Hiring is one of the most important tasks that an organization must undertake. For that reason, this process must be done justly. Practicing fair and ethical hiring procedures will ensure that the person that is the best fit for the position is chosen.

Implementing and following a fair recruiting process is not always enough. Even then, qualified candidates may be discriminated against and not hired due to reasons not related to their talents or past experiences. But how can that be? Well, personal biases may get in the way.

Biases exist in all areas and many times they are obvious and can be avoided. But oftentimes, there are personal biases that individuals may not realize they have. These biases may be positive or negative, and are formed based on different factors:

  • How a person is raised.
  • A person’s culture and/or belief system.
  • Media influence.

These factors may cause individuals to form preconceptions of certain groups, and many times they are not aware of it. These personal biases can get in the way of the decisions that an individual makes. That is also the case when it comes to those involved in an organization’s hiring process. Employees involved in this process may unintentionally decide not to offer an individual a job based on these biases. Luckily, there are strategies that organizations can put in place to help lessen the chance of personal biases getting in the way of the recruiting process.

  1. Training and Education

While personal biases are not always apparent to each individual, they are often noticeable by others. Leadership and management may notice these in employees that are involved in the recruiting process. They should make employees aware of these biases through non-threatening conversations and group meetings. Educating employees on the different minority groups present in the organization is very important. This would help create more awareness and inclusion. In turn, individuals would be more aware of these biases. By being aware, they can avoid letting these interfere in their decision-making process.

  1. Blind Hiring

This strategy involves asking job applicants to omit some basic information from their resume and job application. This includes:

  • Name
  • Gender
  • Address
  • Alma Mater
  • Date of graduation

Applicants are then identified by a number, and more information is only learned if that individual is chosen for an interview.

This method forces recruiters to focus on the person’s talents and experiences, and then decide who to interview. Blind hiring is not flawless, but it does bring organizations closer to a more ideal, fair, and ethical hiring process.

  1. Avoid the Bias of Likeability

Interviewers should always be careful about letting biases take over when speaking to a prospective employee. We know that there is a lot of bias when it comes to different minority groups. But that is not all hiring employees should be careful about.

Another bias that exists and may come up when candidates are being interviewed, is that of likeability. It is a well-known fact that people are drawn to others that have the same likes as them, or that they find interesting. Interviewers mustn’t hire people based on this alone. It is very possible that the person that they feel comfortable with while asking them questions and conversing with them, is not the right person for the position.

It is important to reduce the probability of hiring the wrong people due to the bias of likeability. Ways of doing this, include:

  • Creating and following structured interview guidelines.
  • Conducting panel interviews with a diverse group of interviewers.
  • Not relying on intuition.

Fair hiring procedures may not always take place in an organization. This may be due to unconscious biases that can get in the way of the decisions a hiring employee makes. Fortunately, strategies exist to help reduce the chance of these getting in the way of hiring the right employees.

First impressions are very important. That is why job candidates should be given the chance to make theirs in an unbiased environment.

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