DEI: 6 Ways to Avoid Bias in Hiring

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Diversity, equity, and inclusion remain a priority for Human Resources professionals. The starting point for any effective DEI strategy is the recruiting and talent acquisition. After all, hiring a diverse team lays the foundation for a myriad of ideas and the type of culture that could birth inclusion and belonging. 

WATCH: Recruiting and Talent Acquisition

To learn more about what companies are doing to ensure a equitable hiring process, HR Exchange Network queried employers on Terkel.io. Here are their responses: 

Unconcious Bias Training 

“Our organization strives to ensure that recruiting and talent acquisition practices adhere to the highest standards of fairness and equity. To achieve this goal, we conduct thorough checks on our hiring process to prevent any bias from sneaking in. 

For instance, besides removing all personally identifiable information, such as name and contact details, before resumes are reviewed, an automated system is used to review applications according to objective criteria applicable to the job vacancy. 

Additionally, interviewers receive training on tackling unconscious bias, while candidates are given equal opportunities regardless of their age, gender, race, or any other discriminatory factors. From job postings through interviews and offers, we endeavor to make the entire recruitment cycle free from bias by ensuring that we handle each step carefully with respect to all individuals involved.” –Ryan Rottman, Co-Founder & CEO, OSDB Sports

REPORT: Business Case for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Checks and Balances

“Some traits and qualities of a strong employee are difficult to measure, creating easy places for bias to influence decision-making if you don’t ensure candidates are being evaluated objectively. 

Use a scoring rubric to clarify exactly what hiring teams should look for in areas like cultural fit, communication, leadership qualities, and other intangibles. Along with this, I find it best to have at least two people evaluating the candidates during interviews, each scoring the candidate independently. 

This can help prevent individual personal biases from influencing the process. If the scoring is objective, both individuals should score the candidate’s performance roughly the same. A discrepancy doesn’t mean bias is at play, but averaging out disparate scores will give a more accurate picture of the candidate’s true performance and viability for the role.”-Jon Hill, Chairman & CEO, The Energists

Seeing Blind Spots

“Any efforts to eliminate bias should affect all aspects of the talent lifecycle, from writing job descriptions to onboarding new employees. We also ensure that all talent assessments we use for candidates are measured and evaluated for equity and fairness. 

However, one of the biggest blind spots in the hiring process from a biased standpoint is the interview process itself, as it involves the largest number of stakeholders and is most difficult to monitor and provide feedback to. 

We have had a lot of success using video interview analytics to provide real-time feedback to interviewers so that we coach them to avoid unconscious bias during the interview process and make better talent decisions.”-Sanjoe Tom Jose, CEO, Talview

A Framework for Interviews

“Structured interviewing is effective in minimizing bias from recruiting, interviewing, and evaluation. It involves establishing a consistent framework and criteria for interviewing and assessing candidates. Therefore, we need to train managers and interviewers before inviting them into the process. 

They will learn that it is best to ask candidates the same set of questions in exactly the same way. Questions should be specific to the job duties for the role the candidates have applied to, ensuring all candidates have an equal chance to react and respond. After each interview, our trained interviewers should quickly provide feedback using an established guideline or framework. 

They should only assess candidates based on their responses to the questions and not compare them to one another. Completing this quickly allows the interviewer to easily recall the interview and not be influenced by outside factors, like other interviewers or different candidates.”-Tyren Thompson, Compensation Partner, Zoom

A Hiring Team

One of the most effective checks and balances measures we have in our organization to overcome recruiting bias is to have multiple team members review applicants in the same stages of the process. 

This allows for multiple perspectives to be considered and for personal biases to be avoided. Having a consensus of opinions ensures we can select the best candidate with no form of prejudice or favoritism. It also provides a safeguard against any potential bias that might arise from having only one person review the applicants.

This measure ensures that our recruitment process is fair, with the best possible outcome for both the company and the applicant.”-Grace He, People & Culture Director, Teambuilding.Com

WATCH: HR and Future of Work

Turning to Video Interviews

“It’s effective to have candidates submit a video interview on their own before meeting with them face-to-face (or even on video). If you like what they offer from their resume, then send them a set list of questions and request they film themselves, answering them to the best of their ability. 

Once they’ve submitted and you can watch all of them, you can take the interview to the next step, but this is a nice first step. It removes bias because every interview is the same for each person. They are given the same questions and have the same time to film and submit them. What the candidate does with it after receiving the questions is up to them. 

Often, bias in the recruiting process may happen during the interview process. The interviewer might like a specific candidate and give him or her a completely different interview from others (even unknowingly). However, having them submit a video on their own terms can remove this bias.”-Shaun Connell, Founder & CEO, Credit Building Tips

What are your suggestions to avoid bias in hiring? Let us know in the comments or on LinkedIn or Facebook

Photo by Edmond Dantès for Pexels

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