February 17, 2021, Comment off

How to Avoid Unconscious Bias in Hiring

Unconscious bias is a learned stereotype about certain groups of people. This usually involves factors such as class, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, nationality, religious beliefs, age, or disability. Such thinking typically results in an unfair judgment of a person or group based on limited facts, which leads to discrimination. When unconscious bias shows up in your hiring process, it adversely impacts innovation, company culture, and the bottom line. As an HR professional, these are reasons why you need to take action to create an inclusive culture where everyone can contribute and thrive.

Here are four ways to prevent unconscious bias in your hiring process.

Create Gender-Neutral Job Descriptions

Review your job descriptions to ensure the wording is gender-neutral. For instance, avoid using words such as “rock star” or “ninja,” which have a masculine connotation. Fewer qualified women reply to job postings that contain masculine-coded words. Also, replace words like “salesman” with “sales representative” and “his/her” with “their/they.” This creates a feeling of inclusion for all genders, resulting in an increased number of qualified applicants.  

Require Candidate Testing

Test candidates before deciding which to contact for interviews. This shows which applicants are most qualified for the role and may have the most success with your organization. There is software available to assess skills for typically any industry and field. You can evaluate a candidate’s true abilities without knowing any identifying information, then contact the top performers for interviews.

Create a Standardized Form for Interviews

Standardize a scored checklist to be used during interviews. Be sure to include the attributes needed for success in the role, such as knowledge, hard and soft skills, work experience, and cultural fit. Also, ask candidates the same interview questions, so they are evaluated on the same criteria. Rank their answers on a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement,” 3 meaning “average,” and 5 meaning “excellent.” Scoring candidates using the same set of standards shows which are most qualified and should be offered the position.  

Diversify Your Hiring Team

Involve in your hiring process people of different backgrounds who have undergone diversity training. Gathering the perspectives of multiple professionals ensures one person is not making all of the hiring decisions. For instance, have at least two staff members review job applications. Also, have a panel of employees interview candidates multiple times to clearly assess their skills and abilities.

Partner with Arlington Resources

Unconscious bias in your hiring process lowers innovation, company culture, and the bottom line. Creating gender-neutral job descriptions, standardizing your interviews, and diversifying your hiring team are three ways you can stop this bias from affecting your workforce. Your company will be better able to attract top talent because of its focus on diversity.

Work with Arlington Resources to eliminate unconscious bias from your hiring process. We take pride in our commitment to provide the best-qualified candidates and create a workplace that nurtures individual growth. Partner with us today.