- Nearly half (45%) of more than 1,500 employees say they’ve rejected jobs after a negative interview experience, according to a survey released Sept. 21 by hiring software company Greenhouse.
- Almost 40% of respondents who identified as Black have faced discriminatory questions, compared to 31% of White respondents. Respondents identifying as female are almost 20% more likely to be faced with illegal interview questions compared to their male counterparts, according to the survey. Discriminatory questions employees say they’ve been asked include what their child arrangements were, if they were a member of the LGBTQIA+ community and where they were “really from.”
- An employer’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion matters: More than 68% of respondents said that a diverse interview panel is fundamental to better hiring experiences and outcomes, the survey found.
“Candidates find out the reality of what a company prioritizes and values early in the interviewing process,” Donald Knight, Greenhouse’s chief people officer, stated in a release. “If you’re claiming to be something you’re not, you’re catfishing prospective employees, and people will find out,” he warned.
There are solutions. Understanding that the hiring process is part of an overall brand experience is a starting point, according to 2021 findings by Modern Hire. That brand must come through in a strong, seamless experience, the findings noted. For this to happen, each step of the hiring process must be carefully crafted, Modern Hire recommended.
One vital step is to ensure the interviewers are properly trained, Greenhouse noted. This includes training on communication basics: 42% of employees say they’ve had their name mispronounced during a job interview, highlighting how many companies are failing to create a positive and inclusive interview experience, the survey explained. Seventy percent said they wanted feedback after the interview, yet more than three-quarters said they had been ghosted instead.
Proper training will also keep interviewers from asking questions that indicate bias or disregard for DEI, a clear turn-off for prospective hires. Nearly all (92%) of the survey’s respondents believe a healthy, diverse and inclusive company culture is integral to whether or not they consider taking a job, according to Greenhouse.
Certain questions are illegal to ask. Federal law prohibits interviewers from inquiring about a candidate’s disability or genetic information, such as a family member’s medical history, according to a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission FAQ.
Simply by having recruiters ask, “Do you need anything?,” when they reach out for the first interview or Zoom call is more inclusive and considerate of candidates with disabilities, an expert previously told HR Dive. Oftentimes, a good accommodation for one person will be universally applicable to many people, another expert said.
To guard against implicit bias and improve fairness in the screening process, hiring managers should consider structured interviews, such as asking the same questions of each candidate and using the same language against a standardized scorecard, Perry Oostdam, the CEO and co-founder of Recruitee, wrote in an op-ed for HR Dive.
Structure is also important for group interviews, a strategy favored by hiring managers in sales and event planning, experts told HR Dive in 2021. Interviewers should set up ahead of time clear-cut criteria, such as ability to do the job, alignment to company culture and growth potential, an exec suggested.