7 Effective Ways to Reduce Unconscious Bias in Hiring

Published On
September 28, 2023
Read Time
4 Minutes
OnBlick Inc

Unconscious bias can prevent a company from hiring the best individuals. It can also make the process harder to manage as it uncovers true talent. Owing to this, businesses must take the time to analyze their strategies and develop a plan to improve the hiring process.

This article will walk you through some immediate remedies that can help companies reduce unconscious bias from the hiring process.

Unconscious bias- A threat to Organizations

An implicit bias always controls one’s decision-making, behavior, and interaction with others. It can save an individual from harmful associations. Unconscious bias is a negative attribute though it may prove to be helpful in some circumstances. But, what if the bias interrupts the hiring process and leads us to miss the appropriate candidates? For a healthy company that seeks a diverse workforce, an unconscious bias is always a threat.

Effects of Unconscious Bias

In the workplace, biases can hinder diversity and recruitment efforts. They can also play a role in shaping a company's culture and norms, without the employers being aware of it. For example, if we don't see enough women in technical or engineering jobs, we associate men with those fields and apply different standards. As a result, managers have to ensure to be de-biased to keep diversity in check in the company.

When a recruiter favors someone with some particular religion, race, or gender, it interferes with the company's diversity. Nevertheless, they can affect how people are treated in hiring decisions.

Benefits of Reducing Hiring Bias

Ways to Reduce Unconscious Bias in Recruitment

1. Get people talking: To effectively manage biases in hiring, managers need to think broadly and evaluate diversity proportions in their company. It helps your existing employees to identify areas of hiring prejudices and redevelop strategies to curb implicit biases in further recruiting. The goal is to create an organizational conversation about preferences to spark ideas and clearly look into departments or areas of the workforce that lacks appropriate candidates.

2. Blind interview: CVs are the most common method of introducing a prospective hire. But this can lead to unconscious bias due to the details in it. Eliminating factors that lead to an implicit bias will be beneficial. Level the playing field by focusing on the candidate's specific abilities and talents. Look for what people bring to the table and blindfold any form of information that can lead to an implicit bias while interviewing.

3.Focus on Diversity: With many companies now having diversity goals, these are worthwhile goals, but be careful when discussing them with your colleagues. These goals can be controversial because they can undermine people who are hired for specific roles. Having a diverse workforce can help boost a company's bottom line. Hiring managers should track their progress against diversity goals. This helps the hiring process to focus on areas for the benefit of the company and the biases are under check.

4. Get the AI working: Companies can use recruiting AI to ask objective questions before the hiring process. Through data insights, managers can quickly identify patterns and biases in the applicant selection process. This tool can help reduce potential biases and improve the hiring process. It allows recruiting managers and hiring executives to rank candidates against open positions and intelligently engage with them.

5. Bring diversity to the interview panel: It can be challenging to get rid of unconscious bias completely from the hiring process. But, having multiple people from diverse backgrounds in each hiring panel helps prevent bias. Bringing diversity to your interviewing panel will be the immediate solution. Get your interview panel to include individuals from different ethnicities. You can create awareness of hiring biases while you help the team get equipped. They may form strategies to support each other at instances of bias while hiring.

6. Rework job descriptions: Several simple tools can help prevent gender bias in the job descriptions. The job listing is often the first impression a company makes about its culture. The words can be removed or balanced by adding a more neutral verb or gendered descriptor. There may be language in the job descriptions of the company that is gender-biased. For instance, the use of "guys" in writing can create bias in job descriptions.

In addition, masculine language, such as "competitive" or "determined," can make other genders think that they cannot belong in the workplace. On the other hand, more neutral words, like "collaborative" or "cooperative," can draw individuals with such traits that will be a great hire to preserve the company’s unity.

7. Set structured interviews: Conscious bias can happen during an interview. It can be avoided by intentionally designing a more objective and straightforward interview process. Interview sessions become lengthy for the candidates to digest when they aren’t structured well. Unstructured interviews can make it hard to evaluate candidates, which could result in unconscious bias reasonably.

Instead, create a process that tests everyone against the same set of markers. If an interview is too structured, likeable bias enters the frame. Get multiple interviewers for your recruiting process. Then, have each interviewer ask a set amount of pre-planned questions. Great way to minimize bias.

Summing Up

A diverse workforce can generate higher financial returns and more innovation. Hiring should be structured and timely evaluated to find potent solutions to seal the diversity in the company. We hope this article makes it easier for the managers to find ways to curb the implicit bias during recruiting, and hence conserve diversity in the company.

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