You probably have several HR policies looking at avoiding and addressing biases within your workforce, additionally to training for your leaders.
Have you also looked at avoiding biases throughout (not just during interviews or just when CV screening) your recruitment process too?
If yes, well done you don’t need to read this blog!
However, how do you know for sure?
There are several great pieces of research on recruitment biases that highlight how even businesses that have all the right policies and training, still to some level fall under unconscious biases when going through the hiring process.
Here’s one worth a read.
It’s proven how the recruitment processes can inadvertently introduce bias, leading to both lack of diversity and unfairness.
So, how do you implement measures that address bias in recruitment processes?
- Define Objective Criteria
Establish clear and objective criteria for evaluating candidates.
Start by carefully defining the skills, qualifications, and experiences required for the role. This will ensure that assessments are based on relevant factors rather than the personal preferences or assumptions of the interviewer(s).
- Structure the Interview Process
Unstructured interviews are more susceptible to bias, as they allow for subjective judgments to influence decision-making.
Choose structured interviews that follow a standardised format.
Develop a set of pre-determined questions that are related to the job requirements and ask the same questions to each candidate.
This approach will help eliminate variations in the evaluation and ensures fair comparison of candidates.
- Diversify the Hiring Panel
Forming a diverse hiring panel can significantly contribute to reducing bias.
Including individuals from different backgrounds and perspectives helps to challenge assumptions and promote a more inclusive evaluation process.
The diversity in the panel can also lead to more comprehensive discussions, offering a more well-rounded perspective on each candidate.
- Blind Resume Review
Anonymising resumes by removing names, gender, age, and other potentially identifying information can help mitigate bias during the initial screening process.
This approach allows recruiters to focus solely on the qualifications and experiences of applicants, reducing the influence of unconscious bias.
- Implement Skill-Based Assessments
Integrate skill-based assessments or work samples to objectively gauge a candidate’s abilities.
These assessments can be designed to simulate real-world tasks related to the job.
By evaluating candidates based on their demonstrated skills rather than relying solely on subjective judgments, you can enhance the fairness of the recruitment process.
- Train Recruiters and Hiring Managers
Regular training sessions for recruiters and hiring managers are a must when raising awareness about bias and equipping people with strategies to recognise and mitigate it.
Training should cover topics such as unconscious bias, stereotype threat, and the importance of diversity.
Aim to implement and nurture an open-minded approach to recruitment and fair judgments of everyone.
- Regularly Evaluate and Improve
Don’t treat this as a tick-box exercise: consistently review and evaluate the effectiveness of your recruitment process.
Monitor metrics such as the diversity of applicants, interviewees, and hires to identify any potential disparities.
Actively seek (read and implement) feedback from candidates about their experience during the recruitment process to gain insights into potential biases and areas for improvement.
Data is your friend, use it to refine and enhance your processes.
Always strive to nurture a fair culture in your workplace.
Most importantly, don’t just say it, do it.
When we actively work towards overcoming biases, we build workplaces that value diversity and provide equal opportunities for everyone, driving innovation and success.
The Motivation Agency has been helping businesses with their Employee Engagement programmes since 2006.
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A marketer at heart, Alessandra has built her experience and skills across different industries and countries.
From launching Brands on global markets to analysing consumer behaviour to create the most effective marketing campaigns for TD SYNNEX (a global tech business working with household names such as Google, Apple and Cisco); her approach is led by data and characterised by a true passion for marketing and innovation.
Her creative approach means she will find the best solution to tell a Brand’s story and clearly communicate its values through engaging content and comprehensive strategies.