Unconscious Bias Checklist: How To Avoid Unconscious Bias In Recruiting & Hiring Candidates

Rejecting a candidate due to a “weird” first name or hiring talent because they appear likable may seem innocent, but these choices have long-lasting effects on workplace culture. Unconscious bias in the recruiting and hiring processes skew opportunity for both employers and talent looking to build careers. To help leadership combat unconscious bias in the workplace, the DEI experts at Schabel Solutions put together an unconscious bias checklist.

What is unconscious bias in the workplace?

Bias is a mental process prejudiced in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another. Unconscious bias refers to a bias that we are unaware of and which happens outside of our control. It happens automatically and is triggered by our brain making quick assessments and judgements.

In the workplace, this detrimental cycle often manifests throughout the recruiting process starting with language used in job specifications, which can lead to hiring individuals based on age, social or academic pedigree or other factors not related to actual job-related skills.

What are some strategies for overcoming unconscious bias in the workplace?

Biases can make their way into every step of recruiting and hiring processes which is why we created an unconscious bias checklist with strategies for how to mitigate unconscious bias when recruiting and hiring candidates. This checklist is a great first step towards a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

Mitigating Unconscious Bias When Writing Job Postings

Writing a job posting may seem simple; however, word choice and job specifications can be unintentionally biased. Be sure to include words that appeal to all possible candidates and provide specific and valid job requirements to ensure you secure a diverse candidate pool that knows exactly what is expected to succeed on the job.

Mitigating Unconscious Bias When Reviewing Job Applications

Unfortunately, reviewing job applications is where unconscious bias often impacts who gets rejected or selected. Strategies to mitigate unconscious bias in this important screening process include excluding personal information and focusing instead on skills and experience directly related to the job.

Mitigating Unconscious Bias When Interviewing Candidates

Use diverse interview panels to ensure a broad assessment of applicants and make sure all panel members are well-trained to do this work. Equally as beneficial, asking the same, standardized questions of all candidates provides a fair assessment of each person. Differing and arbitrary questions in interviews can lead to panel interviewers making unjust judgements and poor selection decisions.

Mitigating Unconscious Bias When Evaluating Candidates

When evaluating candidates, think about the value they would add to the workplace culture you want to cultivate, not how they would fit into the current culture. Recognize the tension between the desire to diversify your workforce and the ease in which we tend to uphold the status quo. When hiring, it’s important to focus on honoring diversity, and how it supports your organization’s business objectives and vision.

Download our Mitigating Unconscious Bias In Recruiting & Hiring Checklist

Re-evaluate your recruiting and hiring processes with our unconscious bias checklist to mitigate the impact of unconscious bias in your workplace. Please fill out the form below to receive the checklist and be sure to check your spam or junk if you don’t see the email within 10-15 minutes. If you’re interested in an “Unconscious Bias in the Workplace” training session or developing a diversity, equity and inclusion strategy, contact us to schedule a meeting by giving us a call at 515-423-0793 or emailing us at schabel@schabelsolutions.com.

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