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Practical Ways to Reduce Bias in Your Hiring Process

By | Connor Circle

The question is how do the companies make sure that there are no biases involved while making recruitment decisions? Extensive research has concluded that there are unconscious and discriminatory biases prevalent in the hiring process. Unconscious bias results in judgments that are in the best interests of a group, or an individual at a loss to others. This is normally not noticed because the person exhibiting this bias is many times unaware of the discrimination he or she is causing. A conscious bias on the other hand means a willful bias that harms other individuals or groups. In any event, this is detrimental to the workplace environment and you need to reduce it as much as possible. 

  1. The key lies in being aware: A first necessary step for encouraging the hiring process is to educate the workforce about affinity biases, unconscious biases, racial discriminations, etc. One of the easiest ways of raising awareness is by educating and teaching the employees about the topic. This will help them in identifying and understanding these biases. In addition to this, the employees must take exams such as Harvard Implicit Association Test. It will teach the whole team about unconscious biases and how it shapes their professional and personal perspectives.
  2. Accountability is a must: If you have educated your employees about the prejudices at the workplace, you now need to hold them accountable. This is true, especially for the HR specialists that are responsible for training the entire team. For elaborating on this point, suppose an HR manager conducts 10 performance evaluations. Five for male employees or candidates and five for female ones. If 4 out of the top 5 performers in the test are women you need to investigate whether some bias is taking place favoring women in the entire process. You can always take help from the best PEO companies for your hiring process.
  3. Rework the job descriptions: According to research, the words you use in your job description are critical. Biased or inappropriate language in job descriptions can discourage many talented individuals from applying for this opportunity rather than enticing them. For resolving this problem, a company has to consider removing age, gender, and other limiting terms from job advertisements for avoiding prejudice. So, your job description and the job title must be as inclusive as you can make it.
  4. Skill tests are useful: All the sample tests are more accurate indicators of the future success of a candidate. These tests allow the organization to compare all the candidates, depending on their performance, instead of just using their CVs to judge them. For instance, a skill test will need a company to examine the performance at work of a candidate instead of their age, gender, personality, and appearance.
  5. Set the objectives and define diversity: You need to set your business objectives for everybody to understand the significance of elimination of bias and improving diversity should be the bottom line. Make sure to explain what you mean by diversity in the organization. For instance, what age groups, races, sexual orientations, and races are not adequately represented. You should also set goals for all the stages of the candidate process such as interview conversion rates, application funnels, and acceptances. Be sure to communicate all your accomplishments.
  6. Use structured interviews: Unstructured interviews many times do not identify the problems in a specific job function. According to research these interviews, many times make the hiring decisions subject to unconscious prejudices and preconceptions. The structured interviews on the other hand are useful when you are looking for a non-biased and impartial hiring procedure. During the structured interview, the hiring manager asks the same query to all candidates in a similar order. The approach eliminates the requirement for subjectivity or small talk allowing you to compare the applications depending on the objectives.


In this article, we took a look at some ways of overcoming unconscious bias. You need to define full-fledged and rigorous criteria and results that are expected in the job description itself. You need to work in tandem with the recruitment team to make sure that they are informed about the usual biases and are aware of the ways of coping with them.


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