3 Real-World Examples Of Unconscious Bias In Recruitment
Unconscious bias in recruitment massively affects diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. Are you subconsciously choosing one candidate over another because of a feeling you had?
Humans tend to make decisions based on gut feelings. We’re always told to trust our gut but this approach in recruitment and hiring exposes the possibility of bias and potential discrimination.
As unconscious bias happens without you realising, we want to highlight three possible cases where it does occur and how to prevent it from occurring again in the future.
3 examples of unconscious bias in recruitment
1. There’s been little to no change in your recruiting strategy for a while
Are you still using the same tactics to hire and recruit for the past 5 years? Well, this could possibly lead to bias. Without a regular review of the recruiting processes, you won’t pick up on any inconsistencies or potential failures.
Keys areas to monitor and improve are:
The job advert – Many ads contain gender bias within the text. Subtly steering towards a male or female candidate. Use gender decoder tools to eliminate this.
Screening techniques – Manually screening resumes means you’re more likely to be exposed to unconscious bias. Start implementing screening technology to fairly review candidates based on a set screening criteria.
Interview questions – Stamp out unconscious bias and build a structured interview technique where you regularly review the questions you want to ask to ask.
By regularly reviewing the recruitment processes you can identify areas for improvement. It’s also always useful to gain candidate feedback so you can understand the strengths and weaknesses of the current recruitment process.
2. There are names on job applications
Leaving a name on a job application can lead to an assumption about a candidate that stems from a potentially unconscious biased opinion. Sometimes this can be a negative or positive perception. But either way, it leads to an unfair advantage that may result in one candidate being subconsciously favoured over another because of their name.
Names just aren’t necessary on job applications. During crucial screening stages, the main focus should only be on the candidate’s skills, experience and job compatibility. Further candidate information such as their name, age, gender and even their hobbies should be avoided during initial screening. Blind screening techniques are far more effective in reducing unconscious bias.
3. You deal with high volume recruitment by creating your own cut off point
Stop creating your own cut off points! Have you received too many job applications to the point where you can’t screen them all? Sometimes in this situation, we’re tempted to stop screening applicants after we find the ‘perfect’ candidate. But by excluding applicants this early on in the recruitment process (and earlier than the job advert deadline!) you’re missing out on potential top talent. Not only will you lose out on applicants, but the initial screening process will be unfair and biased towards those who applied first.
Stamp out unconscious favouritism and ensure you consider every single applicant that applies for a role. Stick to job advert deadlines no matter the hiring volume.
Manage job applicants with screening software. Resume review technology runs in the background to process applications and never misses or skips over applicants because it runs out of time.