Manage Unconscious Biases to Improve Procurement Recruitment

Resumes can be classified into three categories. These are unsuitable, acceptable and perfect. Most recruiters will use such descriptions when sorting through a pile of curriculum vita. The classification usually stems from practice or habit, but it more accurately reflects unconscious biases. The simple truth of the matter is that a page or a few sheets of information do not properly indicate if a candidate is suitable or not. Unacceptability or complete irrelevance is easy to judge. Lack of adequate education or training, absence of expertise or experience and other pertinent factors can be easily identified, flagged and then used to dismiss some resumes. The potential candidates need a more nuanced assessment that overcomes unconscious biases.

The facts presented in any curriculum vitae will always matter but they should be consequential only to an extent. The actual interview, the personality of the candidate and their ability to adapt to the new work environment for optimum delivery should be the subsequent decisive factors. Unfortunately, the unconscious biases that dominate the approach to any assessment during procurement recruitment are not limited to comparing resumes. The biases persist even while conducting an interview. What is presumed of a candidate weighs substantially and even the most seasoned interviewer struggles to look past the obvious to identify traits that make a potential recruit better or worse than others.

The objective is not just to recruit someone who can contribute. The goal is to hire the best. This calls for a consolidated approach to completely avoid unconscious biases. Snippets of facts rarely provide the true picture and there is much more about a professional than just the highlights of their career or training. Procurement recruitment will receive an immense boost if all unconscious biases are avoided right from the start, not just during or after the interview.