Experts say unconscious hiring biases cause people to make hiring decisions in favor of certain groups. This has a detrimental effect that creates less diversity in the workplace, affects recruitment efforts and increases employee turnover. Discover seven practical tips to un-do biases in the workplace.
1. Start Talking
Understand your hiring practices as they currently stand. That means examining your staff and hiring practices. A full audit can uncover any hiring biases within your organization in an objective manner. Have every employee undergo diversity training to help individuals recognize their own biases. Once the entire organization starts talking about bias, employers can take steps to change a firm's culture.
2. Remove Names on Resumes
Computer software can examine resumes based on skills, experiences and qualifications only. These programs remove the names of people, which can reduce occurrences of a hiring bias. Consider that people named Jamal, Lakshmi and Chen may face certain bias versus people named Jim, Rachel or Adam. Getting rid of names on resumes can help recruiters find candidates who are the best possible fits for the organization. Rank resumes based on ability first rather than names.
3. Revamp Job Descriptions
Language in job descriptions may unintentionally show hiring bias against certain people. Words such as "competitive" and "determined" may result in women feeling as if they don't fit into this workplace environment. Try substituting the words "collaborative" and "cooperative" to attract a more diverse crowd. These word choices downplay any competition within the work setting and focus on teamwork. Again, software can help here. Computer programs can pinpoint gendered words and suggest improvements.
4. Administer Work Sample Tests
Ahead of an interview, administer work sample tests to candidates. This gives you a way, on paper, of evaluating how someone may perform on the job ahead of an interview. You can use a work sample test, also known as a skills test, to eliminate candidates based on ability rather than a bias.
5. Structure Your Interviews
Unstructured interviews, although favored in some circles as ways to start a conversation, often make interviewers feel more comfortable with those who have similar backgrounds. Instead, maintain standardized and structured interviews. That doesn't mean ask the same question for each position at every interview for several years. This simply means ask the same questions of every candidate to see who gives the best answers.
6. Stay Objective
Many hiring managers hire on a likeability principle. This is problematic because companies gravitate towards people who are closer to the same mindset as company leaders. Although it's natural for someone to hire a person he likes, this cognitive hiring bias leads to managers hiring people based on whether they have things in common with a candidate. Get rid of this bias by hiring people based on pure skills as opposed to aspects of their personality that really don't matter to their job performance.
7. Set Goals
As a conclusion of your overall audit of your hiring practices, set diversity goals for your company. Use hard data as a background for this goal, as diverse companies make more money, increase sales and have major business advantages over those that don't.
Hiring biases can stunt a company's growth, hurt employee retention and cost some great hires. Use these seven practical tips to improve your hiring practices.
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