Nine Ways to Eliminate Hiring Bias


Hiring bias can negatively affect a company at every level, from senior management on down.

Hiring Bias

When recruiters use emotion in a hiring decision rather than objective facts, it could lead to accusations of hiring bias.

Using “your gut” to select a candidate is simply not the way to get the right talent.

Like cancer, hiring bias could spread through the entire corporate culture—damaging employee morale, efficiency and the company’s reputation.

In 2012, the EEOC received nearly 100,000 cases of discrimination in hiring. This leads to one question: How many more cases of hiring bias are NOT reported?

Nine Ways to Eliminate Hiring Bias:

  • Be clear about the job description.

Start with a thorough, well-written job description. Everyone involved in hiring should know the history of the job, exactly why it exists and how accomplishment in the job will be measured.

  • Learn to master the phone interview.

Human Resources: Free live ovation demoBegin the hiring process with a phone interview—at least 30-minutes—prior meeting in-person.

This will help support your initial impressions through the resume, but also it will reduce anxiety during the actual face-to-face interview.

  • Before deciding, give it a few minutes.

In the interview, avoid snap judgments; wait about 30 minutes. Although first impressions are significant, they should never take precedence over concrete qualifications and expertise. Sometimes, a terrific first impression will disappear during the interview, and a poor first impression could improve with time.

  • It takes a “village” to hire, or at least more than one.

Avoid using a single interviewer; try for a hiring team of two or more. Several opinions will get emotions out of the hiring process. Bias starts when emotions take precedence over facts.

  • Give no one person veto power.

How to Hire the Best Talent: Ovation TechnologiesBias—or the appearance of bias—occurs when one person has veto power over a candidate. Using two interviewers (or a hiring team), each should have a number of different factors to assess.

Reach a hiring decision by adding up the grades given by each team member, with the job going to the applicant with the highest ranking.  Always support grades with facts.

  • Be tough on the candidates you like the best.

When a hiring manager meets a candidate he or she likes, there is a significant change in approach. They become soft, open and accepting. To fight the natural tendency to softball candidates you like, start asking them more difficult questions.

Do not be superficial when looking at the experience and qualifications of candidates you prefer.

  • Just the facts, ma’am.

There are words that hint at hiring favoritism, which could lead to charges of hiring bias. A hiring manager that often uses words like “feel” and “think” may not be using the appropriate filters during the hiring process.

Stick with facts and evidence in any hiring decision. If you do not use facts to support a decision, rethink your decision.

  • Never rush to judgment.

Today, there is technology (such as from Ovation Technologies) that can significantly shorten the hiring process. However, do not be fooled in thinking that technology can replace the interview process.

Each member of a hiring team should spend at least 30-40 minutes interviewing a candidate. Alternatively, a group interview should last at least an hour.

  • Recognize that bias is part of being human.

The hiring process is a human endeavor. We normally have a tendency to filter out conflicting information. First step in eliminating hiring bias is to realize that bias is a measure of human nature.

Only then, you can get a grip on hiring bias.

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