4 Steps to Reduce Unconscious Bias in the Hiring Process

We often believe that we make quick and fair decisions based on facts and our own experiences, without letting biases influence our judgment. However, when we start to consider unconscious biases, we may realize that they can actually impact our seemingly logical decisions. It is important to be aware of these biases and try to prevent them from affecting our decision-making.


So what is unconscious bias?

Unconscious bias refers to the subconscious feelings or attitudes we have towards other people or groups. These unconscious emotions can impact our perceptions and judgments, and may affect our decisions both in our work and personal lives. It is important to be aware of and try to prevent unconscious bias from interfering with our recruitment process.


Be mindful of how it affects your hiring decisions

Unconscious bias can impact our perceptions and decisions in many ways, including based on factors such as gender, age, ethnicity, race, religion, weight, sexual orientation, and even small details like someone’s appearance or clothing. While we may strive to be unbiased and impartial in our decisions, unconscious bias is very common and can easily sneak into the hiring process, leading us to judge candidates based on our preconceptions rather than their skills and experience. If left unchecked, unconscious bias can become deeply ingrained in the interview process, leading to poor hiring practices.


Beware of stereotypical hiring practices

When we review our hiring decisions, we typically believe that we have chosen the best candidates for our team and company based on impartial judgments. However, it is common for our unconscious biases, influenced by previous experiences and personal opinions, to affect our decisions. In a TEDTalk, CEO Gail Tolstoi-Miller discusses how even with 20 years of industry experience and over 15,000 job placements, she has still fallen prey to unconscious bias in her hiring decisions. This shows that anyone can be influenced by unconscious bias, even those with a great deal of experience.


Be careful and watch your mind

One way to start addressing unconscious bias in the hiring process is to bring your subconscious thoughts to the surface by examining why you rejected certain candidates. Take a second look at resumes you initially passed on and try to understand the reasons behind your decision. Was it based on a lack of experience or specific skills, or were you influenced by factors such as the quality of the candidate’s education or your personal feelings about them? By asking yourself these questions, you may find that your list of potential hires grows. After conducting interviews, make a final decision on whether to move forward with a candidate or not. This process of self-examination can help you distinguish between decisions based on unconscious biases and those based on factual information. It is important to recognize and address your own unconscious biases in order to avoid letting qualified candidates slip through the hiring process.


Challenge yourself when an unconscious bias kicks in

The key to combating unconscious bias is to be aware of it and take steps to correct it. One way to do this is to challenge your own decisions and ask yourself if your judgment is being influenced by unconscious biases. Taking the time to pause, exercise self-control, and focus on the facts can help you make the best decisions possible. It is important to be proactive in catching and fixing any unconscious biases that may affect your judgment.


Follow Pratik HR, an engineer recruitment agency in Turkey, for more content like this!