How to reduce bias in your hiring processes

Cm Blog Image

This blog is a teaser to a whitepaper we will be launching this month about unveiling unconscious bias.

Unconscious bias is something we all probably have, and it can be incredibly helpful to acknowledge what our biases are and to ensure we know about them, so that we don’t blindly act on them, especially in processes such as hiring.

Our biases can have quite a few negative effects including, but not limited to:

  • Stopping us giving fair opportunity during hiring processes

  • Continuing to pigeonhole marginalised communities

  • Creating disharmony and non-inclusive work environments

  • Lacking diverse teams and therefore diverse innovation and ideas

So… what can we do to reduce potential bias in our hiring processes? Here are some of our top tips!


  • Blind application and screening processes

This can look like resumes without significant identifying information.

“By hiding certain characteristics like age, gender, ethnicity, or level of education, you can remove the different cognitive biases that creep up when reading a resume” – Glassdoor

  • Unconscious Bias Assessments as part of the onboarding process

This can ensure all your employees have a self-awareness of unconscious bias and how it may affect their judgement from the very beginning of their journey with you. By introducing this from the onboarding process you can build an equitable culture from the ground up.

  • Diversity Goals

Many companies have now implemented diversity goals, measured against the statistics of the community in which they are part of. This is a good way to not only build a diverse environment but to also create accountability within your business to create equity.

What Hiring Managers need to do

  • Be aware and accept that you have biases

The first step is being aware to know which biases are unhelpful or harmful. To deny having bias stops your journey to better hiring decisions from the beginning.

  • Spend time reading and learning about the experience of underrepresented communities at work

This is an important step to developing understanding and empathy so that you are better equipped to deal with different people’s experiences.

  • Explicitly call out where bias could show up and when it occurs

It is vital to recognise where bias may have previously effected business decision making, and to make sure people within your business know that it is unacceptable when bias occurs (especially explicit bias). Sometimes a longer, more delicate discussion may need to be had around unconscious biases.

  • Reduce the influence of other people’s opinions on your decisions

In a managerial position, having other’s input is important, especially when hiring for a cohesive team. However, ultimately, the responsibility needs to be mostly yours, especially for hiring decisions.

  • Understand how reducing bias can personally benefit you

Reducing bias can be of personal benefit to you too. By learning about this it will help you be more willing and open to doing the work required to avoid leaving your biases going unchecked.

  • Apply the “flip it to test” approach

This means to ask if you were to swap out the candidate from an underrepresented background with one of your more typical hires, would you have the same decision?

Find out more, including statistics and research in the Unveiling Unconscious Bias Whitepaper coming out at the end of this month!


Keep reading...

View more