very helpful part of a selection process, relying on your gut feelings about how an interview went doesn’t help you hire the best person for the job. Feelings can be unreliable because they change quickly and are not free from our own shortcomings. This leaves us vulnerable to making discriminatory hiring decisions.
To understand why this happens, we need to understand a lesson from psychology.
Every day you have to make countless decisions about your business: how to fund it, what the most appropriate sources of funding are, what legal structure to choose, whether to develop new products or get into strategic alliances to place the business at a profitable position, how to recruit and hire the most competent staff, what suppliers and distribution channels for products are right for the business, how to market your product and bring it closer to your target customer. If you’re honest about the choices you’ve made in the past, you can admit they weren’t all quality decisions; some were rational, and some were not.
Why aren’t all of our decisions rational, despite even our best efforts?
Well, psychologists have taught us that human beings try to make the best decisions (such as weighing the costs and benefits of a choice) but our cognitive limitations prevent us from being fully rational. Time and cost constraints limit the quantity and quality of the information that is available to us. Moreover, we only retain a relatively small amount of information in our usable memory. And limitations on intelligence and perceptions constrain the ability of even very bright decision makers to accurately make the best choice based on the information that is available.
In other words, regardless of how smart you are, you can’t rely on your gut feelings (i.e., perception/intelligence) to make the best hiring decisions for your company, because your decisions/judgments about who to hire will be based on very little factual information.
If you’re relying on your gut feelings to make hiring decisions, it puts you at risk of giving greater weight to present concerns than to future concerns of your business, as well as discriminating against candidates who would have otherwise benefited from gainful employment with your company. Failing to notice obvious and important information that is available to you during your hiring process can lead to costly employment lawsuits. Being aware of the problem does little to reduce bias during your hiring process, and it’s exceedingly difficult to completely remove your bias. But the good news is that you can still do a couple of things to help overcome your faulty decision-making and protect your business from the high cost of an employment lawsuit.
Transition from fast, automatic, effortless, implicit, and emotional information processing to slower, conscious, effortful, explicit, and more logical information processing when making a hiring decision.
Design your organization in a way that makes it harder for your biased mind to skew your judgment by using work-sample tests, structured interviews, and behaviorally anchored rating scales (BARS) during your hiring process.
These are the smart and the right things to do, if you want to hire the best talent instead of those who look the part. Smarter design of your hiring process may not free your mind from your shortcomings, but it can make your biases powerless, breaking the link between biased beliefs and discriminatory - and often costly - actions.
If you are concerned that your gut feelings are keeping you from finding the best talent for your business and putting you at risk of an employment lawsuit, you’re probably right. Access our FREE Operations Starter Kit to take the first step to de-bias your hiring process, so you no longer have to rely on your gut feelings when deciding who to hire. In Part 2 of this blog post, we’ll show you the second reason why lack of professional support is a common operational problem a business owner deals with and how to fix it.
Are you ready to take action now? De-bias your hiring process in Vendor Boot Camp©. Pre-register today.