So what can we do to avoid discrimination when recruiting?
It is important to firstly understand that unconscious bias isn’t something that can be eradicated completely – it is part of human nature and sometime impossible to recognise our biases. With over 50% of interviewers having made up their mind about a candidate within the first 15 minutes, one way to prevent and deal with unconscious bias is through noting down initial first impression of each candidate. You can then decide if you have judged them more favourably based on age fit, social economic fit or just be initial first look – this does take the interviewer to be honest with themselves.
A simple review of the job description can make all your job descriptions inclusive and fair. The removal of gendered language especially when trying to make the role interesting to candidates, alongside replacing words such as “his/her” with “their/they. There are software systems around which can identify words and phrases that are associated with biases.
Another way to help reduce unconscious bias when recruiting is by ‘bling hiring or redacted CV’s’ whereby you remove certain candidate information throughout the hiring process, such as name, gender, date of birth and hobbies. This enable the hiring manager to select the right candidate shortlist without the identifying information that can provoke unconscious bias.