5 Practical Ways to Remove Bias from your Hiring Process

Many employers think their hiring process is perfect. However, research shows that the hiring processes are generally impartial and unfair, especially if you are part of certain demographics. Women, people of color, people with disabilities, or even people in lower socioeconomic status are more likely to be subject to implicit bias. As diversity and employer branding become major aspects of business, it is important that employers take the lead to identify and remove bias from the hiring process. So, here are 5 practical ways to get you started.

Implicit Bias Definition

Structure Your Interview Process

The goal of an interview is to evaluate candidates based on their skills, personality, and knowledge. One of the best ways to do that without the threat of implicit bias is to structure your interview process.

A structured interview process allows you to evaluate all candidates based on a standard set of criteria. While standardizing your process does take a lot of planning to execute, it allows you to compare and contrast multiple candidates in less time. Because the interview questions are standardized and the criteria is the same for each candidate, it leaves little room for subjective thought to have major influence on decision making.

Diversify Your Hiring Team

First things first… you should always hire with a team of at least 2-3 people. Why? Because hiring alone doesn’t only present an opportunity for unchecked unconscious bias. It also decreases hiring confidence and reduces the amount of time and effort a recruiter invests into each candidate.

As you build your small (or medium-sized) hiring team, it is important to keep in mind that a diverse hiring team will help achieve diverse hiring outcomes. If diversifying your workforce is important to you, then having implicit bias in your hiring process can be detrimental. Implicit bias perpetuated by hiring teams shows up most when everyone on the team is similar in terms of background, skills, race, or ability. Therefore, building a team of employees from different departments, backgrounds, and ethnicities will be key.

Implement Data-Driven Decision Making

Usually when we think of data-driven decision making (DDDM), we think of it in terms of using data to better reach our target audience or to enhance the current workforce. However, DDDM has become a powerful process in the sourcing and hiring sphere, especially when making the commitment to remove bias from the hiring process.

Data works to eliminate bias from the hiring process in a unique way. Although you likely already have a solid hiring process in place, it is vital that you review and refresh your process as often as necessary. The best way to do that is with data. In this case, you can use data and AI to:

  • identify bias in job descriptions
  • track and analyze hiring patterns
  • examine applicant and candidate demographics
  • investigate new hire retention demographics

Use Asynchronous and Live Video

A common misconception is that video perpetuates bias when used during the sourcing and hiring process. This thought often discourages employers from using video, especially in the early stages of the process. However, with the protection of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), candidates are protected from discrimination, especially discrimination that emanates from video.

So in reality, video is a safe, effective tool. There are even ways in which video actually helps recruiters steer clear from potential discrimination accusations. For example, it:

  • Creates a public, standardized process – asynchronous video is a tool that helps standardize screening and interview processes. Additionally, using video acts as a public record of how you execute the hiring process with individual candidates.
  • Allows a higher level of collaboration – hiring with a team is better than going solo. Using video allows you to share, receive and review opinions from multiple team members.
  • Enables fact checking and more accurate comparisons – it is a known fact that each time we reconstruct a memory, we risk filling the gaps with false information. Having screenings and interviews on video helps reinforce a reliable memory so candidates can be accurately compared.

Be Cautious of Hiring for Culture Fit

Hiring for culture fit is one of the best ways employers can build and maintain a strong workforce culture. As an employer, you know that having someone that doesn’t quite fit into your culture could cause a myriad of issues, which ultimately disrupts the company’s productivity flow. So, yes. Making sure your new hire fits in is important; however, you should NOT to mistake alignment between you and the candidate with alignment between the organization and the candidate.

Hiring for culture fit has the potential to perpetuate implicit bias, if not done correctly. Because there is a bigger emphasis on personality traits versus skills and experience, it can be easy to choose the candidates whom you relate to the most. To ensure you maintain a strong workforce culture and keep it diverse, you must focus on definitive characteristics that relate back to your company’s mission and core values – not the candidate’s relatability or similarity to other employees or yourself.

Start with a free job post today to get started on finding top-notch candidates in your industry.

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