How Does Bias Affect Hiring?
Everyone has unconscious biases that predetermine how someone thinks of a person. They can influence someone’s decision to favor one person or group over another and take a toll on a team’s diversity and recruitment process. Unnoticed biases in the recruitment process can make the team susceptible to a lack of diversity and hinders a qualified person’s ability to improve the company.
Princeton conducted a study that confirmed the existence of biased hiring, in regards to major symphony orchestras. When blind auditions were practiced, “the probability that a woman would advance from preliminary rounds [increased] by 50 percent." Removing aspects that influence bias, like the way a person looks, increases diversity. Your company will build its best team possible when it prioritizes steps that mitigate bias.
There are many steps a company can take to eliminate bias in hiring. The first step is to bring awareness to unconscious biases. Everyone has unconscious biases, no matter their background. Forbes explains that “implicit biases are pervasive. Everyone possesses them, even people who are trained for objectivity such as judges and scientists.”
Someone’s prejudice is a bit different than an unconscious bias. Prejudice is an opinion against a person or group that is based on insufficient facts. Someone with prejudice is usually intolerant to certain groups. Someone’s bias, however, can place stereotypes on a person or group, which can influence a person’s decisions. A bias does not always cause intolerance.
More awareness can help employees recognize their own biases and prevent them from being someones driving decision-maker. One way organizations are mitigating bias is through diversity training. Diversity training can help everyone in an organization recognize their own bias and learn how to work as a team. This training also facilitates conversations in the workplace about biases that can help your company implement ways to mitigate them. Here are some more ways your company can mitigate bias:
Have a Consistent Hiring Process
An unstructured or inconsistent hiring process leaves room for biases to sneak in and make decisions. Make the application and interview process the same for each candidate to have a level playing field for everyone. One way to do so is to implement software that hides a candidate’s name or personal information that could influence someone’s bias. An essential part of recruitment is staying objective, and any processes that can help with that will improve your results.
If recruiters don’t pay attention to a candidate’s name or other factors that influence bias, they can focus on a candidate’s experience and capabilities. You can also expand your hiring process to be more inclusive. Your ideal candidate may not have a LinkedIn, for example, but that is the main platform you post your jobs. Varying where you post your jobs can welcome even more candidates. You can make your job posting more inclusive by determining if your job’s requirements should include a college degree. Relevant work experience could be enough to fulfill the required role, and requiring a college degree may be shrinking your pool of candidates without even realizing it.
Standardize Your Interviews
A hiring process with unstructured interviews can be beneficial to understand if someone’s personality fits with a team and lets a person’s experience be told organically. However, an unstructured interview doesn’t always show how someone will perform on the job. Standardized questions can keep the interview focused on a candidate’s qualifications and their ability to perform the job.
Use the same questions for each candidate so that it’s easier to compare candidates and takes away any bias that may come throughout the hiring process. Knowing a candidate’s likability can be helpful, but it can also be the first domino to fall in creating more biases. If a candidate’s likability is important to your company, it is still crucial to catch biases before they expand. The best way to do this is to create systems that keep an objective view of a candidate’s likability.
Use Tools That Promote Consistency
One way to keep a consistent interview process is to conduct audio-based interviews. A phone call can be the perfect way to get to know a candidate when you know what to look for. A candidate’s personality can be shown through their voice, and a phone call lets you stay focused on standardized questions ensuring consistency.
Qualifi’s on-demand interview platform helps mitigate bias and improve every aspect of the interview process. Our solutions include bringing efficiency and erasing preconceived notions in every interview. We provide the fastest interview process for recruiters while providing a convenient interview experience for candidates. The Qualifi scheduling tools let candidates respond on their own schedule, encouraging more people to apply for your open roles and helping you find your ideal candidates.