How to Recognize and Eliminate Unconscious Bias In Hiring

In recruiting, unconscious bias harms diversity and overall quality of hire. Little things like preferring familiar names or saying that a hire is just a good “culture fit” will drain a diverse candidate pool. Over time, it won’t just be your diversity that will wane — your organization’s work quality will too. This article will be discussing how you can recognize unconscious bias in hiring, and nip that problem in the bud.

Recognizing Unconscious Bias In Hiring

One of the silent killers of the recruitment industry, unconscious bias is a universal issue. Everyone has traits that they prefer in others, and more than anything else we tend to prefer people like us. Whether that means people of the same culture, those with similar interests or just people of the same mindset depends on the person. 

Recognizing unconscious bias in other individuals is nearly impossible, but addressing your own unconscious bias can certainly be accomplished. When looking at candidates, who do you gravitate to? Why? Make sure to regularly question if your decision-making process is purely based on data, and you’ll have a smoother and more objective process. 

Working to prevent bias from pervading your recruiting process is another process entirely.

Increase Internal Diversity

Probably the most important step to removing unconscious bias is increasing the diversity of your organization. This means hiring folks with a variety of backgrounds and mindsets, but it’s more than that. It’s important to unify your employees within their diversity as well — normalize the differences. 

Making the holidays of multiple religions days off for everyone will naturally and non-intrusively allow them to celebrate alongside their coworkers. Hold diversity training sessions as a part of the onboarding process, and regularly throughout the year. In this way, diversity will not only become a part of your organization’s image but a true part of its identity. Unconscious bias will be hard-pressed to work its way into your hiring process when faced with your diverse and open-minded team.

Implement Impartial Hiring Tools

Even after your team has been properly trained, there still needs to be a failsafe inside your hiring process. Tools and practices that make recruitment more impartial can make it easier to identify who the best candidate for the job truly is. There are a number of useful things you can implement into hiring to ensure that you’re getting the right talent — let’s go over a few options.

Make Use of Pre-Employment Assessments

Assessments are one of the fairest ways to gauge the skill set of an applicant before they even finish applying. Websites like allow ad posters to select skill tests that can knock an unqualified candidate out of the running while staying impartial. 

However, pre-employment assessments can be dangerous in their own way. If you make too many tests part of your application, the process will become tedious, and good talent may abandon the process.

Standardize Your Interviews

A standardized interview process ensures that candidates receive an equitable experience, and makes it easier to compare candidates with one another. A first step towards standardizing your interviews is training interviewers. 

Hold meetings and training sessions with all of the interviewers present, so that their expectations are aligned not only with your organization but with one another. Giving them a set list of questions to ask candidates will make the data you receive from interviews simple to compare as well.

Utilize AI Recruitment Software

Adding recruitment software to your hiring plan can remove bias from nearly any portion of the hiring process. The flexibility of self-learning software combined with its ability to make purely objective selection can help build a diverse talent pool without sacrificing individual quality-of-hire. There are a number of popular software types that find uses throughout recruitment:

  • Chatbots: Chatbots distribute information through natural conversation to customers and talent alike, making sure everyone is equally informed.
  • AI Screening Software: Screens candidates more quickly than human recruiters, without unconscious bias affecting decision making.
  • Job Ad Optimization Software: Gives your job ad access to a range of job aggregators and selects the most effective sites for your budget — and to maximize talent pool diversity.

PandoLogic’s suite of recruitment tools have all of these options and more, to minimize unconscious bias throughout your recruitment process. Our job aggregators, customizable chatbots, and candidate optimization software will not only improve your ROI but work towards creating a diverse and healthy work environment. 

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