Unconscious Biases to Avoid when Hiring

There’s no denying it. Sometimes you’re just drawn to certain people in a way that goes further than a pure gut feeling or good first impression. In our day-to-day lives, this is not a problem, but in the hiring process, this can lead to unfair favouring and, worse, hiring the wrong candidate for the position. 

A mutual connection between the employee and employer is essential. Still, it’s even more necessary that the candidate possesses the right skills, talent, and expertise to thrive in the role you’re hiring for. 

It’s crucial to note that these unconscious biases are something we have no control over, and everyone has them. However, these biases are both critical and problematic in your judgment during the hiring process. To overcome them, you must take time with your decisions, see each candidate as an individual, and determine if they will be the right fit for the role or not. 

Here are four unconscious biases that you should be aware of that might be clouding your judgment throughout the hiring process. 

The Gender Bias 

Also known as the gender divide, it can play a massive role in establishing and reaffirming harmful stereotypes in the workplace. Such views can be; men are stronger, assertive, and more analytic, while women are nurturing, creative, and collaborative. These are long-existing social norms that compare the candidate’s ability to succeed in the role based on his or her gender. Asking both men and women the same questions, performing the interview blind, or standardizing your process will eliminate this bias and show who the best fit for the job is. 

School Bias 

Preferring a candidate from a particular University is a bias based on the level of their education, intelligence, and, ultimately, socio-economic status, none of which reflect their eligibility for the position. This can alter your overall perception of them as a person and create a team environment that lacks talent and diversity. 

Racial Bias 

Though you might not consider yourself to have a racial bias, there are unconscious prejudices that do exist. Researchers from Northwestern University found that white candidates receive nearly twice the call-backs of non-whites in countries such as France, Sweden, and Canada. This can be simply by looking at the name at the top of a resume and making an instant judgment on the skills of the candidate. The best way to avoid this is to hide the names on the submitted resumes, as this will help you narrow down your search to the people who are genuinely qualified for the position. 

Affinity Bias 

Whether we want to admit it or not, we all carry a bit of affinity bias around with us. The reason it occurs is that our brains are drawn to others who seem familiar or relatable. As much as we want to hire those we would be friends with, recruiting with this bias creates an environment of sameness with a lack of diversity and innovation. Company culture is essential, but it could also be clouding your vision for finding candidates that are a qualified fit for the position. 

How do you overcome these unconscious biases when making your next big hire? 

Practices such as blind interviews, artificial intelligence screening, work sample tests, clear diversity goals, and inclusive job descriptions are few ways you can work to prevent these unconscious biases and hire the wrong person. Here at BullsEye Recruitment, we offer Workplace Bias Leadership training that will show hiring managers how to think more objectively and standardize their hiring practices. The key is to eliminate personal identities so you can solely make a judgment based on the strengths and skills that they have to offer. This will allow you to build and retain a team that is both diverse and inclusive and will drive your business to the next level. 

Book your free 45-minute consultation here!


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