Research studies have repeatedly shown that bias exists in virtually every business and industry. Much of it is unconscious – the type of bias hidden behind a blind spot in someone’s brain. Also known as hidden or implicit bias, it guides people’s behavior without them even being aware of their role.
Conscious or otherwise, bias can stymie your diversity, recruiting, promotion, and retention efforts, not to mention morale. Or your bottom line.
- In the 2019 Deloitte State of Inclusion report, 84 percent of 3,000 respondents noted that bias negatively impacted their happiness and confidence at work. Seventy-five percent said it negatively influenced how engaged they felt on the job, and more than 68 percent said it adversely affected their productivity.
Here are five ways to reduce bias in your recruitment and talent management practices:
1. Set new and improved anti-bias goals.
Goal setting is the first step toward minimizing bias and building a more diverse, inclusive workforce. These goals should accurately reflect the communities where your candidates and employees work and live. After every hiring process, business leaders need to understand and track how they perform against diversity goals. This will create a culture of keeping equality top of mind throughout your organization.
2. Make data-driven decisions.
Many of the most effective techniques to reduce hiring bias rely on data, which can help remove some of the emotions that may taint candidate vetting. Put technology to work for you. For instance, artificial intelligence (AI) can help uncover important intelligence on the demographics of a workforce and any areas of unconscious bias across the employee lifecycle – from where applicants may be overlooked for jobs to which employees have inequitable upskilling or promotion opportunities.
3. Modify your job descriptions.
Job descriptions are often a candidate’s first impression of a company. JDs should communicate the skills, knowledge, and abilities needed to succeed in a role and provide an authentic look into an organization. Take care not to change the meaning of a job attribute when you write or edit them. Even subtle word choices can have a substantial impact on an applicant pool.
4. Educate your team.
Every member of an organization needs to understand stereotyping, which is the foundation for bias. This means continuously training and educating people and keeping them mindful of their perceptions and behaviors. A diversity statement should be part of an organization’s values to demonstrate a commitment to reducing bias.
5. Hold everyone accountable.
Once a team is educated about recognizing and curbing bias, they need to be held responsible for fostering this mindset and conveying it to others. This is especially applicable to HR professionals. As is valid in all leadership behavior, action speaks louder than words. Accountability should start with company decision-makers and cascade from there.
Grow Your Career with Search Wizards
The best recruiters work with the right guiding principles, including diversity, inclusion, and the elimination of employment bias, always in mind. As you develop your skills and grow in your career as a talent management pro, consider working with the experts at Search Wizards. We’ll embed you in our network of amazing resources and clients and open you up to opportunities to turn your unique strengths into results. Contact us today to learn more.