Recruitment Bias or bias in the recruitment process is unconscious or subconsciously driven by erroneous conclusions about candidates interviewed for an open position. Such biases are either based on the interviewer’s interest or prejudices and can have a critical and problematic effect on the judgment.
Often, recruitment biases result in the rejection of qualified candidates as interviewers allow their biases to override their judgment. Interviewers are forced to make decisions in favor of a particular person based on race, culture, age, ethnicity, color, religion, class, caste, etc. In the workplace, this can cut down diversity and affect retention efforts.
Employers need to simplify and be just in their hiring process and standardize their process to reduce hiring prejudice. Awareness is the first step in knowing about unconscious bias.
The applicant tracking system automates and streamlines the hiring process, which plays a vital role in curbing recruitment bias. ATS scans the resume and finds the best talent based on skills and qualifications to match the job role. ATS does not give importance to external factors such as race, gender, identity, class, nationality, ethnicity, etc., and can easily filter 100s of resumes in no time and shortlist the top talents.
7 Ways to Efficiently Remove Recruitment Bias
Companies and organizations want to develop a diverse culture, but often manual hiring results in unconscious bias getting in the way. Applicant tracking systems are one such software that helps to remove bias from the recruitment process.
You cannot remove unconscious bias from human nature, but it can cause major damage to a company’s growth and productivity. It is, therefore, necessary to hire and create a team of diverse employees. ATS helps combat unconscious bias.
Some of the ways to effectively reduce bias with technology are listed below.
Avoid Gendered Terms
Often it is observed that women naturally refrain from applying to job positions that are ‘masculine-coded’ language. Words or skills like active, confident, etc., often attract fewer women to the role or position. However, feminine-coded words such as honest, supportive, etc., do not impact the male candidates while applying for a job role.
The applicant tracking systems flag off these gender bias words while creating job advertisements. Integrating ATS into the hiring and recruiting process helps organizations and companies maintain gender equality among candidates.
Implement Blind Applications
In traditional hiring and recruiting methods, the applicants’ resumes landed directly in the hands of the hiring manager, which often led to unconscious bias. This directly impacted the top talents.
One way to address this issue is to implement ‘blind applications.’ Blind applications remove details that may result in biased decisions such as race, nationality, class, caste, age, gender, etc.
The applicant tracking system automates and streamlines the application process to help recruiters in the blind application process. Several Startups and well-established businesses allow creation tests that mimic the challenges of the job itself. The recruiters then view applications, and interviews can be scheduled based on the scores received. As a result, it highlights the platform’s highest performers, highlighting their potential and skills. ATS eliminated any term that might cause biases.
Standardize the interview process
Once the candidate’s resume is shortlisted, the next crucial step is the interview process. Hiring managers might be tempted to take up unstructured interviews, which makes it difficult for hiring managers to benchmark candidates. As a result, unconscious bias might creep into it.
A structured interview while creating the job description ensures that all candidates are assessed against the same markers. ATS helps create and structure standard questions to discern a candidate’s skills, knowledge, abilities, etc., according to the job role. Ensure that you stick to the same questions for all the candidates as it allows hiring decision-makers to make decisions on informed comparisons. A structured interview reduces the chance bias decisions based on the interviewer’s first impression of the candidates.
Implement Diversity in Management
If you are looking for a more human-based approach, consider implementing diversity in management. Interview panels with diverse managers are crucial in reducing bias in the recruitment process.
Removing unconscious bias without using technology may seem impossible, yet creating an environment where diversity at all levels is appreciated plays a major role in creating one.
Create a team of diverse managers belonging to different ethnicity, caste, class, gender, age, etc. Such a team can mitigate personal unconscious bias and help consider a candidate from a wider perspective. As a result, management can make a more informed decision to choose the right candidates.
Building a diverse team can help the company to achieve its goals. Different minds work differently, and it can be of a lot of help in problem-solving and making decisions for the growth of the business.
Build a Cross-Functional Interview Team
Cross-functional interview team considerably reduces the recruitment bias and helps in eliminating prejudice. Conducting frequent meetings with the interview team to guide them and brainstorm ideas on what to look for and avoid including potential biases is an excellent way to avoid personal bias.
Companies and organizations must establish strategies and plan to discuss the candidate in a debrief meeting. This will help verify any biases that may surface and may be vetted out by other interviewers. Applicant tracking systems help in interview scheduling, issuing notifications, sending automated emails to candidates and the interviewers, and making the entire process hassle-free. Interviewers and interviewees can connect on a single platform and interview the candidates.
Educate recruitment team about the value of diversity
Define the business goals and objectives as it helps everyone understand the importance of eliminating unconscious bias. Setting up business objectives also allows the employees and employers to build diversity to the bottom line. Explain and conduct sessions on what diversity entails in the company.
Give an overview of race, diversity, ageism, gender, ethnicity, etc., and discuss which are underrepresented. You must set goals and metrics for each step of the candidate hiring process, interview conversion rates, and acceptances.
Communicate the success of the organization, and discuss the accomplishments. Discuss how diverse employees have helped them achieve the organization’s aims.
Make Data-Driven Decisions
One way to mitigate the influence of personal bias in the recruitment process is by letting data-driven insights guide the decision-making process.
To quickly onboard new and diverse talent with the right skills, ATS uses data and predictive analytics to help recruiters find and engage with talent. ATS helps recruiters rank candidates against open positions.
Predictive analysis is the process of using historical data and uses it to make predictions about future candidates and hiring activities. The process involves collecting and analyzing data using statistics and modeling techniques.
This allows the collection of a large volume of data from different platforms and helps measure variables such as performance and engagement. Applicant tracking system gathers various information from their resume, cover letter, pre-screening tests, etc., and then uses these inputs to assess if the candidate is the perfect fit.
How Reducing Bias During the Hiring Process Improves a Business’s Profitability
Reducing hiring bias reduces the risk of bad hires, improves business profitability, and unlocks the benefits of a diverse workforce. Some of how reducing hire bias can directly impact business are:
- Diverse teams are more high-performing: A team of mixed employees is often more creative and better at problem-solving. Diverse teams display a high level of cohesiveness and better team performance.
- Creative approaches to problem-solving increase the company’s growth: Employees can use their strengths and benefit from its growth. The right talent in the company is likely to consider different approaches, which result in innovative ideas.
- Right candidates are good for business: Companies with the right skillset and diverse culture are likely to have above-average profitability. Such companies are more financially outperforming.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)
Often, recruitment biases result in the rejection of qualified candidates as interviewers allow their biases to override their judgment. Interviewers are forced to make decisions in favor of a particular person based on race, culture, age, ethnicity, color, religion, class, caste, etc.
Recruitment Bias or bias in recruitment is unconscious or subconsciously driven erroneous conclusions about candidates interviewed for an open position. Such biases are either based on the interviewer’s interest or prejudices and can have a critical and problematic effect on the judgment.