5 Steps to Create a Fair Hiring Process
Our environment has more impact on us than we think. The content we consume, the news we read, and the people we socialize with, shape us into who we are. And even business owners aren’t immune to this. You may think your judgments are independent—but are they?
You can find several articles on the internet that’ll tell you the current state of the hiring process. And then you’ll realize how widespread bias is in the process. However, there’s one more thing that you should know: It’s not always deliberate. In many cases, it’s unconscious bias.
So, what does the word ‘bias’ truly mean? How can unconscious bias affect the world? And most importantly, is there a better way?
Well, let’s find out.
What Is Unconscious Bias in the Hiring Process?
First, let’s understand the dictionary definition of bias.
According to the Cambridge dictionary, ‘bias’ is defined as the action of supporting or opposing a particular person or thing in an unfair way, because of allowing personal opinions to influence your judgment.
Psychology Today digs a little deeper into this and explains that there are two types of biases. You see, most people think that bias is only negative. However, the reality is that biases can be positive as well as negative. To understand both these types better, let’s consider four examples of each.
Uh-oh! Now, do you see what went wrong? Most of the assumptions people make about others are based on stereotypes rather than actual knowledge. Whether you hold a group of people in high regard or look down upon them, chances are, you are unconsciously making biased decisions. In most cases, this may be harmless. What you think about others or what others think about you is not always made vocal. If it stays unsaid, potentially forever, no one gets harmed. This doesn’t justify being biased, of course.
- Bias can be informally defined as prejudice toward or against something or someone.
- Bias in the hiring process can have dire consequences. This includes inequality, loss of dignity, and financial loss.
- Bias can be positive as well as negative.
- Discrimination may be race-based, nationality-based, gender-based, age-based, or disability-based (to name a few).
- A hiring manager should focus on qualifications and character instead of a candidate’s identity
The Side Effects of a Biased Hiring Process
It could result in severe damage
Having biases in your personal life may not always be directly detrimental to you or others. However, if unconscious bias is brought into the hiring process, it could result in severe damage. And the extent of this damage has already been seen in the world.
For example, institutionalized racism has left its mark on some minorities. So bad that they struggle to get jobs to this day. Furthermore, unemployment leads to mental health issues, which leads to crime, and this leads to the disproportionate incarceration of certain communities. Not saying that this is completely because of a lack of fair hiring. However, a fair hiring process without unconscious bias can certainly be of great help to those in need.
It could be unnoticable sometimes
Also, bias is not always the result of someone’s race. Some other examples of unconscious bias in the hiring process include nationality-based, gender-based, age-based, and disability-based discrimination. As an employer, you may not realize how badly your bias could devastate someone. You see, when people get rejected because of their identity, it may hurt their dignity and self-image. Sometimes, to the point where they give up forever and take drastic steps.
You may look at a CV for two seconds and say: “Ah! This person is from a certain race. Not interested!” But the ripple effect of this decision may go on for years. On the one hand, it may hurt the candidate’s pride and motivate them to start the next Tesla. But, on the other hand, that candidate, after getting rejected from a hundred jobs, may turn to crime.
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Not only does bias affect the candidate, but it also impacts the company. You may be assuming that excluding some groups of people is good for you. However, you may be missing out on some of the best talents in the world because of your preconceived notions.
The bottom line is that bias in the hiring process is way more serious than most people think.
5 Steps to Create a Truly Fair Hiring Process
Now that you know how harmful an unfair hiring process can be, let’s understand how you can improve it.
1. Focus on the qualifications and work experience, not the name
“Umm, that name sounds foreign.” Have you ever thought about that while looking for an employee? The fact is, humans have the proclivity to stick to the familiar. A familiar place, familiar foods, and, when hiring, familiar names.
If you want to outsource your hiring process to an external partner, Consultport can help. We have some of the best consultants, interim executives, and digital experts in our talent pool. Our candidates are highly experienced and come from diverse backgrounds.
So, if that sounds interesting to you, get in touch now. Our consultants will be happy to help.