Maximize Your Company’s Perceived Fairness

2022 CandE Report Takeaway #6.

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Feb 14, 2023
This article is part of a series called 2022 CandE Report Takeaways.

Despite the pervasive use of video technologies like Zoom in the workplace, job candidates still prefer good old-fashioned in-person interviews to those conducted via video, according to Talent Board’s 2022 candidate experience benchmark research.

One of the key reasons for this has to do with perceived fairness.

North American candidates perceive in-person interviews to be the fairest type of interview, followed by live video interviews, which are followed by recorded video interviews. Clearly, candidates like to see who’s interviewing them. Also, when candidates are being screened and interviewed for a position, their perception of fairness tends to remain high — at least until they’re told they’re out of the running.

Here are a few other trends related to candidates and perceived fairness from our 2022 report:

  • North American candidates gave employers a 23% lower overall NPS rating for interview fairness in 2022 than they did in 2019, almost certainly due to employers’ ongoing post-pandemic reliance on video-based interviewing.
  • Among the various types of assessments employers use, job simulations had the highest level of perceived fairness overall, followed by reviewing and responding to case studies.
  • Black and Hispanic candidates had a much higher perception of assessment fairness than white candidates — 60% higher overall. Black and Hispanic candidates also had a 45% higher perception of interview fairness than White candidates.
  • Females had a 27% higher perception of fairness regarding assessments than males did.
  • Gen Z had a much higher perception of assessment fairness than all other generations — 65% higher than the next-highest generation (Millennials). Gen Z also had a 65% higher perception of interview fairness than the next two highest generations (Millennials and Gen X).
  • Professional candidates rated their phone screening fairness NPS 29% lower than hourly candidates and 31% lower in overall interview NPS.

All of this brings up an interesting issue. In the candidate experience, perceived fairness matters almost as much as actual fairness.

Think of it this way: your TA team could be taking great pains to minimize unconscious bias in your recruiting process and to ensure an objectively fair candidate experience. Yet, candidates may still walk away with the perception that you’ve treated them unfairly simply because they didn’t like the type of interview you conducted, or the format of your application, or the assessments you used.

Fairness, it seems, is in the eye of the beholder — or the candidate, in this case.

Tips for Maximizing Perceived Fairness

Even though you can’t completely control candidates’ perceptions about fairness, it’s wise to do what you can to keep those perceptions positive. After all, they impact your company’s public reputation as well as your ability to recruit new talent and get valuable referrals. Candidates’ willingness to refer others, for instance, increased 105% in 2022 when they gave their interview fairness four- and five-star ratings.

Some steps you can take to maximize perceived fairness in your company’s candidate experience include conducting structured interviews (asking the same questions of each candidate in the same order so that responses can be more fairly compared and analyzed), being transparent about pay (being secretive or withholding pay information breeds suspicion and may even send qualified candidates to competitors), and providing feedback at the screening/interview stage (when specific feedback was given to candidates at this stage, their willingness to refer others increased by nearly 50% and their willingness to increase their relationship with the employer increased by 40%).

You can download our complete 2022 benchmark research report here for more insights on how to improve your company’s perceived fairness and its overall candidate experience. And I’ll dive deeper into the value of conducting structured interviews in my next post.

Be safe and well.

This article is part of a series called 2022 CandE Report Takeaways.
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