According to a recent McKinsey study, organizations that are culturally diverse are 35 per cent more likely to outperform their competition, while companies that are gender diverse are 15 per cent more likely.
Despite this, businesses of all sizes around the world are still attempting to strike the appropriate balance. In essence, we gravitate toward those who are similar to us. It’s in our nature, and it transcends age, gender, and ethnicity. A person’s view of a candidate can be swayed by factors such as their class, hobbies, or even their favourite football team. Even worse, unconscious prejudice may have an adverse effect even before we meet the job candidate.
Everything from the job description’s content to how you process CVs could have a significant impact on the final pool of individuals you get to interview. Unconscious bias isn’t something that a company can eliminate overnight by implementing a policy. Even after laying out the actions that should be done to improve the hiring process and discover more diverse talent, unconscious bias on the part of recruiters, human resources experts, and managers may sabotage those efforts, preventing the organization from employing the best and brightest talents.
Here are a few ways that businesses could perhaps try to reduce the unconscious bias:
The Blind Hiring Approach
Blind hiring is one method for removing some of the factors that can cause unconscious bias, such as names and email addresses. Despite having the same qualifications as other candidates, many early studies on unconscious bias indicated that the resumes of women and minorities, in particular, were more commonly overlooked due to preconceptions made about their names.
As a result, blind hiring can be a useful method for screening applications because it allows you to focus solely on a candidate’s relevant job experience and talents without being persuaded by preconceived notions about their background. This allows you to concentrate solely on merit, ensuring that only the most qualified candidates advance to the next stage of the hiring process.
Using Pre-Employment Assessment Tests
Pre-employment assessments are another objective (and highly predictive) component to use in your hiring process. These evaluations provide objective information on a candidate’s likelihood of success in a specific role. Cognitive abilities, personality assessments, and skill tests are some of the most popular types of evaluations.
Because they are one of the most predictive variables of work performance, these assessments are extremely valuable in the hiring process. Even better, they allow you to compare your whole candidate pool objectively without being misled by unconscious bias. When all candidates are given the same assessments, it equalizes the playing field and allows everyone to demonstrate their potential in the same way.
Educate Managers about Unconscious Bias
Although it may seem evident, one of the first and most basic actions is to educate your leaders and hiring managers about unconscious bias. Knowing more about it will help you recognize when it is clouding your judgment. Unconscious bias training can be used to pass this knowledge on to recruiting supervisors. Understanding the problem from the onset can enable individuals in hiring roles to actively examine and reflect on their initial impressions of a candidate, reducing the cause of a problem.
Creating a Structured Interview Process
When it comes to interviewing, hiring managers may be tempted to opt for an unstructured session in order to gain a better sense of a candidate. Unstructured interviews, on the other hand, might make it difficult for hiring managers to accurately compare prospects, making unconscious bias more prevalent. Using a standardized method to test all applicants, will ensure that they are all judged based on the same criteria.
The simplest method to do this is to keep to a set of questions for each application and make sure you don’t stray from them. This can help to eliminate subjectivity by allowing applicants to be judged against others based on their individual responses. Another way of doing this is adapting an applicant tracking software that manages all the end-to-end recruitment operations allowing you to seamlessly track the status of the application along with the action taken against it.
It makes good business sense to eliminate all forms of bias in the workplace. Your company attracts higher-quality job prospects who, once hired, contribute to increased sales and productivity.
Putting all employees on the same ground boosts employee morale, which leads to a greater retention rate. A greater retention rate translates to lower turnover, which saves money for your company.
Reduced unconscious bias in the workplace requires a daily commitment from everyone in your organization. When unconscious bias knocks on your door and is met with a “Not Welcome” sign, all of your hard work pays off.