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Unconscious bias in hiring: how can we eliminate it?

yese talks a lot about diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Companies today try to get rid of any form of discrimination and unconscious bias in their hiring processes. Some of them seek to attract diverse candidates, for example, applying blind CV selection methods or organizing fully inclusive career days for all.

But what happens when the final hiring decision is influenced by unconscious bias? Could you be biased without realizing it?

Science says yes. Our minds make decisions intuitively, before we know it. Research also shows it; we are not immune to implicit bias. We like to think that logical arguments drive our decision making, but in fact there is unconscious activity within our brains that affects our judgments and decisions. And this also includes hiring decisions.

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What does unconscious bias in hiring mean?

In the hiring process, unconscious bias occurs when you form an opinion about candidates based solely on first impressions. Or when one candidate is preferred over another simply because the former seems like someone to easily hang out with outside of work.

Even in the early stages of hiring, a candidate's resume image, name, or hometown could sway your opinion more than you think. In short, unconscious bias influences your decision, either positively or negatively, using criteria irrelevant to the job.

However, is it really unconscious?

In different studies it has been observed that prejudices do not always occur unconsciously. We tend to make assumptions based on what we think we know, based on our backgrounds, based on our personal preferences. And then, we act on these assumptions.

But is it necessarily a bad thing to choose people who fit your culture? Or people you think the company and its teams will get along with? Sometimes yes and sometimes no.

Unconscious bias is actually costing money and talent. Biased hiring decisions result in less diverse teams. And less diversity hampers your company's productivity.

At Hirint, we're not just trying to reduce unconscious hiring bias when selecting candidates; if we don't look to go further back and reduce this bias in where you find talent, especially when talent shortages and skills gaps result in a less than optimal pool of candidates for a job opening.

Therefore, we seek not only to diversify teams, but also to diversify your hiring process: when we dig into a wider network and explore new sources of candidates, reach out to people who already have the right skills, but who did not succeed in their channels. contracting for using your usual strategy.

So how do you eliminate unconscious hiring bias?

  1. We must be aware of our prejudices. We may not be able to get rid of them completely, but it's important to raise awareness and help people think more consciously when making hiring decisions.

  1. Bias could be everywhere, especially unconscious bias in recruitment is common during the selection phase of the resume. This is when we advance or reject applicants based on how close they are to our image of the perfect candidate.

But that's not the only step in the hiring process where we should be looking for unconscious bias. Even when we decide to advance a candidate despite a nagging feeling that he or she isn't quite right for the job, that initial impression will follow us, or actually haunt us, throughout the hiring process and will likely disqualify them. in a moment. later stage.

To identify potential bias, we need to look at every step of the entire recruiting cycle, from the recruiting marketing techniques we apply to the moment we onboard people.

To really understand where your biases are, you need to monitor your recruiting process on an ongoing basis, collect data, and identify where the issues are.

The role of technology in increasing diversity

Technology can increase completion rates and collect more (much more focused) data when incorporated into the pre-application and application phases of the recruiting process.

There are tools that hide applicants' photographs. Or tools that automatically post your job ads in multiple places, widening your reach and reaching more candidates in the “unlikely places.” One of the latest trends is also making parts of the hiring process anonymous.

Combat the root of unconscious bias in hiring

The implementation of technology will help a lot in our bias-free process, but we must also think about how we can improve ourselves. Since this is not a problem that technology could solve.

Removing unconscious bias is not separate from your company's overall business goals. Consider what you want to achieve and how to get there.

Companies really need to think about how they assess people through processes. What are the skills, experience, competencies that we really need in this job?' And, if we were all open-minded about where we could go and get those competencies, we might find that we employ very different people than the people that we have.

Societies are diverse, so unconscious hiring biases could quietly sabotage the effort to build equally diverse workplaces.

Can we really get rid of our prejudices?

There have been some excellent initiatives from companies trying to build more inclusive work environments globally. There have also been various organizations and communities that actively support minorities in the workplace. There have even been people who are dedicated to increasing diversity within their company but all these efforts do not guarantee that we will be completely impartial.

There is an unconscious bias even if we really seek more diversity in our hiring process. However, we can always start by trying to understand where bias comes from and how it affects our hiring decisions; we may not be able to completely dismiss our unconscious bias, but ultimately we will be more aware of it when it happens.

Thanks to Hirint, this bias can be eliminated in a 90% so that together with us it will be possible to improve the selection of personnel, our algorithms do not know gender, race or age, thus allowing objective decisions to be made.

We help you detect true talent through the skills and learning abilities of the candidates and the fit they have with specific positions in your organization.

And you… Are you aware of these biases when carrying out a selection process? Would you like to eliminate bias from your selection processes? At Hirint we help you reduce bias and therefore increase diversity in your company, book your demos HERE

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