Why Diversity Efforts and Recruitment Processes May Be Affected by Latent Biases

As many have said before me, “He seems like a decent person.” As for her compatibility, I have no doubts. We share many interests and values.

It is common for interviewers to make assumptions about potential employees based on first impressions. However, it is important to remember that this does not necessarily indicate whether or not someone would make a suitable employee. It is possible for prejudices to be masked by a pleasant demeanor. Consequently, it is important to consider all relevant factors when making a decision.

Glassdoor discovered that over three-quarters of employees and job seekers prize a varied workforce when making decisions about work offers and assessing organizations.

Despite the fact that more and more businesses are making a commitment to DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion), many are still falling victim to prejudice. This has a detrimental impact on the business, as it leaves them unable to recruit suitable employees for their open positions.

The question then arises as to how we can ensure that unconscious biases do not influence the recruitment process, given the importance of diversity.

Just How Serious Is the Problem of Unconscious Bias in the Workplace?

It is essential to ensure that your company’s image and reputation are not compromised by any form of bias or prejudice. Such behavior will have a negative impact on customer satisfaction and employee morale, both domestically and internationally. Consequently, customers may be less likely to purchase your products and prospective employees may be less inclined to pursue employment with a biased organization.

Research conducted by Oregon State University has demonstrated that businesses incur substantial financial and temporal losses as a result of gender discrimination in recruitment and employment. Furthermore, these practices are considered unlawful, and can result in substantial financial penalties.

Biases that Show up in the Hiring Process

Age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, national origin, disability, and genetic information are all widely recognized forms of prejudice. However, there are other forms of prejudice which are less widely known.

Bias Towards Believing What One Already Believes

Verification bias It can be inferred that you have already made up your mind about someone before searching for evidence to back up your opinion. This suggests that you are not willing to maintain an open-minded attitude or look for evidence which could challenge your original views on the individual.

Confirmation Bias

Affinity bias is a phenomenon that occurs when individuals are more likely to form connections with those who share similar traits with themselves. This is also known as similarity bias and can often manifest itself during the recruitment process when an interviewer is drawn to an applicant with whom they feel a shared affinity.

Bias in Institutions

Judgment bias in institutions educational background bias occurs when recruiters or hiring managers prioritize a candidate’s educational achievements over other factors that may be more indicative of their ability to carry out the job, such as their work history. This type of bias may also be closely linked to affinity bias, where a hiring manager may have a positive impression of an applicant if they both attended the same prestigious university.

We Tend to Favour Those Who Act Like Ourselves.

Influence of the herd A consensus is reached when a group of individuals come together to evaluate a single course of action. Although one person’s opinion may differ from the rest of the group, they usually adapt their views to align with the majority opinion. This can lead to a mob mentality.

The Meaning of the Halo Effect

The “Halo Effect” can be observed when a person is perceived as perfect and infallible. This can lead to assumptions that a candidate is proficient in X, Y and Z, despite lacking any evidence to support this.

The Effect of the Horn

The horn effect is the antithesis of the halo effect; rather than having a positive initial impression that remains despite any contrary evidence, a negative impression is formed, and any subsequent actions are judged harshly.

Strategies for Overcoming Unconscious Biases in the Workplace

It is clear that unconscious biases can be a significant problem in the workplace, particularly in the recruitment process. How can we ensure that discrimination is reduced, and a more inclusive environment is created?

1. Look at current job postings.

It is important to be mindful of the language and adjectives used when posting jobs and writing job descriptions, as they could potentially exclude or dissuade qualified candidates from applying. To ensure that all potential applicants are welcomed, it is recommended to have multiple individuals review the descriptions. This will help to refine the language and ensure that no one is alienated.

2. Incorporate New Technology

There are a range of resources available that may assist in reducing prejudice. For instance, an applicant tracking system (ATS) utilizes AI to aid in locating the most suitable applicants for open roles by analyzing their CVs and job applications in order to find the most fitting matches. To avoid any unintentional bias during the assessment process, this approach is preferable to manually reviewing each application.

3. Have Many Others Weigh in on the Final Decision.

It is important to ensure that no single individual’s personal biases and preferences have an undue influence on the recruitment process. Although involving multiple people in the interviewing process may be time-consuming, it is vital to ensure that the final selection is not clouded by any one individual’s prejudices.

4. Apply Behavioral Interviewing Techniques

Interviewing based on observed behaviors Questions will focus on your capabilities and personality traits, aiming to gain an understanding of how you have performed in the past. This aids in predicting potential outcomes and helps to eliminate any potential bias by taking into account a variety of factors.

5. Assign Mandatory Diversity Education Courses

Ensuring comprehensive diversity education is essential. Employees should be encouraged to consider how their actions may impact others and to recognize how their diverse perspectives can contribute to the strength and unity of the company. We all have personal biases, both conscious and unconscious; it is not just the responsibility of management to address this. By gaining self-awareness in this area, we can enhance our capacity to interact considerately in all contexts.

Making efforts to eliminate discrimination in the workplace can help you build a diverse and inclusive business that values individuality.

Join the Top 1% of Remote Developers and Designers

Works connects the top 1% of remote developers and designers with the leading brands and startups around the world. We focus on sophisticated, challenging tier-one projects which require highly skilled talent and problem solvers.
seasoned project manager reviewing remote software engineer's progress on software development project, hired from Works blog.join_marketplace.your_wayexperienced remote UI / UX designer working remotely at home while working on UI / UX & product design projects on Works blog.join_marketplace.freelance_jobs