Unconscious bias is everywhere; the workplace is no exception. This video discusses how unconscious bias creeps into hiring. And example of this is the concept of "fit" and the unintended exclusion that results.
- You have an opportunity to create an inclusive team through your hiring process. This is especially true if you can mange your unconscious bias, or the snap judgments our brain makes based on stereotypes, as you move through the candidate review process. Watch this committee discuss the finalists for a position. You'll see a number sign on the screen each time an example of unconscious bias comes up during the discussion. - All right, so what's why dogs over cats, right? (group laughing) All right, all right, so thanks again for being part of the hiring committee.
I really appreciate your time. So we just saw three great candidates. I mean, I would hire them all if I could. But I'd like to hear your thoughts before we make our final decision. - Yeah, it's tough. I saw them all as equally qualified, but they all had really unique perspectives. - I really liked everyone. - Well, we need to narrow it down a bit, so let's look at each one individually. - Well, Brandon has really interesting experience and great creativity.
I just wonder how our clients are going to respond to him. They're pretty conservative, and they may not approve of his lifestyle. Now, I'm not saying I have a problem with it, but it's something we should think about. - Interesting. I guess I can see why you would say that. He may not fit in. - I'm more worried about Maria. She's awesome, but I just don't think she'll like living here. Moving from a big city to our little community is a big adjustment, especially for a single woman.
I just think she'd be unhappy and won't stay long. - Good point, I hadn't thought about that. I definitely don't want to onboard and train someone who isn't going to stay or feel comfortable in the area. - I can really see James fitting in. I'm friends with one of his references who just loves him. - He was in my fraternity, and we didn't overlap in school, but everyone I know who knows him says great things. Plus, he'd be awesome on the interoffice basketball team.
- Oh. (laughs) - Good point. Okay, you brought up some interesting points. I will take all of this into consideration and let you know my decision by next week. - Sounds good. - All right. - Thank you. - The meeting you just observed was filled with examples of how unconscious bias, or unsubstantiated assumptions, can creep into our conversations about candidates. Here's some strategies you can use to limit this in your hiring decisions. First, before you even get to the interview stage, remove names and photographs from resumes and applications.
This removes the likelihood that gender, race, or any other characteristic plays a role in the initial phase of the process. Second, define the specific characteristics you value before your discussion, and don't allow any additional topics, such as lifestyle or geography, to come up. If you're evaluating candidates based on fit, make sure there are job-specific traits you're discussing, and not whether or not the person is like you. For example, aspects of a candidate's personal life aren't appropriate considerations for hiring.
Third, evaluate everyone on the same criteria. Any additional information you can get about a candidate from your personal networks, positive or negative, creates an unfair dynamic in the overall process. If you're speaking with references, speak with references for each candidate, even if you don't personally know the references of the other candidates. Getting the right people on your team is tied to your success as a leader. Set a positive tone for your team by carefully managing your discussions around hiring.
Remember, the only way to beat unconscious bias is to consciously put steps in place to counter it.
- Creating a shared understanding of why inclusion matters
- Establishing trust
- Using inclusive language
- Providing feedback in diverse teams
- Discovering implicit associations
- Delegating work and opportunities equitably
- How unconscious bias creeps into the hiring process