Getting rid of preconceptions in hiring
Though many hiring managers may not like to think it’s true, the fact is that there are implicit biases in their hiring processes that will affect who they hire time and time again. This isn’t something that’s necessarily being done out of malice or even consciously, but it’s certainly something that happens at just about every company in the world. To that end, it’s important for decision-makers to ensure they’re doing what they can reduce the number of biases they carry into any resume review or interview.
Often, the kind of bias seen in many hiring processes first manifests itself in the job listing companies post online or elsewhere, according to Harvard Business Review. For instance, certain words like “competitive” may unconsciously indicate that women will not be considered as seriously as men because of unspoken gender biases. Similarly, women may be more likely to apply for jobs with listings that talk about “collaboration.”
Experts note that in a lot of cases, the best way for companies to find a candidate who can do the job in question well is by having a “work sample” test that will simulate some of the things a candidate would be asked to do on a daily basis if they were to get the job, the report said. Business insiders have typically found these are the best way of determining who will be the have the most success in their jobs going forward, and this can be done objectively, especially if using a blind testing process in which candidates’ names or other identifying details are stripped out.
“A skill test forces employers to critique the quality of a candidate’s work versus unconsciously judging them based on appearance, gender, age, and even personality,” Francesca Gino, professor at Harvard Business School, told the publication.
Meanwhile, companies can also take steps to make their hiring processes a bit more structured, according to CompTIA. By putting more rigid processes in place to ensure all applicants are being judged on the same criteria every time, companies will necessarily be able to reduce the various implicit biases that may go into their hiring decisions. And when it comes to the interview process, it might be wise to have a specific set of questions in place so that everyone’s answer can be recorded accurately and judged against one another.
For companies that find they have hired a lot of people with similar backgrounds in recent recruitment efforts, it might also be wise to bring more people within the company to the table when it comes to making decisions, according to High Speed Training. When there are more eyes on a project, someone is more likely to see potential hiccups that could be holding back a totally fair and unbiased hiring effort.
Perhaps the most important thing for companies to do here is be honest with themselves that there are almost certainly unconscious biases weighing into their hiring decisions. Once that reality is better understood, it becomes far easier to remedy the issue and avoid any potential issues down the road.