The vast majority of companies know that biased hiring practices aren’t acceptable. There are numerous laws and regulations that dictate what can and cannot be taken into consideration when evaluating candidates, and most businesses do a good job of adhering to these standards.
But, unconscious bias can be harder to control, as many people aren’t fully aware their initial judgments are affecting their decisions. And this can spell trouble for companies that don’t take an active role in eliminating the impact of these snap judgments.
Luckily, there are ways to eliminate hiring bias, whether conscious or unconscious, from your business. Here are some steps to get you started.
Recognize the Different Kinds of Bias
Bias can take multiple forms and be based on a variety of points. A hiring manager may make an assumption about a person’s capabilities due to their race, gender, age, and other protected statuses as well as superficial factors, such as a candidate’s height or weight. Understanding what may trigger a quick judgment is the first step in eliminating such bias from the hiring process, as we can only correct an issue if we know it is potentially present.
It’s also important to know the different kinds of thinking that can accompany a bias. For example, confirmation bias is a process where a person seeks out evidence to confirm that their initial judgment was justified, while an expectation anchor involves adjusting expectations (such as skill requirements) so that a favored candidate can be selected.
Again, knowing how bias can impact thinking is another critical step in eliminating bias from hiring decisions, and has even led some companies to turn to blind applications, where all personally identifiable information has been removed, to ensure biases don’t affect initial screenings.
Look Beyond the First Impression
While first impressions get a lot of attention since they affect how the rest of the interview is perceived, learning to set these initial thoughts aside can go a long way to combatting bias. Instead of letting the first moments of the meeting determine whether someone is a strong candidate, take time to review all of the facts and other relevant details to make sure that it isn’t just a poor first impression that is leading you to discard someone’s application.
Use Interview Panels
Sometimes the easiest way to limit bias is by having multiple people involved in the hiring process. This creates a team of interviewers who make decisions jointly, ensuring the opinion (or potential bias) of just one hiring manager isn’t swaying the outcome unfairly.
Create a Standardized Process
Another simple way to help limit the effect of bias is by using a scoring rubric for every interview. Key skills and traits can be identified in advance and added to the rubric. Then, it serves as a guide for the process and ensures every candidate is evaluated based on a single standard.
You can also use a reputable staffing firm, like The Advance Group, to help eliminate hiring bias. Our process ensures every candidate is treated fairly and that those who possess the right combination of skills and experience are referred for your open positions. Contact us today to see how our approach to hiring can be an ideal method for eliminating hiring bias from your company.