5 Ways to Reduce Bias in Your Hiring Practices

Although we may not like to admit it, we set up barriers to diversity and inclusion efforts within our organizations with unconscious and implicit biases. Individuals and the company as a whole can suffer greatly from this. We need to ask ourselves how we can address these biases. Sharon Florentine goes over five ways to cut out the bias in hiring for

  1. Use blind resume screening.
  2. Use focus groups.
  3. Include unconscious bias training in your anti-harassment and discrimination training.
  4. Use metrics to identify potential bias in hiring retention.
  5. Use stereotype-busting images in you company’s internal and external materials.

Filtering Prejudice

One way to eliminate unconscious biases is by removing names and addresses from the prospect’s resume. Doing so will prevent judgment about gender, race, nationality and/or socioeconomic status. Another way is through focus groups. Through conducting them an identification of unconscious biases in the workplace can be discovered:

“You should select a broad cross-section of employees to ensure all views are represented. Another benefit of focus groups is that they allow for open discussion within a group to raise awareness and identify solutions for unconscious bias without singling out particular individuals,” [attorneys Katherin Nukk-Freeman and Suzanne Cerra] say. You want to make sure that these discussions — and the solutions — are woven into the fabric of your corporate culture.

Most companies have anti-harassment and discrimination training. Yes, that is good. But the fact is that these programs go for the obvious, flagrant forms of discrimination. What needs to happen is to raise an unawareness of unconscious biases. This training will unearth the personal and cultural beliefs of your employees, at which lie the roots of most harassment and discrimination complaints.

Next, if you can’t track the history, then you can’t learn and improve. You will be able to identify your company’s strengths and weaknesses when you measure the percentages of diverse candidates who have applied, been offered a job, accepted, and have been successful. According to the article, after about six months you will be able to pinpoint where you need to improve.

Lastly, it is important to make sure that all forms of text-based communications (website, newsletters, marketing materials, etc.) are a direct representation of the diverse workforce. All that is distributed, even emails and job descriptions, need to reflect a commitment to diversity.

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