Bias in recruitment forms prejudice and discriminatory hiring decisions against one person or a group of people. Candidates suffer in the hiring process and miss out on job opportunities due to biased motives. Unconscious bias happens outside of conscious awareness, recruiters may make hiring decisions stemming from subconscious emotions, perceptions and stereotypes.
3 recruitment bias examples:
Hiring someone similar to yourself
The case of hiring a ‘mini-me’. This means a recruiter will favour those who are similar to themselves to fill a position. Recruiters can become prone to this type of unconscious bias during the early hiring stages when a candidate’s job application reflects similar characteristics to themselves. For example, if the school in which they attended or where they live is the same as the candidate, recruiters may feel an instant pull towards that application because they share similar traits. Which will consequently lead to the presumption that they will make a good hire. This can also later occur further down the hiring process during the interview stage.
How to avoid hiring a mini-me
Collect the data to support hiring decisions. Back up every action with valid data points that indicate a good hire. To ensure the reason to hire inlines with the candidate’s skill set and work experience.
Leading with intuition
The sole reason to hire should not be led by human intuition. A ‘feeling’ or a ‘gut instinct’ is not strong enough as a reason to hire. They are subjective and difficult to justify. Whilst also lacking validity.
Every recruiter’s intuition is different, which makes it difficult to standardise an applicant screening process. During this stage, bias can occur because human emotion takes over. Causing the reason to hire to shift focus away from skillset, experience and true job potential.
Avoid leading with emotion
Eliminate job application or interview questions that surround company culture. Digging for answers that surround fitting the company culture will sacrifice inclusivity. Subconsciously, the hiring manager will favour candidates that fit the mould because their intuition tells them they’re a great hire. But this isn’t an effective reason to hire.
Comparing job applications against one another
During the job application screening process, there becomes a tendency to compare CVs/resumes against one another. Adopting one high-performance job application as the ‘standard’, to which all others must compete. However, in doing so, the risk of bias increases. One recruiter’s vision of the perfect CV will differ between individuals within the hiring team.
Reduce the risk
Reduce the risk of recruitment bias and look for skill, experience and potential in order to realign the focus towards the matching potential of each application with the role requirements.
Or take it one step further and eliminate bias with screening technology. CV screening automation instantly searches for key data points inside a job application that corresponds with the open vacancy to determine job-matching candidates. A process that automatically removes bias influences and screens every job application consistently and fairly.