7 Ways to remove bias from your recruitment process
Diversity and inclusion tips
Recruitment is a critical process that shapes the composition and success of any organisation. However, despite best intentions, unconscious biases can creep into the hiring process, leading to unfair practices and hindered diversity. We tend to typically identify with people who are similar to us and often make decisions based on social stereotypes that have formed outside our own conscious awareness. Recognising and addressing these biases is essential for building inclusive workplaces that foster innovation and creativity. In this article, we will explore some key tips to consider to hinder and manage unconscious bias and promote a more equitable hiring process.
In a Diversity Survey*, Drake Australia (Drake) found that 67% of employees thought their organisation could improve on diversity practices when it comes to attraction and selection of candidates.
How do you mitigate bias in your recruitment process?
1. CONDUCT AN AUDIT OF YOUR RECRUITMENT PRACTICES
Take the time to review your existing recruitment practices. This can include ensuring there is a standardised and consistent selection procedure, updating position descriptions to reflect the core qualities and skills required in the role and review of the channels/mediums utilised to source talent.
2. IMPLEMENT DIVERSITY TRAINING
According to Drake’s Diversity Survey, 39% of employees had not received any training on how to reduce potential hiring bias. Regular diversity training should be offered to anyone who is involved in the hiring process.
3. JOB DESCRIPTIONS AND ADVERTISEMENTS
Job descriptions play a pivotal role in attracting diverse candidates. Organisations should carefully craft inclusive job descriptions that emphasise essential qualifications and skills while avoiding unnecessary gendered or biased language. The use of gender-neutral terms, such as "they" instead of "he" or "she," can help eliminate gender bias in recruitment materials. Additionally, showcasing an organisation's commitment to diversity and inclusion in job advertisements can signal to potential applicants that the company values and embraces a diverse workforce.
4 PHONE SCREENING PRIOR TO INTERVIEWING
Screening by phone eliminates visual clues, allowing the interviewer to focus on a candidates’ experience, technical skillset and character. As a result, ‘first impressions’ become less impactful and successful candidates are those that represented a strong alignment with the job and skill set/experience.
5. START USING PANEL INTERVIEWS
Including diverse perspectives in the interview process can help mitigate biases. Establish interview panels that represent a variety of backgrounds and experiences. Each panel member brings their unique viewpoints, challenging any unconscious biases and ensuring a fair evaluation of candidates. Multiple perspectives can help uncover hidden potential that might have been overlooked otherwise.
6. STANDARDISE YOUR INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
Interviews lacking structure or defined questions are unreliable for predicting job success. Each candidate should be asked the same set of defined questions so employers can focus on the key skills and experience required for the role. Certain questions should also be given an additional weighting, as some will provide valuable insight into the likely future performance.
7. ANONYMOUS RESUMES
To counteract biases based on gender, ethnicity, or other identifiable characteristics, implement anonymous resume practices. Strip resumes of personal information such as name, gender, and age before they reach the hiring manager. This allows for an unbiased evaluation of candidates solely based on their qualifications, skills, and experience.
Overcoming unconscious bias in recruitment is an ongoing journey that requires a commitment to continuous learning and improvement. By incorporating these tips into the hiring process, organisations can foster an inclusive environment where every candidate has a fair chance to succeed.
For more information on best practice when it comes to recruitment and selection, contact Drake on 13 14 48.