When hiring, promoting or grooming for succession, it is always possible to let bias interfere with good practice, even unintentionally. That is why the people responsible for making decisions in those areas must be aware of biases, personal or institutional.
During the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) Not-For-Profit Industry Conference, Joan Pastor of JPA International, Inc. emphasized ways to minimize bias and increase innovation.
* Look at the current executive leadership team (ET), and the board;
* Know where you want the organization to go;
* Stick to the most critical Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other characteristics (KSAO), and don’t forsake them, when conducting behavioral interviews;
* Elicit candidates’ ideas, to assess their character and creativity;
* Don’t just trust “gut instinct.” Balance gut with data; and,
* Use objective and independent professional assessments for influential positions.
Further, Pastor offered a model of a confidential position “specs” document:
* The job description, including all those the person will be reporting to, and all those reporting to the person.
* The vision and Key Performance Indicators (KPI) of the position. A person who is successful in this position is meeting what standards, what criteria? Detailed KSAOs also key behaviors on how to meet the KPIs can be determined.
* A specific focus on leadership characteristics and specific behavioral criteria.
* The idea resume: What would it contain?
* Who are the decision-makers in the interviewing process? Who is making the final decision? This is a big issue in nonprofits at the executive level.