Talent Circles

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The unique power of evaluating job candidates as a group (Harvard Business School & Kennedy School Research)

By Marylene Delbourg-Delphis

If you have never considered evaluating job candidates as a group (rather than one at a time), read this article published by the Harvard Business School: Better by the Bunch: Evaluating Job Candidates in Groups. The first paragraph says it all:  "New research suggests that organizations wishing to avoid gender stereotyping in the hiring or promotion process-and employ the most productive person instead—should evaluate job candidates as a group, rather than one at a time."

The article summarizes a report resulting from the collaboration between the Harvard Business School and the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS): When Performance Trumps Gender Bias: Joint versus Separate Evaluation. HKS Professor Iris Bohnet, doctoral student Alexandra van Geen, and HBS Professor Max H. Bazerman coauthored the document. The report is supported by a thorough scientific analysis whose parameters have been carefully thought-out.  

So now, how can you leverage this? By simply using TalentCircles. With TalentCircles, you can, of course, perform one-on-one interviews with candidates, record these interviews, take notes and send the link to hiring managers, who in turn will be able to give you immediate feedback. What you can also do just as easily is to perform group video evaluation. Here is how you proceed:

1) You send an invitation to members of your TalentCircles network, a subset of this network (that we call "circle"), or to people who have not yet joined your network. You can invite up to 20 candidates for a group video live (inviting more people could be impractical — so you may want to switch to our webinar mode).                  

2) Once the candidates are in the video booths, they can interact via video and also send text remarks. Meanwhile, the recruiter can write notes on what he/she sees.
Candidates in the video both

3) As the conversation unfolds, the recruiter can also check the participants' live profiles in the network and include work history, education, and any other information they have added.

Checking profile information

4) During the conversation, participants can discuss documents that have been communicated to the candidates, as well as documents that are presented in real-time to the participants for instant discovery and analysis.
Discussing a document with the candidates

5) The entire conversation can be recorded and sent to a hiring manager for evaluation.

Joint evaluation is a powerful tool: it encourages judgments based on people’s real-time performance and attitude — both how they answer questions and how they behave within a group. Incidentally, it's also a very cost-effective way to evaluate lots of people at once! Of course, after your group interview is done, you can choose to conduct thorough one-on-one video interviews!


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