We may want to believe we are not biased in our decisions, but the truth is that we are. Biases percolate everything we do. Think about the news and politics; the latter brings the most illustrative example at its worst. In most cases, we exhibit biased behaviors unconsciously as in the examples of racism or sexism. In essence, unconscious bias is an automatic, mental shortcut used to process information and make decisions quickly. When it comes to hiring decisions, bias is a quite rampant problem. Due to the human nature, we tend to get rid of the “problem” as fast as possible. So when in need of a new employee, hiring managers get biased in an attempt to “close” the position as quickly as possible. Luckily, we can now turn to technology to solve this human problem and eliminate bias in hiring decisions.
Bias-Free Hiring Decisions
Imagine how many candidates don’t even get the chance to prove their compatibility for a specific position. When deciding on a candidate’s profile, skills should be the imperative selection criteria. The reality is different. Often candidates withdrawal happens because of hiring managers subjectivity. Things like the prestigious university degree’s, background, race or gender can leave talented candidates disadvantaged.
So what can you do to tackle unconscious bias in hiring decisions?
#Accepting the reality
The very first thing to do when it comes to bias in hiring decisions s is to maintain an open-mind….easier said than done, I know, but its important for employers to understand what hiring prejudices they exhibit in the first place. Speaking of unconscious biases, the next step is accepting them. Everyone involved in the process should recognize they possess them and identify their own ones, so some type of awareness training is required before we can standardize the process.
#Make your job descriptions unbiased
Ever thought there is so-called “masculine” and “feminine” language? There are indeed words that trigger specific associations in the human mind. A study shows that the words like “determined” or “competitive” scare women, making them believe they don’t fit in. While the words like “collaborative” or “cooperative” attract female candidates. To attract a diverse talent pool, substitute the trigger words with the neutral ones when creating a job description. Otherwise, you can use an AI software to remove any biased language and to recommend alternative wording.
#Automate CV screening
To make the process fair and unbiased at its core, the evaluation of resumes should be done so in a manner that is “blind”. When making the final decisions employers should consider only the candidate profiles with the necessary qualifications, skills and culture fit (more on that later on our blog).
AI is immune from these biases and is thus able to screen resumes in a “blind” setting; ignoring demographics and other sensitive information. In such a way candidate profiles are evaluated only for the specific role compatibility. Plus AI screens tons of resumes instantly, reducing the time spent going through CV’s.
Also, to compare candidates fairer, ask them to perform a job-related task. It will help to predict the candidate’s future job performance. When asking for a job assignment it’s important to show empathy as it might seem unfair from the candidates perspective.
#Make the interviews streamline
Even the most experienced recruiter should not rely solely on their gut feeling! Interviews without a predefined structure are risky to run. Human nature will always prevail and “take over” resulting in biased questions being asked. Whereas, structured and semi-structured interviews questions allow considering only the factors impacting performance success.
Incorporating some kind of scoring scale for every question will make it flawless. By giving a numerical score to a candidate’s responses the interviewer would be in more control of their biases. In other words, an interviewer would be able to compare apples to apples, not apples to oranges! Evaluating a candidate’s soft skills objectively during the limited time of an interview… That’s a hell of a challenge! But tools like the Owiwi platform has solved this matter! With its application, employers can forget the hassle and instead focus on the other critical functions of HR!
Experiment with the wording of job descriptions by avoiding words associated with a particular gender
Control your personal feelings about a particular candidate by giving likability a numerical score
Ask candidates to perform job task as it’s an effective predictor of future job performance
Run unstructured interviews. Alternatively, standardize the interviews process by asking candidates the same questions.
Trust your experience in assessing the demographics. Instead, use an AI to blind the process.
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