Best Ways to Remove Unconscious Bias from The Hiring Process

4 mins

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When it comes to hiring, everyone has their own biases that they bring to the table. Whether you’re a recruiter looking for the best candidate for the job or an applicant who is vying for a position, it’s important to be aware of your own biases so that they don’t colour your decision-making. 

In this article, we’ll explore some ways to remove bias from your hiring process 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 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 rework the job descriptions. By changing the wording and adding more objective information, you can ensure that 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 in order to discourage any feelings of bias.

3. Define diversity and set goals

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

First, it is important to define what diversity means to you. Are you looking for employees who come from different backgrounds, religions, races, or orientations?

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

Once you have a good understanding of 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 made based on qualifications and skills, not on personal beliefs or characteristics. It is important to be transparent when making these decisions so that everyone understands why a certain candidate was chosen over another.

Finally, continue to monitor and adjust your policies and procedures as needed until diversity achieves the level of success that you.

4. Make hiring a collective effort

It’s important to remember that when hiring, it’s important to ensure the process is a collective effort. This means not only should the hiring manager be looking for qualified candidates, but 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, it’s important to have a diverse pool of applicants from which to choose. This includes looking for applicants who don’t typically get hired (e.g., people of colour, women, etc.), and those who are 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 have a negative impact on hiring decisions. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy for hiring managers to fall victim to their own biases, 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) in order to get an unbiased perspective on the candidate. Additionally, ask interviewees not to give any feedback until after the candidate has been hired in order to avoid influencing their decision.

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

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 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’re looking for, regardless of their background or ethnicity. Some companies also use this test as an opportunity 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, provide opportunities for employees to share their ideas and insights about the company. This way, everyone involved will have a better understanding of how the company works and what improvements might be possible. Finally, reward individuals for exhibiting positive behaviours, regardless of whether they are hired or not. By doing this, you will encourage others to behave in a similar manner and build trust between all involved.

9. Use multiple hiring channels

Using multiple hiring channels means interviewing candidates through email, phone interviews, and on-site interviews. This helps avoid any potential bias that could come from a face-to-face interview. It also allows you to get a broader range of candidates, which is important 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 behavioural needs. For example, if a job requires heavy lifting, then candidates with muscle mass should be favoured over those without. This way, hiring managers are looking for qualities that will be beneficial to the job, not just traits that match their own personal preferences.

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

What are the different types of unconscious bias?

There are multiple unconscious biases for e.g. recency bias, conformity bias, availability bias, etc.  Learn more on how to reduce recency bias.

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