Although you may understand what unconscious bias is and try to avoid it when bringing aboard employees, odds are other hiring managers might not be as aware of the issue. If so, they may be allowing unconscious bias to affect whom they hire, leaving out a variety of highly skilled talent that could benefit your company. As a result, your organization may lack diversity and be hindered from moving to the next level. Thankfully, there are steps you can to combat unconscious bias in your hiring process.
Administer Pre-Employment Assessments
Have each candidate participate in pre-employment assessments. Such tests provide objective data on the likelihood of a candidate succeeding in a role. Common assessments include cognitive ability, personality assessments and skills tests. Having each candidate take the same test creates an equal basis on which to demonstrate their potential in the same manner. Use the results to objectively compare your candidate pool and decide whom should fill the role.
Standardize Your Hiring Process
Use a standardized hiring process where each candidate has the same opportunity to show their abilities. Having each candidate go through the same steps means they are treated in the same way. Although your hiring process may differ for each position, such as an entry-level role having a shorter hiring timeline than an executive role, candidates need to be evaluated using the same system.
Implement Structured Interviews
Using structured interviews means each candidate is treated fairly. Because an interview involves talking with a candidate face-to-face, the risk for unconscious bias is higher. People tend to make judgements based on gender, race, likability, how much they have in common, or other qualities not related to the job. Unstructured interviews often persuade a hiring manager to prefer a candidate based on commonalities rather than being best qualified for the position. On the other hand, structured interviews focus on objectivity by using a standardized set of questions targeted to determine how well the candidate may perform in the role. Questions may focus on skills, experience, collaboration, cultural fit and other relevant elements.
Have an Interview Panel
Create a panel of department professionals to interview each candidate. After gaining the facts about each candidate and creating informed opinions, panel members can share what they observed about who would be best suited for the position. After a healthy discussion, the panel can vote on which candidate they feel should be offered the job.
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