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Recruiting staff: what to do to recruit better

“We spend the most time at work. And working experience should not be demotivating or unpleasant, ”said Laszlo Bock, Google’s vice president of human resources. This book is a manifesto that can change the way you work and look for employees.

Based on psychology and the latest developments in behavioral economics, examples from the experience of Google and small successful companies, Laszlo Bok tells how to create a company that is appreciated and listened to by employees, and in which they dream of working.

Why do instincts prevent us from being good recruiters and what to do to better recruit
The motto for the Head & Shoulders shampoo ad campaign in the 1980s was:

“You will not have a second chance to make a first impression.” * Unfortunately, this fully reflects the way most interviewers work. Entire volumes are devoted to the significance of the “first five minutes” of the interview. We are told how the interviewer conducts the initial assessment, and the rest of the interview time is spent to confirm it. And if he likes you, he will try to find a reason to love you even more. If the interviewer does not like your handshake or poor presentation, then you can assume that the interview is over: in the remaining time, he will look for a reason to refuse you. Such small moments that will subsequently be used to make major decisions are called “thin slices”.

* The authorship of this aphorism in various sources is attributed to both Coco Chanel and Bernard Shaw. Note ed.

Tricia Prikett and Neha Gada-Jane, two psychology students from the University of Toledo, together with their professor Frank Bernieri published a study in 2000. It said that the judgments made in the first 10 seconds of the interview determine the final result. Scientists made this conclusion by recording interviews on video and then letting their participants view short excerpts.

“Thin slices” were cut from each interview, from the moment the candidate knocks on the door to the last 10 seconds after he sits on a chair. Then all this was demonstrated to objective observers. The latter scored points on such factors as suitability for employment, competence, erudition, ambitiousness, reliability, self-confidence, nervousness, warm attitude, politeness, ability to find oneself and expressive opportunities. For 9 out of 11 variables, judgments based on “thin slices” were largely correlated with the final conclusions of the interviewers. Thus, the direct impressions of the handshake and brief presentation determined the outcome of a clearly structured job interview.

The problem is that these predictions of the first 10 seconds are useless. As a result, all the time of the interview is spent on confirming what we think about the person, and not on trying to give him a fair assessment. Psychologists call this “the bias of confirmation – the desire to find, interpret or prioritize information so as to confirm their own beliefs or hypotheses.” Based on a short-term interaction, we make instant unconscious judgments, largely due to our inclinations or opinions. Without realizing it, we are moving from the assessment of the candidate to finding evidence to reinforce the first impression of him *. Malcolm Gladwell talked with University of Michigan psychologist Richard Nisbett about an unintentional human tendency to self-deception.

* The bias of affirmation is one of many ways in which the unconscious forces us – albeit inadvertently – to make wrong decisions. In an attempt to build a less biased and more acceptable work environment for everyone, we at Google sought to minimize prejudice. We talked about efforts in this direction in the article “You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know.
The illusory idea is based on the fact that we are subconsciously sure that we understand what is happening and are unmistakably able to recognize the nature of the person sitting in front of us … When you interview someone for an hour, you don’t perceive what is happening as a cast from personal behavior, much less make allowance for possible prejudice – and it is present. No, you perceive what is happening as a hologram: a small but voluminous image of the personality as a whole.

In other words, most interviews are a waste of time, because 99.4% of the time is spent trying to confirm the impression that the interviewer formed in the first 10 seconds. “Tell me about you”; “What is your main weakness?”; “What is your main strength?” Nonsense.

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