Whether we want to admit it or not, we are all filled with biases. And, it has long been known that the hiring process is biased and unfair. Unconscious racism, ageism, and sexism play a significant role in whom gets hired.
Unconscious biases are social stereotypes about certain groups of people that individuals form outside their conscious awareness. Everyone holds unconscious beliefs about various social and identity groups, and these biases stem from one's tendency to categorize social worlds. But there are steps that organizations can take to recognize and help reduce these biases.
Below we are providing four tips to help reduce hidden bias within your hiring process:
Make diversity a part of your brand. Hiring managers go through tough decisions when looking for candidates who will fill positions in their organization. While they look for a person who will respond to the job description's potential, they also need to make sure they will fit the company's values. This is where recruiting and hiring become problematic. When looking for new candidates, hiring managers need to ask themselves: "Does the company values align with the diversity goal?" Adopting a company culture that embraces diversity will encourage it in the recruitment process and attract a wide variety of applicants.
Be aware of your implicit and explicit biases. During the screening or interviewing of candidates, be sure to assess that the criteria are relevant to the job. Avoid stereotypes about their sexual identity, gender or ethnicity to blur your judgment. Take more distance in your approach. The first impression someone makes should only rely on their skills and ability to do the job. Make sure you don't base your decision on personal preference or familiarity.
Diversify your hiring process. To diversify your hiring process, you need to diversify where you look for a candidate. Choose from a broader selection of people to explore different candidates. Announcing your open positions on various digital platforms or sharing on niche social media groups meant for minorities will help build diverse teams. To stay impartial during recruitment, adopting services from a third party can increase your chances of finding great candidates. A recruitment service will have the expertise necessary to find a wide variety of talent and will ask your company the right questions to build a profile for the perfect candidate.
Create opportunities for minorities to thrive. Make sure your company provides equal opportunity for growth. Candidates will decide on a job offer based on the representation of minorities and the value given to a diverse culture. According to HR Dive, job hunters say that "90% of […] a company's concrete commitment to workplace diversity affects their decision to work there." During the interview process, choose a diverse panel of leaders to speak to the candidate. This will make a significant difference in the interview experience and lower the risk of impartial judgment.
There is no simple solution to avoid making bias decisions while hiring. The reality is, we all make decisions based on our preferences. However, being aware of biases and advocating for diversity are the first steps to building vibrant workplaces.