Unconscious biases have a massive, unsettling impact on our judgment, and a huge body of evidence has indicated the typical hiring process is fraught with bias.
Within a hiring process, biases can lead to poor decisions, such as favoring one type candidate over others regardless of qualifications. Subconscious opinions related to race, age, physical ability, gender and other defining characteristics can play a big role in a hiring decision. If biases in a company’s hiring process are left unchecked, they can negatively shape both culture and brand.
Hiring personnel must strive to eliminate bias from their hiring. Fortunately, there are things a company can do to identify and mitigate these biases.
Discuss Potential Bias in the Hiring Process
With regards to bias in the hiring process, personnel has to think broadly about approaches to streamline and standardize the method. To start, you should try to fully grasp what hiring biases are and how they function. Company leaders should consider giving employees education and training on bias.
Training is the first step because it lets hiring personnel see how everybody has them and to recognize their own. A major goal of education and training is to have an informed organizational discussion about bias, which can trigger ideas on how to minimize them.
Write Better Job Descriptions
Job listings offer the first impression of an organization’s culture to possible applicants. Even minor word choices can have a big effect on the application pool. For example, adjectives like “competitive” have been shown to dissuade possible women applicants, while words like “cooperative” tend to have the opposite effect.
Some HR software programs have features that can pick out ‘loaded’ words so users can either expunge them completely or replace them with something that carries less weight.
Set Up a “Blind” Resume Screening System
Research has shown that resumes with traditional African American names are less likely to be contacted for an interview than resumes with traditional European names.
A blind resume screening system helps make certain you are concentrating on each candidate’s experience and abilities, not ethnicity. Once again, many HR programs enable a blind screening process for applications and résumés. These programs can also screen out indicators for age, gender and other personal characteristics that trigger bias.
Standardize Your Interview Process
While an unstructured, conversational interview style can allow you to get to know candidates on a more personal level, study has indicated that structured, standardized interviews are proven to minimize bias. Some interviewers use a scorecard to rate each candidate based on their responses to standardized interview questions.
While structured interviews have their drawbacks, they are better at providing objective data than unstructured interviews. For top-level jobs in an organization, the hiring process could include a structured and an unstructured interview that are weighted equally.
We Can Help Your Company Eliminate Bias from Its Hiring Process
At Cornerstone, we work with our clients to make talent acquisition decisions based on an objective analysis of candidates’ skills and qualifications. Please contact us today to find out how we can help your company make better hiring choices.