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5 Ways Unconscious Bias Is Slipping Into The Hiring Process

How unconscious bias is slipping into your hiring process and how can you avoid this?

Unconscious bias is slipping into your hiring process, so why aren’t you doing anything about it?

Well as the name states many employers and hiring teams are completely unaware of the bias incidents that are occurring. Down to the name on a CV and the subconscious opinions formed in an interview, any hiring strategy is open to bias. It’s often these decisions that encourage discrimination and a lack of diversity within a workplace.

1. Creature of habit

You’re a creature of habit. From how you, source, interview and hire new employees – it always followed the same guidelines, so why change now?

Often the most difficult part of change is implementing a new way of thinking. But in order to evolve a hiring strategy and create a technique that’s inclusive to all applicants, employers and recruiters need to recognise the risk unconscious bias can cause in hiring.

2. You don’t recognise potential bias

It’s difficult to break a routine and recognise incidents that could cause unconscious bias tendencies.

A person can form different perceptions based on their background, attitudes, environment and stereotypes that all form opinions on how they view those around them.

For many, this information is ingrained in a person and can be difficult to recognise without making a conscious effort.

3. You hire someone who is similar to yourself

You have the same interests, great! They went to the same university as you, even better! You’re sure this person will make a great hire because this candidate is just like you.

However, this type of affinity bias is damaging to other job seekers. To minimise the risk of this occurring, hire for value fit rather than culture fit. This is because company values are easier to define and are less subject to bias than culture fit. Employees can share similar values but still have different work styles, perspectives and opinions.

4. You picture the candidate before the hiring process

You know exactly the type of candidate you are looking for before you’ve even hired them. This has the potential to impact each hiring stage and the type of job seekers you want to subconsciously attract. Affecting how the job advert is written to how CVs and job applications are reviewed.

Having the perfect candidate in mind before beginning the hiring process will result in preconceived ideas affecting the treatment of other future candidates. This thought process should be secondary to prioritising a candidate’s skills and experience.

5. A complete human-dependent approach

Ultimately, human decision making will always be prone to bias. It’s very difficult to guarantee a hiring strategy that’s completely free from bias.

Decisions based on personal opinion can result in inconsistencies that are personal to the individual making the hiring decisions.

Therefore by relying fully on human input during different processes, it opens a hiring strategy up to more bias than if they were to incorporate technology and automation into a recruitment strategy.

And that’s it! We want to hear your thoughts, are there any other ways unconscious bias slips into the hiring process?

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