Happy new year and decade mama! I am excited that you are still visiting this site in 2020. That says a lot to me.
I hope you are committed to running and structuring your home differently in this new year, such that domestic staff issues become a thing of the past. If this is your commitment, then I am right beside you cheering you on.
As this is hiring season, I would want to touch on a topic that has a huge effect on your hiring and will determine if you’ll end up with your ideal domestic staff or not.
Biases are very subtle inclinations or prejudices that creep into our minds without our conscious effort. We do not deliberately determine that we want to exhibit a bias towards or against a certain person or group of people. They are formed through information that we hear, from our personal experiences or from the shared experiences of others.
They may seem simple and innocent at first but if taken a close look at, have the capability of clouding our judgement towards making balanced and independent decisions. This is very critical especially when deciding to hire a domestic staff.
It may look something like this, you had a terrible experience with a domestic staff from a particular state or nationality. When the time comes for you to hire again and the first candidate that gets sent to you is from this state or country, you immediately start to judge this candidate from your past experiences. You may start to read unusual meanings to her answers to your interview questions, judge her gestures unfairly and you may even start to show unpleasant reactions and give unwarranted remarks.
It goes the other way also. If you loved your domestic staff who had to leave your home for one reason or the other, there is a possibility you start to favour a candidate who may be from her state or speak or sound like her.
Biases come in different forms that if not discovered and addressed, will keep you frustrated. One minute you are sure who you are hiring is ideal for your home and few months don the line, you can’t say the same.
I will list three biases that you may be able to identify with and then go ahead to highlight one strategic way to ensure you are not sabotaging your opportunity to hire your ideal domestic staff by habouring these biases.
- Confirmation Bias: This bias leaves you actively looking out for answers, expressions and gestures that confirm what you believe. If you believe that people from a certain state are promiscuous, you already start to judge and interpret the candidate’s dressing to mean something even though that may not be your reaction if it were someone else from another state.
- Halo/Horn Effect: This is when you instant judgement is made based on societal classifications of good or bad. For example, you see someone properly dressed with groomed hair and nails and you automatically develop a liking for that person before she is screened. on the other hand, a candidate who has a tatoo or a piercing on a part other than an ear is instantly demonized and seen as wayward.
- Contrast Bias: It means you are rating the candidate side by side other candidates; good or bad. A candidate should stand on her own during an interview. a candidate could be average but because you compare her with a domestic staff who behaved very poorly and so she automatically stands out as excellent. Whereas, if she was compared with an excellent domestic staff, you wouldn’t see her in such light.
There are many other kinds of biases; bias for someone who belongs to a particular group or community or someone who has been referred by someone you admire and love etc. But with these three examples, you already have a clear picture of the damage biases could cause for your home if not dealt with.
One way to conquer biases and prejudices is by having a standard assessment instrument that helps you measure all candidates’ performance. This means that the only lens by which you would be screening candidates is through the lens of this instrument. There are different tools that could serve this purpose, but one that I would fully recommend is a structured questionnaire and documented interview.
This questionnaire is made up of pre-prepared questions curated after a robust job/role analysis has been done. All candidates are to be asked the questions in the same sequence. Documenting the interview ensures that you can go back and review the answers, think deeply on them and compare answers, not candidates. This instrument ensures that you do not get carried into asking questions that are irrelevant to the job role but may fuel your bias or prejudice. I created on specially for this purpose.
I hope after reading this post, you will be eager to get rid of ingrained biases and get on the journey to hiring your ideal domestic staff.
Have any questions or comments? I’ll be waiting to read them. Drop them below and I’ll answer/respond to them.