Step Five: Initial Candidate Screening

Objective Assessment

Everyone has bias. As soon as you make an assessment of any person or situation, you have  the potential for bias. Unfortunately, not every job can be exclusively measured according to tangible factors such as sales targets or “number of units produced per hour.” However, before you start evaluating candidates, it is important to establish an objective mindset in your assessment of candidate information.

Personal Bias: As it suggests, this is a subconscious tendency to more generously rate candidates  who  share things in common with the hiring manager (educational background, age, race, gender, interests, etc.). We must be mindful of this tendency when assessing others who may be (very) different from ourselves but who may also be top-performers.

Halo Effect: The Halo Effect is a subtle subjective influence. It occurs when a manager associates a candidate’s strengths in one area (often one  important to the organization) as indicative of the employee’s overall performance – or worse still, causes  the  manager to overlook deficiencies in other key areas given the candidate’s strong delivery on the things important to the manager.

Reviewing Applicants

Now that you (hopefully) have a big pile of resumes thanks to your well-crafted job posting, it is time to start contacting people. Naturally you first want to sort  through these resumes and only contact those  applicants who seem qualified – at least on paper (although most applications these days will of course be electronic). However, don’t be too quick to discard resumes, as you may need to revisit your “back-up pile” at a later date.

This project is funded in part by the Government of Ontario