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Eliminating Unconscious Bias in Recruitment: A 4-Step Approach

Unconscious bias, also known as implicit bias, refers to the associations we create outside of our conscious awareness and control. These biases are influenced by our background, societal stereotypes, and personal & cultural contexts. Unconscious bias can have a significant impact on our attitudes and behaviors, particularly in the workplace.

In the recruitment process, unconscious bias can manifest itself in several ways, such as forming opinions about candidates based on first impressions or preferring one candidate over another due to personal similarities. It can lead to the selection of candidates who are not the most qualified for the job and contribute to inequality in the workplace.

However, there are steps that can be taken to reduce unconscious bias in the hiring process:

  1. Understand and educate: The first step in reducing unconscious bias is to understand what it is and how it can manifest itself. This can be achieved through training and education for the entire team.
  2. Focus on skills: Implement tools to help you focus on the candidates’ skills, instead of their demographics. Tools such as Skillfill help you to eliminate bias in the early stages of the hiring process.
  3. Standardize the interview process: Structured interviews, where each candidate is asked the same set of defined questions, can help to minimize bias and focus on factors that have a direct impact on performance. Using an interview scorecard that grades candidates’ responses to each question can be a helpful tool.
  4. Set diversity goals: As a company, it is important to set diversity goals and make inclusion and diversity a core part of the company's DNA. By creating tangible goals to ensure inclusion and diversity, companies can take active steps to reduce unconscious bias and create a more inclusive and diverse workforce.

By being mindful of unconscious bias and implementing these strategies, companies can improve their chances of selecting the most qualified candidates for the job and create a more inclusive and diverse workforce. It is important to note that reducing unconscious bias is an ongoing process that requires continuous monitoring and improvement.


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