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7 Essentials to Reducing Hiring Bias and Attract Talent

It’s highly unfortunate that the hiring process in most organizations around the world is biased and unfair. Sexism, ageism, and unconscious racism seep into the process. If your organization has decided to take bias out of the hiring process whether it’s centralized or decentralized recruitment, you’re on the right track!

But why is unconscious bias harsh? It has a crucial and “problematic” impact on our judgment. it influences us to make decisions that favor one individual or group over another. This may obstruct diversity, promotion recruiting, and retention efforts in the workplace. Biases, if left unchecked, can sneak into a company’s culture and keep your organization from succeeding.

Is it possible to avoid bias during recruitment? The answer is yes but this will demand conscious effort on your behalf. Looking for help? Here are some ways to tackle this:

1: Understand What Unconscious Bias Entails

The first step to solving something is to recognize there’s a problem. If you don’t realize something is wrong, how can you fix it, right! awareness training is the first step in understanding unconscious bias. Once you know what it is, you will realize you had been biased all along.

Training teaches us to acknowledge that everyone has unconscious bias and a way to identify our own. Once everyone’s identified their biases, you can then collectively move towards the steps to minimize them. 

2: Revise Your Job Descriptions

Job descriptions play an important role in attracting the right candidate. Plus, these descriptions are representing your company’s culture and what you have written could be preventing diverse candidates from applying. They might perceive that they would not belong in the work environment.

Gender words like a ninja, rockstar, dominating, bossy need to go. Either eliminate such terms and write something neutral. You can also try to achieve a balance by using gendered descriptors and verbs. The former is much easier to do.

3: Set Diversity Goals

Want to reduce hiring bias and increase diversity? Set the right goals. It’s best to define what you would like to achieve before hiring. Here are some examples:

  • Hire ethnic monitories
  • Candidates who haven’t graduated from Harvard or Ivy League
  • Senior candidates
  • Women/single moms
  • Fresh graduates
  • People of color
  • Differently-abled individuals
  • Maybe all of the above?

You can also include these diversity goals in your job descriptions to make them sound more inclusive.

4: Follow a Structured Interview Process

During interviews, a structured interview method entails asking candidates the same questions in the same order. This prevents unconscious bias from creeping in when the interviewer deviates from the script. Reduce affinity bias by interviewing more thoroughly and consistently.

Some might argue here that a structured interview could hurt candidate experience and that’s true. Here’s the interviewer must improvise and strike a balance between a structured and unstructured interview.

5: Never Ask About Their Salary History

While some things have progressed, unconscious gender bias continues to result in salary disparities. Asking the candidate their salary history only adds to this.

Also, many states in the USA have established legislation to make it illegal to inquire about a person’s salary history for all the right reasons. Hence, make sure you don’t make the candidate uncomfortable by asking them about their salary history. They have every right to refuse to answer this question.

By not asking a question about the candidate’s previous salary history, you will be reducing gender bias and anchoring bias from the recruitment process.

6: Watch Out for The Likeability Bias

It’s human nature that we prefer to be surrounded by people we are comfortable with. For most individuals, the ideal candidate is someone they like and could picture themselves sharing a beer with. Likeability is NOT a reliable predictor of how well someone will do in a particular role. Stay away from this at all costs!

Structured interviews and having a diverse recruiting panel can help to eliminate the possibility of hiring on the basis of likeability. Pair the interview with a skills exam or a real-life problem-solving assignment to reduce the possibility of likeability bias. This will give each candidate the best chance of displaying their strengths. The interviewer will be able to focus on the candidate’s performance rather than how well they ‘clicked’ with them.

7: Continue to Revise Your Diversity Goals

it’s impossible to create a diversity program and live off it your whole it. goals and parameters continue to change and so, your company’s diversity goals need continuous revision as well to achieve optimal diversity. This initiative will automatically reduce unconscious bias within the workplace.

The leaders must track how the company has performed against the diversity goals after each new candidate is recruited to make necessary changes in the goals.

Summing Up

Understanding both implicit and explicit bias can make your hiring process more inclusive and welcome diverse talent in your mortgage staffing firm, e-commerce store, digital marketing agency, or any business you’re running.

Get started to improve your hiring process now.

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