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  • benjaminnewman01

Mod. 3 Activity - Re-Imagining the Hiring Process

Updated: Jun 29, 2023


Reflecting on the extensive list of “Cognitive Biases in Decision Making,Links to an external site.” which do you think are most challenging or problematic when trying to craft an inclusive and equitable hiring process?

All biases make inclusive and equitable hiring decisions a challenge. The sheer amount of biases outlined in this article demonstrate how many unconscious influences there are that could impact a hiring decision. Attentional bias and the Mere Exposure Effect really resonated personally with me as two areas I need to be aware of that impact my own impressions of someone during a hiring process. One way I can imagine utilizing this list is to have everyone on the hiring committee review this list and have each one share 3 biases they personally identify as areas in which they know their bias may come through in order to create accountability during candidate review.


PART 2 - INCLUSION SCAN Using either Tema Okun’s “Characteristics of White Supremacy CultureLinks to an external site.,” and/or Sins Invalid’s “10 Principles of Disability JusticeLinks to an external site.”

  • “Decode” a position description or job posting from your organization (or one from a publicly-posted position) using either or both of the articles as a guide. Please insert the copy at the end of this document or link to the job posting.

  • What surprised you?

  • Where were you challenged?

  • How did this provide insights into the way your organization (or the organization you reviewed a posting for) conveys the role/opportunity?

  • Are there any ways you might consider doing things differently based on this experience?

  • What other questions does this raise for you?

The company’s values surprised me. On the surface they appear to be very welcoming, but rather than look at what is included in the values, I noticed what wasn’t included. By asking myself what the opposite values might be, or in an effort to get out of the binary, what are my personal values that either align or do not align with the values included here. Of note to me are “Tenacious”, “Integrity”, and “Humor”.

These specific values challenged me because tenacity is a red flag for a workplace culture that asks its employees to overwork themselves that connects to individualism and urgency as values within White Supremacy Culture. Outlining integrity tells me there have been challenges in the past in this company where leadership has hired people who acted without integrity, which means the company culture either supports or at least tolerates a lack of integrity in the workplace and aligns to White Supremacy through Denial & Defensiveness as well as Fear. The most puzzling to me of the values outlined is humor. This connects to Right to Comfort & Fear of Conflict that someone in leadership or the board might say something that is offensive or inappropriate, but an employee has no outlet for bringing it up because it can be aligned to the company’s value of humor and the employee can be told “not to take it personally” or “don’t be so sensitive.”


PART 3 - KSA's & KEY ANCHORS Consider the knowledge, skills, abilities, and what might be the key anchors of the role you reviewed above. List 3 for each category – Knowledge, Skills, Abilities – as well as two key anchors for the role.


  • Opera and Opera Production

  • Contracting independent contractors

  • Filing visa applications for visiting foreign artists


  • Team management

  • Accurate database management

  • Scheduling and company management


  • Emotionally mature demeanor

  • Good listening skills and strategic thinking

  • Regular interdepartmental collaboration

Key Anchors

  • Outstanding administrative and organizational skills

  • High attention to detail and accuracy


PART 4 - NETWORK MAP Consider your own network and possible sourcing options. Review your network and connections in relation to the KSAs and key anchors of this particular role:

  • Current/Previous Jobs

  • Family/Friends/Mentors

  • Community (e.g., Sports, Charities, Religious affiliations, Neighbors),

  • Alumni/Professional affiliations

  • People with whom you interact on a regular basis (e.g., Barista, Neighbor)

  • Does what you notice in this map start to surface a strategy for you?

  • Might you need a hiring committee or other members of the team to also do this activity?

  • Is there a list developing of the people you would email, send a note on LinkedIn, etc.?

  • Are there people in your network (or others) who might know people who are interested in this job?

  • Where might people aligned with this role might be “hanging out” (where might you post)?

I am a big believer in using my network and connections in order to find candidates for an open position. I think a strategy that involves a combination of personal and professional outreach and job postings on various platforms including both general and industry specific support the greatest number of people seeing the job opportunity. If my city has an arts district I would look at posting fliers within spaces where they allow for public posting.


PART 5 - CRAFTING THE INTERVIEW Consider what questions or scenarios would help you understand/build confidence in the knowledge, skills, and abilities as articulated above that are required to be successful in this role.

  • Generate a list of 5-7 questions and scenarios that get to what you are trying to learn:

  • How might you assign them to each of 3 interview rounds?

  • Is there a way to Identify helpful resources or information that you might share with candidates in advance to help test or aid being able to better understand how

  • Draft the interview script for your first interview that allows it to be highly structured.

  • Develop a rubric for the first interview to help you assess the candidate responses to your questions.

Interview questions and scenarios:

Q1: What motivated you to apply for this position and why do you think you’d be a good fit for the role?

(Goal: Give the interviewer a low pressure question to begin in order to help get out the jitters that may be present on both sides of the table.)

Q2: Our company has a strong culture of xxx values, how do these align within your own values both personally and professionally?

(Goal: To gain insight into whether the candidate has considered their own values as an element of who they are.)

Q3: Please share how you might respond in the following scenario: A coworker with whom you have been friendly received some critical feedback from their supervisor and is visibly upset. How would you respond?

(Goal: To get a sense of how they view themselves and their role in conjunction with others within the company during stressful situations to get a sense of whether or not they are a team player.)


PART 6 - THE OFFER How might you re-imagine the offer and negotiation phase of the search process to shift the often one-sided power differential?

The offer and negotiation stage of a job search is perhaps the area I feel the most passionate about. I believe the degree of consideration that is given to senior executive searches needs to also be applied in searches for lower level positions. I’m not suggesting that the same process be applied, but rather, that the spirit contained within the level of consideration be applied to the candidate selected. Meaning, if this person is going to make a lasting impact for your company, then their needs must be considered and supported by the company. For example, covering the costs of relocation is generally reserved for senior level appointments, but asking what resources the company could provide to help a lower level candidate consider the opportunity would not only send a message that the candidate is valued, but also provide a key insight into the candidates needs and values within their personal life that will contribute to their ongoing success with the company.

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