How Hiring Circle helps to uncover talent and remove bias from recruitment


Hiring Circle removes the impact of head-hunter bias by returning control to the candidate on where to apply

cast the net

James Wallis

Bias in this sense has nothing to do with issues such as gender or ethnicity bias. Rather it is a rational response for businesses in both the retained and contingent recruitment process.

It’s very time consuming getting hold of busy candidates and at any level, recruitment is a numbers game. It is virtually impossible (even before taking into account off-limits) that all relevant candidates are approached so traditional search will always be limited in its reach.

Whether it’s a retained search with a market map or a contingent process, it’s natural to focus on the most obvious candidates for a role - people make assumptions about people and recruitment professionals are no different. Assumptions are made about what both candidates and in some cases, the employers, do and don’t want.

This bias is often exacerbated in contingent searches where multiple agencies are engaged and firms may have a 1 in 3 or 1 in 4 chance of earning the fee. They further limit the time spent on a mandate – and become more focused on candidates that are already on their radar and they know to be actively looking. Often they are all chasing the same candidates.

Bias around candidates comes in many forms. It may be an assumption that a candidate would not move between certain banks or funds, in a lot of cases it’s understandable to assume that it ‘wouldn’t make sense’ for the candidate. However, the structure of the candidate’s current team may be restricting their development and progression options, they may not get on with their MD or they may just want a change of direction.

Other assumptions that create natural bias are around:

  • expectations of compensation - some candidates will take a short term pay cut for the right opportunity
  • asset class and strategy – people want to move between asset classes for a variety of good reasons and many of the most successful investment professionals have a range of experiences
  • international candidates – these candidates can be particularly relevant in searches where language skills and knowledge of a particular geography are essential but are often overlooked when a surprising number are open to relocation
  • a recent move – if someone has only been in a role a short time they fall off the radar but far from being uncommitted, these candidates can often be very high quality and motivated if they’ve been unfortunate enough to have made a move that wasn’t right for them

Hiring Circle removes the impact of head-hunter bias by returning control to the candidate on where to apply. It vastly increases reach, unearthing candidates from places employers or recruiters would not typically have thought to look and widens inclusion to produce a more varied and high-quality list of applicants.