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The new trend for shortlisting is to go Blind.

Mon 27th January, 2014
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If I be totally honest and frank with you the Saturday night television normally does not fill me with great excitement and generally turned off greatly by the constant dancing or talent competitions. Except one. The Voice on BBC 1 is a particular favourite, not solely because of the song choice or how each individual clearly has been blessed with such talent. The reason I love the first stage of that show is that the Judges eyes are restricted and cannot assess the whole exterior / interior package of the act. I love the fact that each individual is based on the talent within and no other influencing factors that can dissuade the Judge for turning their chairs.

Now, I am not here preaching cliches about "never judge a book by it's cover" or "beauty within" but I do worry how we all (including myself at times) default to how a look of an individual determines their effectiveness. I do understand that built within all of us is the ability to assess an individual quickly based on looks, body language and tone of voice.

The ever increasing popularity of the social media as a very useful pool to fish for talent. Potential employers and recruiters can see so much data about the individual's work history, successes, sometimes highlights potential worrying trends of length of employment with each employer but also appealing or sometimes very unflattering images of the candidate. However, if you fit the corporate image you have immediately made a step forward in the race for the position before any assessment has taken place.

I strongly believe that within the identification of talent that when employer's handles vacancy responses should be wary of being seduced by the image. I can hear counter arguments about certain roles are characteristics protected or customer facing and needs to present a professional image. Industries such as Nutrition and Wellbeing that an overly obese individual with clear issue with weight control would not be a great advocate for their business. To be influenced and shortlist candidate solely based on the image or seduced by the slick profile can be a very costly hire.

The rapid pace in the shift in trends of identifying talent will greatly intensify to focus more on social media with access to successfully looking images of individuals, may potentially fall into the pitfall similar to the creative CV. The exterior presentation of the CV or LinkedIn profile will present you with one of three types truths or 1 fiction; the truth, the extended truth, the creative truth or just straight fiction.

I would still advocate the use of social media as it is very powerful in reaching beyond Traditional media and Job boards. However, before inviting an individual for interview solely based on image, invite individuals in the spirit of like "The Voice" and judge blind.

Blueprint for Blind Recruitment

Advertise your vacancy utilising all methods of social media, job boards, personal re commendations direct the individuals to one location. Once the candidates are fished you can present them with an engaging video from you to outlined your company, it's core values and the scope of the role. Accordingly to a candidate behaviour study conducted by the Careerbuilder in 2013 found that “91per cent believe employment brand plays a key role in their decision whether or not to apply”.

Candidates experience is so important and if the Employer assumes they have the upper hand by having the vacancy and that candidates will have to accept how they communicate or conduct themselves during the assessment, interviewing and hiring process. 35% of all new candidates look for a new job within 2 weeks from starting their new position (Source: Careerbuilder 2012 Candidate Behaviour Study).

When the candidates is interested and engaged with the vacancy then invite them to take part in an on-line 1st stage virtual interview. The objective of the virtual interview is to gather extensive data on the candidates's knowledge, career aspirations, core values compatibility, relevant competency based problem solving as well as relevant situational questions. The combined use of text, image and video to extract responses from candidates to help educate, inform and assess as well as keeping the interest level high and committed.

One clear benefit is the ability to reduce the time input appointed individuals have to make in conducting pre-qualifying telephone calls or large scale 1st stage face to face interviews. The data would also be helpful resource for organisation involved in costly assessment days. Clearly the need to see how a candidate interacts with another is vital within assessment days, but you can shorten the length of qualifying time to reach the shortlisted candidates.

Therefore, armed with comprehensive data with which you have a greater grasp of who is sitting in front of you and instead of data gathering questions during the initial stages of the interview, probe for additional data on the responses you do have.

The decision on the successful candidate has been influenced by systematic data harvesting and comparison to the employers ideals. The analysis of situational responses can reveal a compatibility that when a situation presents itself (usually after honeymoon period) that you can be confident that the individual default response is satisfactory.

The Blind shortlisting method is the way forward and that on-line systems like nutsandboltsit.co.uk can help you maximise time, reduce shortlisting costs as well protect against unfair discriminations claims. The new trend in shortlisting is to go Blind.