How can you fight your own prejudice and biases when assessing applicants?
You can’t judge a book by its cover, and you can’t judge an applicant simply by their demographics. How do you avoid personal prejudice during the hiring process? We reached out to some hiring experts to see what policies they have implemented to help them steer clear of biases. Keep reading to see what has worked for their companies.
Survey Candidates Without Personal Info
In our company, we ensure that we are maintaining an objective hiring program and are consistently recruiting diverse candidates. We make use of blind interviews to reduce bias when narrowing down the job candidate list, which is often applied to early conversations with them.
This is usually done by sending candidates questions through our recruitment platform or email surveys. From there, they can then answer questions anonymously without having to provide personal information, which ensures that the recruitment process is purely based on skills, experience, and qualifications. It ensures that the process remains free of bias as we continue to narrow down the candidate list to the top picks.
To prevent bias altogether, our company eliminated the chance for HR people to ask unnecessary questions and make inappropriate remarks during the interview. Standardized interviews are in place so that the actual key hiring components are highlighted. When the panel is guided with a framework for assessing and ranking candidates, they are more likely to choose based on performance.
Establish Standard Operating Procedures
When you opt for impromptu decisions, there’s a tendency [towards] biased decisions. This is why an HR Standard Operating Procedures (or SOP) will be critical in the process of eliminating prejudice. When you follow a certain standard, the metrics will determine the actual assessment, and you need not conclude on your own.
It is easier to explain the reason behind such a decision this way, since there’s a standard metric that you can show which will explain your rating for the assessment. You can’t be biased when you have a scale as a basis for the actual ratings.
Don’t Ask Applicants About Demographic Information
One of the most simple ways to fight your own prejudices and biases when assessing applicants is to create an application form that doesn’t ask for demographic information such as gender, ethnicity, religion, and even age. These factors are less likely to be significant when it comes to the accomplishment of organizational goals. Work ethics, work performance, and level of dedication to work are things that contribute to the output.
Craft an interview form that solely asks questions about the job and a lesser focus on demographic information. Interview forms should ask questions like, “What do you know about the job?” “Do you have any relevant experience?” Lastly, discarding discrimination and destroying your stereotypes will aid the process. After all, it starts within the self.
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