Reduce Bias in Hiring Process

A Complete Guide on How to Reduce Bias in Hiring Process

Published on February 4th, 2023

Did you know that we make 35,000 decisions a day? How often do we consider all the relevant information, synthesize them and make an unbiased informed decision, most appropriate to the situation? Not much, right?

It doesn’t sound natural either. Most of our decisions are influenced by bias, a common tendency for us to make a decision solely based on a few relatable, palpable or antagonizing aspects of the situation. As recruiters and HR managers, you are quite aware that this invariably happens in hiring processes.

“I’m not, only facts influence my decision”, you say. But, you may be subtly influenced by several biases that drive your judgement more than others, but you may not recognise them consciously, unless a pro points it out to you.

Since your function brings the bloodstream to the company, it’s crucial that you hire on capabilities, and not let bias or favoritism take the reigns.

That’s why we’re here. We will take you through how bias can affect your company, what forms it can take, how to identify your own bias, coach biased hiring managers and concrete steps to significantly reduce bias in your hiring process.

Hiring only a particular set of people with certain attributes or credentials or qualifications doesn’t inspire the existing or incoming workforce, or do justice to your mission.

It does the opposite, actually. It threatens their psychological safety. Your ultimate aim is to create a safe space for your employees, to make them feel engaged, offer room to grow and cater to their aspirations.

Bias stands in the way of all that you strive for. It can have the following effects:

Creates a glass ceiling By hiring and promoting only certain members of the society, and denying opportunities to others, you are creating a glass ceiling in the company for those who don’t to your favoured group of employees. This immensely disturbs mental peace, career aspirations and creates frustration on your employees.

Talent Drain

If you don’t hire inclusively, you are losing out on abundant talent that can bring unique value to your table. You’re limiting your candidate pool, which can otherwise be populated with diverse skills that can up your company’s performance. You never know how much potential each candidate has and when it will blow up. Having a diverse workforce means they balance each other and complement their strengths, which makes for an excellent team. In fact, teams with culturally and ethnically diverse composition tend to reap 33% more profits.

Brand Name Gets Tarnished

When word gets out that you’re a biased hirer, it can damage your goodwill. Discriminative hiring can project your company as an insensitive employer and can drive away good talent you can bring onboard.

**Negative Impact on Morale**

People are highly sensitive to patterns. When your existing workforce sees how you and your company treats a section of the workforce differently, it’s likely to cause a ripple effect, which may turn chaotic for your company. Employees won’t feel valued, they are likely to begin quiet quitting, thinking one day they will be discriminated against too.

What Can You Do to Reduce Bias in the Hiring Process?

Bias can be significantly reduced by deploying proactive human resource strategies that leave no room for subjectivity, or unstructured evaluation. Futuristic planning and coaching can save you a lot of cost, get you good hires and make your workplace psychologically safe to all employees.

Before the Hiring Process

You need to set the fundamentals right, before diving to the actual hiring. Here are the best practices to keep in mind, before the hiring process:

Thorough Job Analysis & Inclusive Job Description

Map out the business process, find where a job holder can add value and ascertain competencies, experience, knowledge and attitude the right fit needs to have. Once you’re armed with this information, figure out the ideal candidate persona, without any implicit or explicit citing of gender, or other demographic details. Use inclusive pronouns like ‘they’, and a combination of assertive adjectives (powerful, determined etc, which may be perceived as more masculine) and mellow adjectives (supportive, coordinating etc, which may be perceived as more feminine words) so as to make it gender neutral.

Use AI &Technology

91% of companies, start-ups, emerging businesses and large corporations want to invest in recruitment tools that save time, cost and effort.

Before you start your next hiring spree, consider investing in a powerful AI-driven all-in-one recruitment tool like Hire Quotient,that: Frames inclusive, accurate job descriptions Uses advanced technology to find diverse global talent Pre-screen and assess candidates using strong job-oriented metrics Deploys laser sharp personality assessments that focus on behavioral, cross functional and functional competencies Utilises vast skill library and job simulation exercise to determine who is adept at the actual work the candidate is being interviewed for.

Hiring Team Training The key people in your hiring: hiring manager, recruiter, panelists etc need to be trained on interviewing etiquettes, scope for bias, how to stay focused and objective in hiring etc.

Structure the Evaluation Process The evaluation process needs to strictly have all essential job parameters that will ensure that the candidate is an excellent hire. The scoring and weightage for each parameter, ranking of scores etc needs to be determined and the hiring team needs to be thoroughly trained before the hiring process. Studies show that structured interviews and assessments reduce bias significantly.

**During the Hiring Process** Now is the time to focus on actual hiring. Ensuring rigorous checks and reporting and follow-up can massively reduce room for bias in your hiring process.

Monitor Candidate Application Ratio Ensure you take a look at the analytics of candidates applying to your job. If the demographic graphs are skewed, you need to relook at your outreach and reach out to different sources, and expand your candidate pool. Focus on Multiple Job Boards It’s possible that people using certain job boards may have more access and privilege than others. That’s why it’s essential to post your jobs on free and paid job sites, to reach out to the masses. Ensure a Common Transparent Dashboard to Check Progress There’s no point in carrying out all these measures just for your team to pass off on important steps. Maintain a transparent dashboard for your hiring team to put in their feedback, concrete reasons for proceeding with/rejecting a candidate, update if candidates have been followed up with. This will bring in accountability and leave no space for bias. Seek Candidate Feedback & Act on it Who else is a better judge for bias, than candidates and employees themselves? Pop a feedback survey regularly, collect information and ascertain if they have experienced bias anywhere during their candidate or employee experience. **Regular Steps to be Taken** Here are a few regular activities in your companies that can reduce bias in your hiring process. Bias Awareness Training Schedule a unique dedicated training module for your employees, especially those in the leadership and hiring functions. You never know how eye-opening the awareness training sessions can be. Cross Mentoring Introduce a new mentoring initiative where seniors in the company mentor juniors who have a completely different background than themselves. This will truly help your employees understand each other’s differences and find a congenial way to work together. Self & Superior Evaluation Introspection and constructive feedback from superiors, from time to time, on each employee’s, especially hiring team’s SWOT, performance, impact on people etc, can produce exemplary results in quality of hires and employee experience on the whole. Conclusion By hiring high-touch, advanced recruitment, candidate engagement tool like Hire Quotient, you can ensure the following: Objective hiring Reduced hiring time Advanced analytics to show applicant response rate and candidate performance Laser sharp personality assessment Cold and warm candidate outreach, reaching out to global talent No room for bias, whatsoever Precise ROI calculation to measure hiring success

Equipped with an amazing recruitment tool, and strong, neutral fundamentals in place, with a team willing to work on their differences, you can be sure to bring home your diverse dream-team.

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