In an ideal world, everyone could be considered for jobs based on merit. However, the ugly truth is many employers – even some of the world’s leading brands – have an unconscious bias in their hiring processes.
For example, most countries demand that employers don’t discriminate based on a person’s disabilities, gender, age, etc. Yet, unconscious bias often creeps into the hiring process, giving certain groups of people an unfair advantage over other applicants.
You’re likely reading this article today because you want to make your hiring process fair. But what steps must you take to achieve that goal? Take a look at the following points for some inspiration to help you get started and build a productive and diverse workforce:
Review Wording In Job Descriptions
The first thing to do is review how you word your job descriptions. Here are two examples of how unconscious bias can appear in them:
Adjectives – the word “leader,” for instance, is often associated with men and can make women feel like they’re not qualified enough in management roles;
Non-essential educational requirements – they can disproportionately exclude applicants from certain groups, such as people from low-income backgrounds.
Give People A Second Chance
It’s no secret that people make mistakes, and some do so with potentially catastrophic results. For example, someone who “lost their way” in their youth may have a criminal record for theft, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get rehabilitated.
That’s why you shouldn’t dismiss people with a checkered past.
For instance, Checkr’s study reveals how companies feel about hiring individuals with crime records, and it might surprise you to learn that other firms are willing to employ such people if they are the best candidates for the jobs they advertise.
Introduce ‘Blind’ Job Applications
The traditional way for employers to seek new candidates for job openings is by asking interested people to submit their resumes or CVs.
As you can appreciate, those documents contain lots of personal information about applicants, such as their names, ages, gender, and so forth.
A 21st-century approach to assessing submissions is asking applicants to submit “blind” applications. They are devoid of personal information and only contain information such as skill sets and work experience.
Keep Interview Questions Consistent
When you shortlist candidates for interviews, one powerful way of removing unconscious bias is by asking everyone the same questions. Avoid deviating from them; doing so will help you benchmark candidates fairly.
Consider printing out a list of questions and writing each candidate’s responses to them.
Get Candidate Feedback From Multiple People
Finally, an excellent way to eradicate unconscious bias from your hiring processes is by getting candidate feedback from several people. For example, you can discuss applications with a diverse “panel” of colleagues to help consider people from a wider perspective.
Making the hiring process fair for everyone is no mean feat, and for some businesses, it can take a lot of work (and change) to improve employment processes. Thankfully, the above points will help you enact those changes and improve your firm’s diversity.