Do You Have Hidden Biases in Your Hiring Process?

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Hidden biases can mean discrimination but they can also mean limiting your ability to find candidates with skills beyond your “normal” processes.  Promoting diversity and hiring the best possible person for the job can both be impacted by double-checking your processes.

Do you always use the same sourcing channels?

Of course, you favor channels that have worked well for you in the past, but in this rapidly changing world you are probably limiting your reach or even missing a more on-target path.  Quiz your employees in the departments you are recruiting for where they see the most relevant information/chat rooms/discussion groups in their field.

Do you always advertise in the same places?

Yes, LinkedIn is a great resource, but, remember, you can be limited by your connections.  The same with other social networks.  Sometimes the candidate that doesn’t conform to the same demographic is the best candidate.

Do you require standardized, online application forms?

Cutting edge candidates and those in the millennial generation or younger want to do everything via mobile.  Asking for desktop applications signals something about your organization that might not be the message you want to send.

Do you prefer certain schools or previous employers?

Consistently giving weight to a certain school or competitive employer means hiring a workforce more homogenous than preferred for an entrepreneurial, think-out-of-the-box environment.

How are you preventing hiring “like me” candidates?

Do you use blind resumes to limit your hiring managers, or any human’s, innate preference or hidden biases for hiring themselves?  A recent government trial of blind selection processes for its executive roles saw the percentage of women selected increase by 41%

Are interviewers improvising interview questions?

How do you prevent inexperienced interviews, but gifted employees from asking culturally insensitive, or potentially illegal, questions?  Even taking the diversity issue out, how do you stop questions that will actually scare the candidate away, or at least make them less interested in your company or job.

Do you use references to assess a candidate’s competencies?

Another source of hidden biases are reference letters which have been found to show gender bias.  Writers are more likely to focus on a woman’s personal qualities, potentially at the expense of their key strengths.

Are you actively projecting a diverse and inclusive brand image?

Make sure your marketing materials, website and even your interview panels reflect your commitment to diversity and to getting the best person for the job.

Want to expand your search to include a niche specialty, contingent recruiter?  Contact Smith Hanley Associate’s Partner, Jacque Paige, at jpaige@smithhanley.com.



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