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How to Remove Unconscious Bias in Recruitment

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Unconscious bias has never been a more relevant topic. Recruiters and hiring managers everywhere are taking steps to eradicate unconscious bias in the recruitment process to build on diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

A diverse and inclusive workplace is one that reflects the general makeup of its society. Diversity refers not only to ethnicity, race, age, gender, religion, disabilities, and sexual orientation but also to personalities, skill sets, education, and more.

Adopting diversity and inclusion as a priority demonstrates how much a business accepts and values differences. Additionally, a diverse and inclusive workplace has a hugely positive effect on the entire business.


How Can Recruiters Begin to Address Their Own Unconscious Bias?

When recruiters begin to address their own unconscious bias they also start building diversity and inclusion through talent acquisition.

Developing a successful diversity hiring strategy ensures a brand appeals to candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds. Moreover, it reduces the chance of unconscious bias.

Consider the following tactics to limit the effects of your own blind spots with regard to unconscious bias.


Use an ATS to “Blind” CV’s

Using an applicant tracking system enables you to look at CV’s “blind.”

In other words, the system hides the candidates’ names and contact details. Ultimately, this ensures you will judge applicants primarily on their skills and experience.

Psychometric Testing Can Limit Unconscious Bias

Psychometric testing measures a variety of skills. Ideally, you will test for the skills the applicant will need to fulfil the duties of the job they’re applying for. These tests objective, convenient, and strong indicators of job performance.

Put a Diverse Panel in Place for the Interview

Interviews are often conducted by one hiring manager. However, if possible, putting a diverse hiring panel in place can help to counteract unconscious biases. In addition, review as a team the language you’re using in job descriptions. This could make the difference between limiting or widening the number of interested candidates.

Use a Variety of Job Boards

Favoring a certain type of channel or platform to advertise jobs can limit the potential talent pool. For example, if you’ve only ever posted on Facebook, consider trying different channels and platforms for recruitment advertising.

Diversifying Your Demographic Targeting Will Limit Unconscious Bias

There are dozens of job boards and social media sites, each with a varying demographic. For instance, take the younger, new-to-the-workplace Generation Z. They typically don’t spend time on Facebook, but you have a strong chance of reaching them on Twitter.

Attend Job Fairs

When selecting potential job fairs to target, it could be worth considering attending a wider range of job fairs. For example, attend job fairs that attract both graduates and non-graduates. This strategy could introduce you to and attract a broader diversity of candidates.

Ditch the One-Size-Fits-All Benefits

With a diverse workforce comes a diverse range of requirements relating to flexibility and benefits. A one-size-fits-all benefits package is a symptom of unconscious bias. Moreover, it will not work when you’re reaching out to several generations and a diverse range of needs.

Introduce an Employee Referral Scheme

Finally, businesses could look at introducing an employee referral scheme. This can allow recruiters to meet and possibly hire passive candidates who they otherwise may never have reached.


Create an Inclusive Environment by Reducing Unconscious Bias

Diversity and inclusion must not stop after the recruitment phase. An ongoing positive employee experience is vital to attracting and retaining diverse talent.

If all employees have a voice and are encouraged to be themselves, with all generations understood and represented, the business will not only thrive but attract further generations of diverse candidates.