6 Sensible Ways To Avoid Job Interview Bias
Biases happen when we compare and have an unfair favor for or against one thing, person, or group and are an innate part of being human. Cognitive bias is our tendency to make systematic decisions in certain circumstances based on cognitive factors instead of evidence. This bias is a result of our evolution and is something that every human being shares.
Cognitive bias may have aided us when we had limited processing power to analyze information thousands of years ago, but now it is something that we all have to consciously transcend through awareness. These are six sensible ways you can mitigate biases through interviewing potential candidates for an open position.
1. Set Diversity Goals
Start a conversation within your company about diversity and potential biases you may have as a recruiter and that your employees may have with new hires. Diversity goals are worthwhile and bring the issue front and center. These goals will help you through the hiring process. After each interview, you can track how well each interviewee does against the goals you have set.
2. Create Effective Job Descriptions
Textio is an artificial intelligence system that is changing the way hiring managers recruit talent. Textio helps you write more effective job descriptions by analyzing outcomes of 10 million job posts a month to predict the performance of your listing and give you feedback on how to optimize it. The program gives you a score on job descriptions compared to ones in the same industry and location. Companies who use Textio attract more diverse applicants and hire 17% faster than their competitors.
3. Standardize Interviews
It can be tempting to go into interviews with a go-with-the-flow mindset and then hiring from your intuition on who you think would fill the role best. You should avoid this at all costs. These are considered unstructured interviews and are unreliable when predicting job success. Structured interviews are when each candidate is asked the same set of defined questions that focus on factors that have a direct impact on job performance.
4. Take Good Notes
Interviews are important and candidates shouldn’t be hired off of first impressions. To make sure you hire the best candidate, take clear and detailed notes of each interview. Try to write down exact phrases from their answers. Then immediately following each interview, jot down your thoughts about the interviewee before becoming too distracted and forgetting key highlights.
5. Try Collaborative Hiring
Try bringing in employees with diverse experiences into the hiring process. By doing so, you will hear your employees’ opinions, gain their valuable feedback, and help to create a more diverse workforce. Collaborative hiring can also help safeguard from several cognitive biases such as:
- Ingroup bias. This is when people favor members of their own group and is the reason why fans of different sports teams (like UofL vs UK, for instance) can display such hostility towards each other at times.
- Confirmation bias. This is our tendency to give more weight to information that confirms what we already believe to be true.
- Projection bias. This occurs when we overestimate the degree to which other people agree with us. We tend to believe that others think, feel, and behave the same way we do.
6. Continually Analyze Your Hiring Process
It’s hard to determine whether or not bias has affected a hiring decision, but you can look back on previous hires to determine if there are any disparities. When you analyze previous job openings in your company, look at each demographic factor to see if there are any biases. If a lot of women apply for positions, but not many are invited to interviews, it might suggest that bias enters in at the selection stage. To avoid this, you can anonymize resumes by taking out applicants personal information and only focusing on their specific qualifications. By continuously analyzing your hiring process, you can address any biases and create ways to overcome them.
Not only should you strive for diversity to be inclusive and representative as a whole, it is also the law. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of a person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, and genetic information. Most employers with at least 15 employees are covered by the EEOC laws, which apply to all types of work situations including hiring, firing, promotions, harassment, training, wages, and benefits.
Biases are critical and problematic and when unchecked, they can end up shaping a company’s culture and norms. When hiring, clearly communicate desired standards to candidates for complete transparency. Candidates will appreciate it and as an employer, you will seem more attractive. APS can help with your recruiting process. Your employees are your best asset, which is why we have a complete suite of HR Services and benefits to streamline everything from pre-hire to retire. Don’t miss out on our Fall Special where you can get one month of payroll processing for free!