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Decision-Makers: How Innovative Managers Hire the Best

Featured in Landman, January/February 2019 / By Melanie B. Bell, CPL, Executive Vice President

Sometimes I receive questions from members about how to locate their next professional role. Invariably, I point them to AAPL’s Career Center at AAPLConnect as one resource. Sometimes we talk about the need for an eective résumé and LinkedIn profile. Occasionally a member condes to me that they suspect their age or gender could be a factor in their failure to locate a new position.

Recently, a member shared with me about a job posting that described the ideal candidate as someone holding a degree from an AAPL-accredited program and having no experience or one year of landwork experience. The member was the successful candidate, but the job oer came with the title of land tech — not landman. She met the requirement of a degree from an AAPL-accredited college, and she even had multiple internships as a landman. She was confused as to why a hiring decision-maker would change the job title from what was advertised to a position that is compensated at a lower pay scale, yet the job duties remained the same as those described in the job posting.

Another member described 24 months of hardly any interviews for landman roles despite a broad and deep set of landwork experiences over a 30-plus-year career. He believes he can’t land interviews because hiring decision-makers think he will not be in the job long due to his age. The truth is he wants to work for many years to come. With his track record of loyalty to his former employer and his expansive, multiregion skill sets, he doesn’t understand why his business qualifications are seemingly discounted in favor of landmen with relatively fewer landwork experiences and no history of loyalty to an employer.

They each wondered, “Could I be part of a hiring decision-maker’s unconscious or conscious bias?”

Of course I can’t answer that question for them. Every job seeker and hiring decision-maker is different. But what hiring decision-makers can do is ensure they are taking advantage of a diverse workforce that gives them access to a far broader set of job candidates with the potential to assist in hiring the best. Here are some tips to keep in mind from online recruiting blog Workable Ideas’ “How Innovative Companies Combat Unconscious Hiring Bias” by Christine Del Castillo (resources.workable.com/blog/combatbias-in-hiring):

• Be aware that human nature makes us all unintentionally biased — which can lead to hiring only people who are similar to us.

• Focus on behaviors that will help a candidate succeed at your organization instead of shared hobbies, opinions or experiences.

• Let your job posting and recruitment attract the widest possible pool of candidates with different levels of experience as landmen.

• Don’t just use the same sourcing channel that you always use to locate candidates. Don’t recruit solely from one university, rely only on landmen friends, always use the same professional recruiters, etc.

• Use a structured interview so that each candidate receives the same questions. Prepare for the interview.

• Include a diverse interview panel if possible. Don’t be afraid to use a panel with different titles. Not everyone has to be a manager to be a good interviewer. Include older, younger, male, female, etc.

If you have ideas to share about this topic, Landnews is a great way to connect with other members to share ideas, experiences and encouragement with job seekers.