How to Reduce Bias During Your Hiring Process 

Posted on March 13, 2018 by Rick Rossignol


Hiring employees is one of the most important parts of running your business. Though profit should be one of your priorities, hiring qualified candidates is key. Sometimes people have the habit of including their own biases during the interview process, which can lead to an easy dismissal of an excellent candidate. Even people with the best intentions may not realize they are being biased. RTR Consulting has a few tips to help you reduce bias during your hiring process.  


Know what the biases are. You can’t improve your process if you don’t know what the issue is or what to look for. Most biases are a product of gender, educational, and racial differences. All it takes is a perspective shift to realize that just because the candidate does not have the same gender, educational, or racial background as you, does not mean they are not qualified to perform the job duties expected in the role you are looking to fill. Take a moment to put yourself in their shoes to understand why they are interested in this job and would want to become a part of your team. Implementing training, sending out a presentation, or asking hiring managers to attend an informative meeting can be enough to save your company from making biased judgments. 


Enhance your internal process. It may sound like a small suggestion, but it may benefit your company more than you think: write better job descriptions. Harvard Business Review cites research that explains how certain words can turn candidates away and prevent them from applying to the job initially. The research indicates that using certain words or phrases can appeal to different genders. For instance, “When job advertisements were constructed to include more masculine than feminine wording, participants received more men within these occupations.” Consider the wording and phrases you use and who they may appeal to. Define the skills, knowledge, and abilities for the position and interview candidates based on these. Interviewing for these skills leads to better-qualified employees. 


Invest more time in the interview process. Some companies try to hire immediately to fill an open spot and do not want to waste time interviewing several candidates. This could cost your company more time and money in the long run though. It is crucial to spend more time interviewing quality, diverse candidates to choose the right one and hire a candidate with talent. Talent is what makes your company stand out from the competition. 


Rapidly moving through the interview process could lead to hiring the wrong candidate and you could easily find yourself ready to conduct more interviews to replace the new hire. Conduct preliminary phone interviews and include more members in the in-person interview whether you do a panel interview or call the candidate back for a follow-up. Try to obtain as much information about the candidate as possible in the time you have reserved to get to know them better over the phone. 


Capitalize on what works. If a process seems to be efficient and your company benefits from it, then you should implement it. Strengthen your internal process by incorporating efficient and effective solutions. Rethink or come up with new strategies to replace the things that are not working well. Ask questions to better understand why something is not working, how it can work better, and why you need to improve in the area. 


RTR Consulting has more than 20 years of experience devoted to developing effective and efficient human resources policies, procedures, and best practices for small, start-ups, and medium-sized businesses. Contact us today to build your custom strategy to enhance your hiring process. 

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