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What is unconscious bias in recruitment?


Nov 12, 2020

Hiring professionals need to make sure they always make any decision, no matter how big or small, for all the right reasons. 

It is only human for people to find it easier to get on with some individuals and not with others, especially if they share a common background, therefore it’s important to begin by gaining a better understanding of unconscious bias.

Unconscious bias is favouring being more attracted to aspects of a candidate due to your own personal preferences or beliefs, and not necessarily what is best for the business, culture, and the diversity and inclusion within your workplace. 

Biased hiring decisions result in less diverse teams. And a lack of diversity hinders your business productivity. When this is taken away, it allows for a diverse workforce and a place people feel comfortable and accepted. 

As people’s own biases and beliefs can cloud the decision-making process, if you want your business to be successful and reach its full potential, every hire should be the right fit for the role. 

Unfortunately, you will not always get on with everyone you meet. There’s always going to be people in the workplace who simply don’t see eye to eye, which can occasionally cause stress and hassle for managers. However, you must not let unconscious bias stop you from recruiting the best possible employees.

Accepting that this can be a problem is the first step to understanding it and striving to remove unconscious bias from your recruitment process.

To identify potential biases, we need to look at every step of the entire recruiting cycle, from the recruitment marketing techniques we apply to the moment we bring people on board. 

Ultimately, you need to take steps to remove this unconscious bias from the recruitment process, which can be done in a number of ways:

  • Think about ‘What are the skills, experience, competencies, that we actually need in this job?’
  • How can I reach candidates in new ways? Look at the current platforms currently being used, such as your social media pages and job boards
  • Applying blind resume screening methods such as an applicant tracking system (ATS) to actively attract diverse candidates
  • Having a diverse hiring panel to counteract unconscious biases
  • Promoting diversity on your company’s career site and creating an employer brand that is attractive to multiple generations and cultures
  • Psychometric testing complements typical recruitment processes and offers a standardised and objective method of finding the right candidate to fit your company, based not only on experience, grades and previous roles, but on personality type and their fit within your culture.

Unconscious bias has never been a more relevant topic than now, and every manager should always strive to create a professional and supportive environment, where people of different values, backgrounds, and views can work together. 

By taking steps to not let personal prejudices sneak into the recruitment process, you may be able to more easily see the best candidate in front of you.

By admin