Not paying attention to unconscious bias impacts the diversity and inclusion of your organization and can also stifle progress and innovation within the business. Many organizations concerned with the issues biases can create are becoming more mindful of their recruiting process. They have found that unconscious bias can critically influence hiring decisions.
What is one tip you have for HR professionals to reduce bias in the hiring process?
To help you reduce bias when recruiting, we asked business leaders and other HR professionals this question for their insights. From including a skill-based assignment to conducting blind resume reviews, there are several tips you can use to minimize bias in the hiring process.
Here are eight tips to reducing bias in your search for talent:
- Use Recruiting Services
- Include a Skill-Based Assignment
- Have a Diverse Interviewing Team
- Choose Inclusive Language
- Examine Your Own Biases
- Conduct Blind Resume Reviews
- Structure Your Interview Process
- Avoid Nepotism
Include a Skill-Based Assignment
One of the things we do at Markitors is provide every candidate the same assignment by role. Having a skill-based assignment decreases the likeability bias of hiring the most liked candidates, which is something I have been challenged with in the past. And although hiring a culture fit is crucial, it can be subjective if not carefully considered. We also include a multi-team interview approach in which a scoring matrix is filled out. This helps ensure an objective measurement data point.
Jenn Christie, Markitors
Have a Diverse Interviewing Team
Though I have a small team, I ensure it includes the best minds, regardless of any bias. Whenever I hire for my online PDF editor website, I pay attention to a few things to keep the hiring process free from biases. For instance, I include diverse members in the hiring team and when interviewing candidates. The interviewing team members are of different ages and ethnicities. During the initial resume screening, we adopt a blind hiring technique. We ditch the personal information mentioned on resumes and pay attention only to the skills and competency of the candidate. We use standardized interview questions for all the applicants. During the job posting, we use gender-neutral language to reach out to a diverse candidate pool.
Caroline Lee, CocoSign
Choose Inclusive Language
One of the best ways to reduce bias in the hiring process is to make all job descriptions as inclusive as possible. Specifically, make sure all pronouns are “they” as opposed to “he” or “she,” stress your inclusive company values, and explicitly mention that you are seeking to build a diverse and differentiated team that brings their intrinsic selves to work each day.
Jordan Duran, 6 Ice
Examine Your Own Biases
Before we start to think about reducing bias in the hiring process, we need to do some deep self-reflection and examine our own biases. This is deep, personal, painful, and very necessary work that must be done by each and every one of us before we reduce bias in the hiring process.
Tracie Sponenberg, Chief People Officer
Use Recruiting Services
One thing bias can do in the hiring process is fuel stereotypes and hinder efforts to be inclusive. To reduce the bias, HR professionals can look into help through the use of recruiting services (editor’s note: like Corporate Job Bank). Recruiting firms can help assist you in your search while also being mindful of the things that are important to you. And it’s important for recruiters to be aware of their biases, too. So while recruiting services can help, all HR professionals can take steps to help rework their job descriptions. By using mindful and simple language to communicate what you really need, you can help reduce barriers and biases from the start.
Jon Schneider, Recruiterie
Conduct Blind Resume Reviews
One of the most effective ways to reduce bias in the hiring process is to mandate blind resume reviews. Regardless of one’s inclusivity efforts, the fact of the matter is that we all hold unconscious biases when making decisions. As such, look at each applicant and their accomplishments blindly. This will encourage tangible skill over background each and every time.
David Wolfe, Olivers Apparel
Structure Your Interview Process
As a professional, I’ve found that when it comes to interviewing, hiring managers may be tempted to opt for an unstructured session in order to gain a better sense of a candidate. Unstructured interviews, however, might make it more difficult for hiring managers to accurately compare candidates, increasing the risk of unconscious bias.
Creating a standardized process that evaluates all applicants in the same way ensures that they are all judged on the same criteria. Stick to a set of questions for each application — and don’t stray from them. This can help to eliminate subjectivity by allowing applicants to be rated against other candidates based on the particular answers they provide.
Saskia Ketz, Mojomox
Have a policy against hiring family and friends. Knowing people can bias you, so that can be a negative. Bring in another HR person to sit in on the interview. Since they don’t have a preconceived notion of the candidate, they won’t be biased since they don’t know them. Nepotism is highly frowned upon in hiring. These tips can help you avoid that mistake.
Janice Wald, Mostly Blogging Academy