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Best Ways to Remove Unconscious Bias from The Hiring Process

  • By barraiser
  • April 18, 2024
  • 5 mins read
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    When it comes to hiring, everyone has biases that they bring to the table. Whether you’re a recruiter looking for the best candidate for the job or an applicant vying for a position, it’s essential to be aware of bias in hiring so that they don’t color your decision-making. 

    In this article, we’ll explore ways to remove bias in hiring so that you can hire the best person for the job, no matter who they are.

    Ways to Remove Bias in Hiring

    1. Remove gendered wording

    One of the simplest ways to remove bias in hiring is to avoid gendered language. For example, instead of saying “manpower” or “women’s initiative,” use phrases such as “human resources” or “initiative.” This will help to ensure that all employees are treated fairly and equally.

    2. Rework your job descriptions

    Another way is to remove bias in hiring is to rework the job descriptions. By changing the wording and adding more objective information, you can ensure all applicants are given an equal chance.

    One way to do this is to add a section on the job listing that asks for specific qualifications. This will help ensure that only candidates who meet the requirements are considered for the position. You can also add a statement about how the company values diversity to discourage any feelings of hiring bias.

    Also Read: Important Recruitment Metrics You Must Track In 2023

    3. Define diversity and set goals

    There is no specific way to achieve diversity in the workplace, but a few steps can be taken to begin the process.

    First, it is essential to define what diversity means to you. Are you seeking employees from different backgrounds, religions, races, or orientations?

    Next, set goals for diversity in your workplace. What is your plan for the percentage of employees from different backgrounds? How do you want the environment to be perceived by those not from your culture?

    Once you understand your goals and how you want the workplace to look, it is time to start implementing change. The first step is to talk about diversity with your team. Discussing these issues openly will help everyone understand why it is important and help them feel comfortable discussing differences.

    Next, make sure that all hiring decisions are based on qualifications and skills, not personal beliefs or characteristics to avoid bias in hiring. It is essential to be transparent when making these decisions so that everyone understands why a particular candidate was chosen over another.

    Finally, continue to monitor and adjust your policies and procedures as needed until diversity achieves your expected success.

    Also Read: Explained: What Are Game Based Assessments?

    4. Make hiring a collective effort

    It’s important to remember that when hiring, it’s essential to ensure the process is a collective effort. This means the hiring manager should be looking for qualified candidates, and everyone in the hiring process should work together to identify potential candidates. This way, everyone is on the same page and can make more informed decisions.

    When looking for candidates, it’s helpful to remember some tips for removing bias from the hiring process. For example, having a diverse pool of applicants from which to choose is essential. This includes looking for applicants who don’t typically get hired (e.g., people of color, women, etc.) and those traditionally underrepresented in the workforce (e.g., engineers with a non-technical background).

    5. Cross-functional interview team

    There’s no question that bias can harm hiring decisions. Unfortunately, it’s too easy for hiring managers to fall victim to their preferences, leading to less-than-optimal hires. Fortunately, there are several strategies you can use to help reduce your bias and ensure that your hiring decisions are based on merit alone.

    One way to combat bias is to create a cross-functional interview team. This involves assembling a group of people who don’t work together regularly (or at all) to get an unbiased perspective on the candidate. Additionally, ask interviewees not to give feedback until after the candidate has been hired to avoid influencing their decision.

    Another way to reduce bias is to ensure you get input from all sides of the table. Sometimes, it’s easy for decision-makers to overlook critical perspectives when deciding alone. By involving everyone involved in the decision-making process, including managers and employees affected by the hire, you’re more likely to get an accurate appraisal of the candidate.

    Also Read: 5 Most Common Interview Questions And How To Answer Them

    6. Use a structured interview

    Structured interviews are a great way to remove bias from hiring. They allow for different types of questions to be asked and can help you assess the skills and characteristics that candidates possess.

    7. Take a skills test

    If you want to remove bias in your hiring practices, one way to do so is to take a skills test. This can help identify candidates with the skills and qualities you seek, regardless of their background or ethnicity. Some companies also use this test to assess candidates’ work ethic and communication skills.

    8. Build a foundation of trust

    Removing bias in hiring starts with building a foundation of trust. This starts with open communication and honest assessments. When both parties feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings, it will be easier to discern if someone is a good fit for the job. Additionally, it provides opportunities for employees to share their ideas and insights about the company. This way, everyone involved will better understand how the company works and what improvements might be possible. Finally, reward individuals for exhibiting positive behaviors, regardless of whether they are hired. Doing this will encourage others to behave similarly and build trust between all involved.

    9. Use multiple hiring channels

    Using multiple hiring channels means interviewing candidates through email, phone, and on-site interviews. This helps avoid bias in hiring that could come from a face-to-face interview. It also allows you to get a broader range of candidates, which is essential because you want the best person for the job.

    10. Focus on the job’s behavioral needs

    One way is to focus on the job’s behavioral requirements. For example, if a job requires heavy lifting, candidates with muscle mass should be favored over those without. This way, hiring managers seek qualities that will benefit the job, not just traits that match their personal preferences, and easily avoid bias in hiring.

    Another way to remove bias is to use blind interviews. This means interviewees don’t know which position they’re applying for until after the interview has ended. This prevents people from unconsciously choosing candidates based on their perceived background or ethnicity.

    People also asked

    How does defining diversity and setting goals address bias in hiring practices?

    Defining diversity and setting goals actively combat bias in hiring by encouraging the consideration of candidates from diverse backgrounds, religions, races, or orientations.

    How does a cross-functional interview team contribute to mitigating bias in hiring decisions?

    Establishing a cross-functional interview team ensures diverse perspectives, minimizes the impact of personal biases and fosters fairness in the hiring process.

    Why is a structured interview an effective strategy for eliminating bias in hiring?

    A structured interview reduces unconscious biases by using consistent, job-related questions, promoting fairness and objectivity in the assessment process, and addressing bias in hiring.

    Why is it important to remove bias in hiring?

    Removing bias in hiring is crucial to ensure fair and equal opportunities for all candidates, promoting diversity, and hiring the best person for the job based on merit.

    How can job descriptions be reworked to eliminate bias in hiring?

    Reworking job descriptions involves changing wording, adding objective information, and including a diversity statement to ensure equal consideration for all applicants, minimizing bias in the hiring process.

    How can using multiple hiring channels contribute to reducing bias?

    Using multiple hiring channels, including email, phone, and on-site interviews, helps minimize bias by avoiding face-to-face interactions that may introduce personal prejudices. It also ensures a broader range of candidates.

    Why are blind interviews and skills tests effective in removing bias from hiring practices?

    Blind interviews prevent unconscious biases by concealing applicants’ backgrounds until after the interview. Skills tests objectively assess candidates based on their abilities, ensuring a fair evaluation regardless of background or ethnicity.

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