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Killing bias from your Recruitment and Selection

 

I often get asked how to promote Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) in the workplace. When it comes to D&I, it starts with the hiring process. And one of the main blockers to fair and accessible processes is our unconscious bias.

Unconscious bias in hiring refers to the subtle, unintentional, and automatic prejudices or preferences that individuals may hold towards certain groups of people. Unconscious biases are often based on factors such as race, gender, age, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, or other characteristics that are not relevant to a person’s ability to perform a job. These biases can manifest in various ways, including:

  1. Affinity Bias: Preferring candidates who share similar backgrounds, interests, or experiences with the decision-maker.
  2. Halo & Horns Effect: Allowing one positive trait or characteristic to overshadow other relevant factors, or vice versa.
  3. Confirmation Bias: Tending to favour information that confirms pre-existing beliefs or stereotypes about certain groups.
  4. Stereotyping: Making assumptions about individuals based on generalisations and stereotypes associated with their demographic characteristics.

So, how can you fix this? How do you implement fair, unbiased processes that encourage diversity? The answer lies in employing assessment techniques, which removes the gut feeling and guesswork from recruitment.

Benefits of using Assessments

  • Assessments in hiring ensure fair and legally sound practices, supporting diversity and inclusion goals.
  • They offer flexibility for unbiased evaluations in recruitment, redundancy, promotion, and leadership development.
  • Role-specific competencies identified through assessments align with company standards, ensuring precise and inclusive scoring.
  • Evidence-based feedback from assessments provides valuable insights for a transparent and equitable hiring process.
  • Scientifically backed assessment methods eliminates reliance on biased gut feelings, ensuring accurate candidate evaluations.
  • Layering & integrating various assessments establishes a comprehensive approach to reduce bias.

Effective Evaluation Methods

Assessments can come in many different shapes and sizes, but the most effective are those tailored specifically to the requirements of the role. This will ensure you are measuring what matters most and helps you identify the best person for your role. Some example assessments are:

  • Work Sample Tests: Replicate job tasks for a comprehensive evaluation.
  • Integrity Tests: Assess honesty, trustworthiness, and dependability.
  • Conscientiousness Tests: Evaluate responsibility, organisation, and hard work.
  • Structured Employment Interviews: A reliable method for assessing candidates.
  • Behavioural Consistency Method: Leverage past behaviour as a predictor of future success.

Eliminating bias from your hiring process is crucial for building a workplace that values diversity and inclusion. By recognising and tackling unconscious biases with practical assessment methods, you can escape the pitfalls of favouritism and stereotyping.

If you need support creating an assessment process that meets the needs of your organisation, while ensuring fairness, get in touch with us today.

 

Written by Michelle Kearns.


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