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Removing Bias From The Recruitment Process

So, you want to amp up DE&I initiatives at your company? Have you taken a close look at your recruitment process? It is possible that unconscious bias may be getting in the way of recruiting a diverse talent pool. Everyone is guilty of unconscious bias, it’s human nature, however, there are steps you can take to mitigate these biases and establish more inclusive recruitment strategies.

Here are some steps you can take to insure that your recruitment process is free from unconscious bias:

  1. Admit that unconscious bias exists- the first, and arguably most important, step in eradicating unconscious bias from your hiring process is recognizing that it is present to begin with. Look at your company and ask yourself, what age groups, ethnicities, and genders are underrepresented? Instead of ignoring intrinsic biases in your company, acknowledge them and set goals for how to diversify your workforce.  
  2. Re-evaluate your job descriptions- the job listing is often the candidate’s first impression of your company. Gendered wording in a job description may make an individual feel as though they are unfit or unwelcome to even apply for a position. To avoid pushing away potential talent, consider using more neutral language.
  3. Go blind for application reviews – when reviewing applications and resumes, it is important that you are focusing on the skill set and experience of the candidates rather than getting distracted by their identifying factors (name, age, race, gender, etc.). Hiding the names and demographic identifiers during application and resume reviews can result in a more diverse and fit interview pool.
  4. Give anonymous tests- a great way to see how each candidate would fit in an open role is to provide them with a test that mimics a situation they would likely encounter in the position. Each candidate should be provided with the same problem to solve or a task to complete anonymously. The hiring manager will then be able to evaluate each candidate strictly based on performance.
  5. Standardize interviews with panelists- while some hiring managers may prefer a more casual interview setting, research shows that unstructured interviews where the candidate’s experiences are expected to come out naturally in conversation are unreliable in predicting job success. Implementing a script of questions to ask each candidate removes subjectivity and allows you to compare candidates strictly off of their responses to the same questions. Beyond using a specific set of questions in each interview, it is also valuable to add a diverse panel of employees to listen in on each interview as well. Having a panel present during interviews ensures that personal biases do not infringe on interview evaluations.

Unconscious bias is part of our human nature, it is inescapable. However, by implementing the above strategies into your hiring process, you will make significant strides towards diversifying your talent pool. Do not ignore the biases that exist in your company, acknowledge that there is room to grow and work towards improving DE&I in your workplace.

Want to learn more?

Be sure to view CompTeam’s Rewards Mastermind Webinar featuring Decusoft’s very own Charles Mangino (Head of People, Culture & DEI) and Rebecca Baker (VP of client Sale & Enablement) where they discuss why DEI people analytics data matters in comp!

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