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Sometimes things which at first sound really good turn out to be not all that great. Take the recent eclipse for example - can you say overrated? Much ado about nothing?
Ken Leeser, a regular reader, suggested that I check out this article on eliminating bias from hiring. That sounded like it would be a really good thing until I considered this.
You're hiring and you need to identify the ideal salesperson for a particular sales role and you need someone to sell enterprise solutions to the C-Suite. Aside from all of the other requirements, you'll need to find someone who has done this before. But if you don't have access to employment history, you have no idea what they've sold and who they've sold it to so you can't determine if they have done this before. And since you won't be able to guess how old they might be you won't know if they are mature enough to call on the C-Suite. In order to be efficient in your selection process you'll need to apply some hiring bias!
How about if you need to identify candidates to sell nylon stockings to convenience stores, supermarkets and department stores. Ideally, you would probably prefer a woman for this role but if names are hidden to prevent hiring bias, you might find yourself wasting a lot of time interviewing older men. In order to be efficient in your selection process you'll need to apply some hiring bias!
How about if you need to identify candidates for a BDR/SDR top of the funnel role? In this case you would probably not care whether your candidates were male or female but since most of the people in these roles are recent college graduates, you would want to see how recently they graduated from college. But if that information is hidden to prevent hiring bias, you might find yourself wasting a lot of time interviewing experienced salespeople who would have no interest in a role like this.
What if you need to identify candidates to sell rock crushers or some other heavy duty equipment that requires physical strength to push, pull or drag the equipment around at demos? In this case you would probably prefer to hire a younger male who is in excellent physical condition. Not being able to view prior employment and having experience hidden to prevent hiring bias would make it impossible to identify people who might fit the description of what you would need, causing you to waste everyone's time.
What if you need to identify a salesperson who is physically located in the territory you need represented? An address, hidden to prevent hiring bias, would prevent you from filtering on the appropriate candidates, causing you and your candidates to waste a tremendous amount of time.
The concept of preventing hiring bias is a good one but when it comes to hiring salespeople I have bias against it.
At the same time, if this is where the world is heading, it's another great reason to use Objective Management Group's (OMG) predictive sales candidate assessments. Using these up front early in the recruiting process allows you to identify those who will succeed in the given role, eliminating a tremendous amount of the time you would otherwise be wasting.