Unconscious bias can make your recruiting process unfair. Implicit racism, ageism, and sexism often play a role in who gets hired. Making decisions in favor of one candidate or group to the detriment of others results in less effectiveness and diversity among your employees. One way you can reduce bias in your recruiting process is through how you structure interviews. Here are some strategies.
Define the questions to be asked each candidate during interviews. Structuring interviews so everyone is asked the same set of questions standardizes the interview process and minimizes bias. Using a predetermined scale to score candidates’ responses immediately after they’re provided provides an additional independent source of data. Rather than remembering only the most vivid examples or recent answers, interviewers recall the main points each candidate discussed. Also, evaluating candidates’ answers for question one, question two, and so forth lets you simultaneously and systematically compare them. Since specific answers indicate future success on the job, candidates assessed above a set threshold should advance in the recruiting process.
Implement Collaborative Hiring
Use collaborative hiring to reduce biases. Include interviewers with a diverse set of experiences to talk with and assess candidates. Predetermine which criteria are necessary for the position. Focus on these characteristics when interviewing candidates. Implement task-based questions that are more easily measurable to keep your assessments as objective as possible. You’re more likely to end up with a diverse staff.
Avoid Conformity Bias
Be sure to stay away from conformity bias during interviews. People unconsciously prefer others who share their qualities or qualities of someone they like. Because the brain sees them as familiar and relatable, you want to be around them. People also carry implicit stereotypes about men and women. Many believe that men are better with numbers or physically demanding work. Others believe that women aren’t as serious about their careers. People could have biases in favor of their gender. Or, they could be against specific hairstyles, tattoos, or piercings, which they perceive to be unprofessional. These implicit stereotypes need to avoided to choose the best candidate for the position.
Record Initial Impressions
Ensure all interviewers write down their initial impressions of each candidate. You each can evaluate and assess your own biases and rethink your impressions. You might uncover the unconscious belief that men are more capable than women, an extrovert is more efficient and knowledgeable than an introvert, or a regional background or accent makes one candidate less qualified than another. Use this information to compare and contrast candidates based on their merit and suitability for the role rather than unconscious bias.
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