Hiring the right new grads: Avoiding bias and gut feel in the hiring process

November 4, 2019 By David Hammond

Bridging the gap between employers and a new generation of job seekers

According to one estimate, nearly 2 million people in the U.S. will earn bachelor’s degrees during the 2019-20 academic year. If you’re an employer hoping to hire some of the best and brightest from that group, the question is: Which ones are right for your business?

Even with today’s historically low unemployment, the number of applicants per job can run into the hundreds. And many recent college graduates who are eager to begin their careers have impressive GPAs and long lists of accomplishments. As they studied for finals and said goodbye to friends, they were also honing their resumes and polishing their interviewing skills.

So, HR teams not only have a lot of resumes to sort through, they also have to find the right candidates among a group of similarly qualified, highly motivated graduates — without the benefit of a work history to help them do it. How do they eliminate bias from the equation? How can they ensure that they don’t rely on outdated and even inaccurate assumptions about what makes one new-hire candidate stronger than another?

Cutting through the bias

For an increasing number of businesses, a pre-employment assessment is an essential tool in maintaining an objective and effective hiring process that identifies the right candidates for the right positions. It can eliminate the biases and over reliance on “gut feel” that lead to the regrettable hiring decisions that hurt employers and candidates.

Look at one commonly held bias as an example. Nearly every employer assumes that the more prestigious the college or university, the better the candidate. After all, these institutions spend a lot of effort and brainpower weighing the merits of their own applicants. But does this assumption play out over an employee’s career? Are these candidates the best fit for an existing position, and will they be the right fit for the employer’s future needs? Just as important, will the new hire have a rich and rewarding career with the employer?

Uncovering insight on candidate qualities

A pre-employment assessment can zero-in on the traits that aren’t always obvious from a resume or interview. It can help employers better anticipate how a candidate would react in the real-world situations that matter most. It can also provide a data-driven context for a hiring decision that doesn’t rely on credentials alone. There’s a tremendous pool of talented college graduates that hiring managers might be overlooking due to their assumptions about which criteria separate good candidates from the pack. The right pre-employment assessment gives employers the confidence that they’re not bypassing the right candidates for the wrong reasons.

Providing value to the job seeker

Finally, a pre-employment assessment can be just as valuable to the recent college grad as a potential employer. It offers job seekers unique insight into how employers see them. It can highlight the strengths that help them stand out and the shortcomings they might want to address to land the job they want. Younger employees also want to know that their employers value them and are willing to invest in their future. Pre-employment assessments can be an important source of data for career coaching programs that help employers retain the talent they work so hard to attract in the first place.

Interested in learning more? Watch this on-demand webinar to learn how to hire the best talent while providing an engaging candidate experience.

Filed Under
  • HCM
  • Talent Science
  • Worldwide
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