How to Eliminate Hidden Biases

People aren’t perfect. It’s something we all know to be true.

When it comes to the hiring process, our imperfections could come out in unconscious and hidden biases.

For food and beverage industry hiring managers, now is a great time to look at your recruiting and hiring practices and see where preferences might be overshadowing other routes for finding good candidates.

For managers, it means going beyond people who have the same work experience as you do and actively looking for qualified candidates that could bring a different point of view to your team.


Want more best practices for your human resources department? Read here.


 

Take a step back and consider ways hidden biases might be lurking in your hiring and interviewing process:

1) Review your job descriptions

When looking to fill a position, is the job description using any language that might suggest a bias, such as excluding people with mobility issues? Does the ad use wording that might attract more men than women to apply; words like “determined” and “competitive” compared with “collaborative” or “cooperative”? Does the job require a certain number of years of experience? That could be perceived as discriminatory against younger employees. It’s not always intentional, but it’s easy to use language because it’s comfortable and accidentally discourage people from considering the job.


Looking for a “perfect” candidate? They don’t exist. Read more.


2) Adopt a “blind review” process for resumes

Men are still considered more seriously and more often for managerial positions than women. But if hiring managers and recruiters only see work experience and qualifications, without names, the playing field is leveled. This also reduces unconscious bias against people with unusual names who might not be taken as seriously as those with mainstream or traditional names.

3) Develop a list of standardized interview questions

When all job candidates are asked the same questions, in the same order, by the same people, their answers have a better chance to shine. A potential employee who has more work or life experience will provide different answers than someone just starting out. This doesn’t mean one has better answers than the other, but it will provide insight into how they would approach the job and the skills they would bring to your team. Asking standard, uniform questions will make it easier to get a sense of who would be a better fit for the organization.


Want advice on creating better interviews? Learn more here.


4) Do you like this person?

Interviews, like dating, require quick decisions and judgments. Research suggests recruiters and hiring managers decide within seconds whether they like an applicant on a personal level. That’s all well and good, but that can create a bias. Take a moment to acknowledge whether a candidate made a great first impression or a less-than-stellar one. Consider whether that impression has impacted how their answers to interview questions were perceived. Having several people interview candidates can also provide a clearer view of which candidate is a better choice.


Concerned about a candidate’s frequent job changes? Here’s why it’s an asset.


5) Consider setting diversity goals

This might seem like an obvious suggestion, but it’s worth thinking about. If your company does not establish a goal of having a diverse workplace, it will be easier to adapt to biases and overlook qualified candidates. Diversity hiring goals also make it part of your company’s culture to seek candidates who might not look exactly like the current staff. It becomes a priority.

 

 

Expand the hiring pool

Research suggests bringing in a team of employees who come from different backgrounds makes for a richer, broader, and more energized organization. Addressing unconscious biases in your interviewing and selection process is a great step towards the future success of your company.

 

Kinsa Group has 35 years of experience working with companies to meet their hiring goals, and we’re ready to help you meet this challenge too. Contact us today, and let’s get started.

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