Unconscious Bias - What is it? And How do you eliminate it from an Interview? - Part 2
"I think that unconscious bias is one of the hardest things to get at" – Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States)
In the first part of our article, we looked at what signifies unconscious bias and also at some of the different bias types. With a better understanding of what it is, we can now look at reducing bias in the hiring process and ways for you to avoid interviewer bias in your recruitment process.
Ways to reduce bias in your hiring process
Check the language in your job description
It is very easy to use language that has gender-bias in an advert inadvertently. Many people in society are conditioned to have expectations of what men and women are like and how they differ. When writing a job description, it is essential to remember to avoid gender-biased language. If any of the words you have used make you think of a particular sex, ensure that you change the terms to something neutral.
Blind the resume review process
Blind the resume means removing personal information from candidate information during the review process. A person's name is the key thing to remove, but things such as a candidate's age and even where they live can affect some individuals when it comes to deciding on the best applications.
Use standard interview questions
By using standard interview questions, all applicants will have equal opportunities for success. Asking the same questions offers a consistent approach and makes things easier for the decision-makers too.
Use a collaborative hiring approach
A collaborative hiring approach is when "the team" is involved in deciding on who to hire. Having different people doing the review of applications, another person doing the interviews, or using a panel for interviews. When the decision is to be made, all involved collaborate to decide who should be hired.
How you can avoid interviewer bias
Follow an interview guide
An interview guide is a simple plan of what will happen during the interview process. Consider how applicants will be welcomed, who they will be interviewed by, what topics the interview will cover, how the interview will be concluded and what follow-up advice the candidates will receive. Following an interview guide coupled with standard questions will ensure that all applicants are treated equally.
Always make notes as you go. Leave yourself enough time between interviews to ensure that you have noted all of the relevant information on each candidate before moving on to the next interview.
Minimise the pleasantries
It is essential to put the candidate at ease to give their best interview possible. Still, by keeping general banter to a minimum and staying focused on following the interview guide, the chances of unconscious bias creeping in are reduced.
Remember that appointing someone using bias can have severe legal implications for you and your employer. If you hire the wrong person, you will also impede your company's best chance to achieve diversity and we all know that a diverse team achieves the best results.
Enjoy interviewing. Having an opportunity to bring new colleagues into your workplace is a great thing to do.
If you missed the first part of the article on Unconscious Bias where we explired the different types of bias, you can access it here.
Monarch Personnel is proud if its hiring process, much of the process is done blind to promote diversity and inclusion in all that we do.
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