Introduction:

There are several ways you can limit unconscious bias or better yet, prevent it altogether. 

With this handy workflow, you can rethink the interview process. You can also help the interview panel rethink the candidates.

Use a workflow like the following one to avoid unconscious bias, particularly when it may disrupt your hiring processes. It can also help to prevent the following problems:

Process Street has created several workflows to counter unconscious bias and also to promote diversity. We hope this workflow will help to improve your hiring processes.

Question your own beliefs:

This involves challenging yourself and your beliefs about potential candidates.

Consider a time when you made a judgment about someone within the first ten seconds of meeting them. If you got to know them for a long time, did your initial impression prove to be true?

Test yourself for bias

Ask yourself if you have any stereotypical impressions of how a candidate for the following positions should look.

Write down the first thing that comes to mind about how each person should look.

You may discover you have a bias you were unaware of.

Ensure that you have all the relevant details

This will help you to avoid filling in the missing blanks with your misrepresentations or bias.

You should also remember that the candidate is there to answer your questions. Anything you don’t know, you should ask the candidate. Their answer will prevent you from assuming a different one.

Watch for biased behavior in meetings:

This should be done with the whole team who will be involved in the hiring process. A team decision, made with more than one person, should result in a fairer and less biased selection. The final decision is always best and bias-free when made by a diverse collection of decision-makers.

You should also be aware of those who interrupt others. Are they listening or trying to enforce their bias on a group decision? Make them aware of their behavior and lack of listening skills. Also, rotate around the room and let every attendee have their chance to speak uninterrupted.

Question the interview panel’s beliefs

Start first by discussing what the right attitude and correct skills will bring to the role your company is advertising. This makes selecting the person based on their educational background the second factor in your panel’s decision.

During the meeting, find out the panel’s thoughts on whether highly gifted candidates can now be found outside traditional talent clusters. There are a lot of people developing their skills at home with the help of online courses.

Those candidates should be getting a fair shot at the opportunity just like everyone else.

Make the interview panel aware of bias

Rerun the test in task 3, but this time ask your panel to complete it. 

Do they have an idea in mind of what a computer programmer looks like? How about a receptionist? Ask your panel to rethink and avoid stereotypical views of what a particular job candidate should look like.

The payoff for your company will also be worth it. If bias can be altered, diversity can flourish which can result in better financial returns.

As Forbes has said: A focus on diversity often means a focus on hiring.

Check the wording you are using:

To avoid unconscious bias, look at the words used in your job descriptions. Are they in favor of certain genders?

You can use a Gender Bias Decoder to check if your text use favors one gender over another.

Use an anonymous test

There may be a talent shortage, but there is no end to the talents that certain candidates can bring to the table. It’s easy to overlook candidates who didn’t attend elite colleges and miss out on enthusiastic self-starters.

You can arrange an anonymous test for each candidate. Before the interview process begins, present each member of the panel with the results of the anonymous test. This will encourage the panel to consider candidates based on their aptitude

For some positions, it will be important to select employees based on their creativity.

Put unconscious bias training in place

If you have concerns about interviewers who may have unconscious bias, remember that there are a lot of effective training courses available.

Online courses by providers including LinkedIn, can be completed by staff members in the office or remotely. Users can usually get to grips with the topic of unconscious bias in under thirty minutes.

These courses are especially helpful for those who are involved in recruitment drives and may represent the company at job fairs.

Use structured interviews to avoid bias

Interviewers can quickly believe their first impression of a candidate. They will then be selective in their questioning to prove their early impressions were correct. This is known as confirmation bias.

Structured questions and interviews essentially make sure that every candidate goes through the same fair process to determine who should get the job. This works by having the interview panel ask a set of planned questions. The questions must also be relevant

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