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Workplace bias

4 practical ways to achieve objective recruitment

Kevin Cross

Learn how to reduce bias in your recruitment process to improve hiring outcomes.

 Studies consistently show that recruiters are more likely to hire white, male, straight or “physically attractive candidates than all other applicants. These unconscious biases can not only negatively affect a company’s day-to-day culture, but also harm recruitment outcomes by causing otherwise qualified candidates to be overlooked for superficial reasons. To start reaping the well-documented financial and cultural benefits of diversity amongst your staff, consider these four practical methods for achieving a broader and more inclusive recruitment strategy.

  1. 1. Write More Inclusive Job Descriptions

  2. If you want your search for the right candidate to include people of all different backgrounds, you have to make sure you don’t accidentally exclude anyone from the outset. Due to our unconscious biases, coded and gendered language can be hard to catch — especially if you aren’t looking for it. Even a single word could discourage some qualified candidates, so be mindful of what you write — if your description encourages self-selecting bias, it’ll be nearly impossible to gather a diverse applicant pool.

2. Conduct Blind Resume and CV Reviews

By removing name, age, gender or any other information from application reviews, you increase the likelihood that you’ll make an objective hiring decision. Consider adopting the practice of “blind hiring” and eliminate information with no proven correlation to performance from your recruitment process, such as attendance at prestigious universities.

  1. 3. Situational Judgement Tests

  1. One of the best ways to predict future job performance is to gauge prospective employees’ skills by administering tests that involve exactly the kind of work they’d be doing in their new role. These work sample tests allow you to compare one candidate against the other on the basis of their skills rather than some arbitrarily applied standard, their appearance, or accolades with no bearing on their line of work.

4. Standardise the Interview Process

Maintaining objectivity throughout the interview process is essential to your ability to recruit diverse talent. Video interviews offer an easy yet innovative means to reducing the risk of discrimination in the interviewing process. They level the playing field geographically, giving distant applicants the same shot as those right down the road, as well as allow you to create standardised criteria for which candidates should continue to the next round.  

Technological advances are also helping standardisation and objectivity within hiring processes. The use of intelligent automation - combining human decision making and machine learning helps to not only speed up the hiring process but also highlights any biases inherent within recruiters.

At the end of the day, eliminating every potential source of bias is nearly impossible without a helping hand. Even still, by acknowledging the spaces in which bias might exist, you’ll be well on your way towards an objective recruitment process — and a more successful business — in no time.

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