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How to Reduce Hiring Bias in Your Recruiting Efforts

Hiring Bias Blog Graphic showcasing five people sitting in a row of chairs while looking at various items like a tablet, laptop, phone, or book.

Everyone has biases. From self-serving biases to cultural biases to confirmation biases, you’ve probably been guilty of a bias at some point in your life. So, it should be no surprise that bias can manifest itself in your recruitment efforts. Hiring bias is a common occurrence throughout the hiring process. It can cause employers to lose out on qualified talent or, worse, hire the wrong person – costing them valuable time, resources, and money. 

What Is Hiring Bias? 

Hiring bias refers to the unintentional exclusion or inclusion of candidates from consideration because of a snap judgment we make – even if that quality doesn’t indicate the candidate’s ability to do the job well. It’s very easy for bias to arise in interviews since the interview process is all about making judgments. For example, the way a person dresses, speaks, and even the car they drive can impact how you think and feel about them as a candidate. 

3 Ways to Reduce Hiring Bias  

The good news is that you can take steps to prevent hiring bias from creeping into the hiring process long before the interview stage. 

1) Determine the Qualities You’re Looking for in a Candidate 

Before you start looking for candidates to fill open positions, you need to decide what qualities you want them to have. Don’t just think about the role, but your expectations of an employee. Having a list of “must-haves” in your next hire helps you focus on finding candidates who have the proper knowledge, experience, and motivation for the role. 

2) Diversify the Interview Process 

It takes more than one person to decide if a candidate is a good fit for your organization. Including multiple people within your company in the interview process can help you to have various viewpoints and opinions relating to the candidate’s qualifications. Be careful though, too many “cooks in the kitchen” can overcomplicate the interviewing process.  

3) Incorporate Behavioral Interviewing 

Include a structured, behavioral-based interview to better understand how a candidate might handle different situations. Having a structured approach to interviews helps you gain a broader perspective about the candidates’ qualifications and capabilities for the job. 

5 Most Common Hiring Biases  

Another way to reduce bias is by knowing the different types of biases out there. Below is a list of the most common in recruiting.  

1) Affinity Bias  

Affinity bias involves feeling a natural affinity towards a candidate due to having something in common with them – such as having the same alma mater, being from the same hometown, or knowing similar people. 

2) Beauty Bias  

Sadly, beauty bias is common in the hiring process. It involves judging people based on their appearance and thinking conventionally beautiful people are more successful.  

3) Confirmation Bias  

Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for specific information in a way that confirms your prior beliefs of a candidate. 

4) Overconfidence Bias  

This bias is when you are overly confident in your ability to find the perfect candidate. This type of bias is dangerous because you may overlook some qualified candidates and hire someone based on a “gut feeling.” 

5) Proximity Bias  

This is a relatively new bias in the hiring world. Proximity bias is the tendency to hire people who live or work close to you. There is nothing wrong with hiring someone you can easily communicate with, but proximity bias can be dangerous because it limits your perspective and exposure to qualified candidates.  

Looking for the Best Professional for the Job? WideNet Can Help  

If you’re looking to find qualified talent, our team at WideNet has the expertise and network to help. We have an extensive database of qualified candidates in many different areas of tech. We can help you determine the best fit for your organization’s needs. Contact us today to get started.