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Decision making in the recruitment process: How can one avoid biases and subjectivity?

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  1. Introduction
  2. Different types of biases related to decision making in recruitment
  3. Implementing solutions
  4. How do managers proceed in real life?
  5. Recommendations

The way managers deal with staffing process is decisive: they have to be aware of the company's needs, and the different variables that they will have to consider during the process. All those data are going to influence their decision, the way they will chose which applicant to recruit. But as in any decision making process, some elements may alter the manager's decision concerning recruitment. Actually, those elements, called cognitive bias, can be defined as a person's tendency to make errors in judgment based on cognitive factors (i.e., mental processes related to knowledge). For instance, those cognitive biases can concern errors in social attribution or memory. Such biases drastically skew the reliability of any evidence and alter the decision maker's objectivity. In this report, we will consequently study the different types of biases occurring throughout the recruitment process in order to shape solutions to avoid them. We will also study the concept of limited rationality developed by Herbert Simon to understand why rational decisions are not easy to make. Finally, we will compare this theoretical background with real-life examples through the experience of two managers who often have to face those issues. At the end, some recommendations will be shaped to help managers be more objective throughout their decision making process in recruitment.

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