Discussions regarding unconscious hiring bias are trending in the news. Observers concede unconscious hiring basis is real and exists. Candidates and employers make assumptions throughout the hiring process which affect the outcome of interviews and offers.
Candidates are on-guard for recruiter bias
Candidates are acutely aware of possible recruiter bias in cases when their skin color, gender or age might socially, politically or culturally seem uncommon for the type of job. For instance, a black male applying for a sales associate position at an up scale retail business, a white female interested in a research position. A senior citizen interested in marketing high technology to millennials. Females, seniors and people of color are most conscious of recruiter biases creeping into the interview discussion.
Bias is alive and thriving – words matter.
Bias occurs during every stage of the hiring process, as it is implicit in every organization. From job descriptions to hiring decisions, conclusions are made based on the hiring official’s experience and beliefs. In a job posting, wording is highly important. Certain words will draw female applicants instead of male applicants and vice versa. It is essential for organizations to use both types of wording to attract a wide array of candidates. For example, a posting that states “flexible hours” is more likely to attract a woman, as they handle the majority of child and elder care duties. According to an internal Hewlett-Packard survey, women tend to apply to a job when they meet 100 percent of a posting’s stated qualifications, while men will generally apply when their experience is only a 60 percent match with the requirement.
Everyone has biases – it is a fact of life
Since unconscious hiring bias is unique to each person, it’s important for organizations to encourage staff to recognize and admit where their preconceptions exist. Each person should question their opinions and explore other ways to look at people and the world!
Good fit for our organization
There is unconscious hiring bias occurring in the final hiring stage all the time. If someone has a personal connection with the recruiter, such as they went to the same school or share the same interest. These candidates are often more likely to be hired. This is true even when they are not necessarily the best person for the job. Recognize that you may be doing this and re-evaluate your candidate pool to ensure you are not exercising bias against more qualified candidates. A recruiter may be choosing a candidate based on your comfort level. Assuming this person is “like you” they’ll be a good fit for your organization or the job. This is not necessarily the case. Basing your preferences and decisions solely on similarities you share with another person won’t guarantee you a high-performing professional.
Thank you for reading and we hope you enjoyed our article regarding Unconscious Hiring Bias!