October 27, 2022

How to avoid bias in the recruitment process?

How fair are your recruitment processes? While all recruiters try to create a completely fair process where they can find the ideal candidate for a position, that is not always possible. The main obstacle for an impartial recruitment process are biases. These are aspects rooted in the human subconscious and can change the results in your recruitment processes.  

Do you know how to avoid bias in recruitment? At T2W we have an extensive experience in selection processes and we can help you. In this article, we’ll check some of the best actions to prevent bias from affecting your recruitment processes.  

Bias in recruitment 

We can define biases as prejudice and preferences that people develop throughout their personal experience. These can work against or in favor of different factors. In a regular environment, biases show our personal preferences, which is totally normal. However, in recruitment, biases are a real danger for the process.  

Bias in recruitment is more common than we would like to think. For example, in a recent survey conducted over 131 countries, it was found that around 65% of recruiters think there is bias in recruitment, especially when it comes to technology-related positions. 

How to avoid bias in recruitment? 

How to avoid bias in recruitment

1. Know your own biases 

It’s almost impossible to avoid biases in recruitment if the professionals in charge of the process are not aware of their own biases. As we previously stated, we all have biases. That is something unavoidable. In order to prevent it from affecting your processes, you have to be aware of the different type of biases there are in recruitment. Then, analyze which ones you are likely to have. You have to be as sincere with yourself as possible.  

This way, during the next recruitment process, you will be aware of the biases that could be affecting your decisions and you can be more reflexive about it. Keep in mind that is not only about finding the bias that could make you reject a candidate, but also biases that make you more likely to accept certain candidate. If you conduct a conscious self-assessment, you will get be able to have fair processes. 

2. Avoid personal characteristics in resumes 

Unfortunately, even today there are many recruiters that are easily influenced by characteristics such as age or gender while checking resumes. Even a secondary piece of information such as the name of the applicant could trigger a bias in recruiters. 

For this reason, it’s better for recruiters to turn a blind eye to this information while checking resumes. At the end of the day, what really matters is a different set of information: skills, knowledge and experience. If you skip all those details that are unimportant for the position, you will find better candidates more easily. 

You might also like: Types of recruitment: Understanding the pros and cons 

3. Get the help of an ATS 

During the resume analysis stage, the process of checking a myriad of candidates and their characteristics can be repetitive and tedious. Recruiters probably put a lot of attention at the beginning of the task, but it will begin to fade as time goes by. As a consequence, they will look for ways to complete the task faster, which affects the process. This is due to the availability heuristics, a common bias among recruiters who have to swim in a sea of resumes. 

To avoid this problem, it’s better to get the help of an ATS system. This is a software that can check skills, knowledge and other characteristics in resumes quickly, among other features. As a result, you get only the profiles that best fit the position. When it comes to bias in recruitment, the objectivity of artificial intelligence can be really helpful. 

4. Leave emotions outside 

One of the last things that recruiters should do is letting their emotions influence their decisions during the interviews. We don’t mean recruiters should turn into an iceberg, cold and indifferent. Not at all! As we know, to conduct a good interview, recruiters need to create an environment where candidates can feel comfortable. 

You need to find balance. This can be achieved by showing a friendly and sociable demeanor during the interview, but without letting the rapport created during the interview affect your perception. Take some distance emotionally if candidates shares personal stories. That is a great way to avoid emotional bias. 

5. Use standardized interviews 

While each candidate is unique and should be evaluated carefully, you have to make sure all applicants go through the same process during the interview stage. This is where you can use standardized job interviews. Those are a great way to avoid bias and preferences. You can create a model for the job interview and use it with all candidates. If they receive the same questions and the same scoring system, you will have a process free from bias. 

These actions can help you avoid having bias in your recruitment process. Remember that being aware of your biases is the first step to keep it from affecting your decisions.  

At Talent2Win, we strive to align your company’s business objectives with the best Talent Acquisition strategies available. If you want to learn more about the services we offer, do not hesitate to contact us.  

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