IBM Creates a Structured, Bias-Free Recruitment Process

Diversity is a key goal for IBM Canada. To help the tech giant reach that goal, the 15-person core recruiting team is comprised of people from different cultures as well as several skilled immigrants.

To find the best possible candidates, and ensure a bias-free selection process, hiring managers are trained on behaviour-based structured interviewing (BBSI) and look at a candidate’s full profile rather than making hiring decisions based on one single factor.

The BBSI interviewers follow a five-step process:

1. Review the job requirements.

2. Ask open-ended, behaviour-based questions.

3. Focus on an applicant’s past performance.

4. Position subsequent questions to solicit a complete behavioural response.

5. Rate the applicant.

Standardized interviews allow the recruiting team to accurately assess the skills and experiences of all candidates, including skilled immigrants. This process incorporates:

  • Resume screening, highlighting specific hard skills related to the job opening. International experience is considered equivalent to Canadian experience, and is often considered a bonus.
  • Phone interviews, consisting of BBSI questions that focus on hard skills (experience, technical skills) and soft skills (positive attitude, analytical skills, results orientation, goal orientation).
  • Face-to-face interviews, consisting of two phases — first with recruiters, then with hiring managers. All recruiters are encouraged to promote equity during the selection process and none are allowed to ask questions that focus only on Canada-specific education and experiences.

Tips for employers

  • Standardized interviews reduce bias and allow recruiters to accurately assess the skills and experiences of all candidates.
  • The recruiting team should include employees from different backgrounds to make the recruitment process inclusive.
  • Use behavioural-based interviews and focus on past performance, rather than on where credentials or experience were obtained.

IBM Canada Ltd. is a leading global provider of advanced IT products and services, operating several plants, laboratories and e-business centres across the country.

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