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Why an Unbiased, Structured Process Matters Over Reflexive Networking Referral


The art of successful hiring requires a disciplined approach, balancing speed with thoroughness and instinct with data. While referrals from your professional network offer certain advantages and are 3-4 times more likely to be hired, it's crucial to ask: Are they 3-4 times more suitable for the role? Evidence suggests otherwise. Aside from minor advantages like improved interview preparation and insider knowledge, there's little data to support the notion that such candidates are significantly more suitable.


The problem often lies in our psychological biases. Most people hire with empathy, swayed by personal relationships and affinities. According to Paul Bloom, a professor of psychology at Yale, empathy can often lead us to make suboptimal decisions. The antidote to this bias is a structured, professional, and unbiased recruitment process, ideally led by industry-specialised consultants. Here's why this approach stands out:


Comprehensive Talent Search

  • Focused Expertise: Specialised consultants target a broad, relevant talent pool, increasing the odds of finding the most suitable candidate.

Time & Resource Efficiency

  • Streamlined Process: These experts manage the entire process, relieving your HR team from the cumbersome details of recruiting.

  • Cost-Benefit Ratio: The initial expenditure on a consultant can save you from the far greater costs of a bad hire down the line.

Professional, Unbiased Evaluation

  • Skills and Aptitude: Consultants use industry benchmarks to rigorously assess candidates, offering a more precise matching process.

  • Cultural Compatibility: They also evaluate how well a candidate aligns with your company’s culture.

Objectivity Over Personal Connections

  • Fair Assessment: Unlike internal referrals, consultants bring an impartial perspective, reducing the influence of emotional bias.

  • Merit-Based Selection: A consultant focuses exclusively on selecting the best candidate based on qualifications and cultural fit, utilising a structured recruitment process.

Accountability and Compliance

  • Legal Adherence: Following a standardised process ensures compliance with employment laws, shielding your organisation from legal pitfalls.

  • Accountable Process: In case of issues post-hiring, a consultant's structured approach provides a clear chain of accountability.

Incorporating Referrals into a Structured Process

  • Balanced Evaluation: If you have a candidate referred from your network, consider integrating them into the consultant-led structured recruitment process. This harmonises the speed and familiarity of referrals with the rigour and impartiality of professional recruitment.

In summary, while network referrals have their merits, their limitations are clear. For a more exhaustive, unbiased, and effective recruitment experience, it's wise to invest in a structured process spearheaded by industry-specialised recruitment consultants. This ensures that your next hire isn't just a good fit but the best possible asset for your organisation.


If you’re ready to elevate your recruitment process and ensure that each new hire is a strategic fit, it's time to consult with the experts. Reach out to Avantgarde International today and let us guide you through the intricacies of mining-specific recruitment and HR solutions.

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