Is unconscious bias harmful?
Unconscious bias can affect your organisational growth. It will make you hire unsuitable candidates in your company, which will decrease your company growth metrics.
Hence, we recommend tracking unconscious bias in every interview you conduct in your company.
To help you do that, we are here answering the following questions:
- What is an unconscious bias?
- How can unconscious bias affect your company's growth?
- How to track unconscious bias in an interview?
Many companies do not have expert interviews in the team, which increases the chances of unconscious bias. For all those companies, HyreSnap Interview as a Service is a one stop solution.
It is an artificial intelligence-powered interview outsourcing platform that helps you conduct unbiased interviews with a team of 500+ subject matter experts.
For now, let’s get some insights into unconscious bias and how to track them in an interview:
Unconscious bias refers to individuals' implicit biases, often without awareness. These biases are formed based on our background, experiences, cultural upbringing, and societal influences. They can shape our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours, leading to unintended discrimination or unfair treatment of others.
Unconscious biases can influence our perceptions and decisions in various aspects of life, including hiring and recruitment, promotions, performance evaluations, and everyday interactions. They can affect how we perceive and judge people based on factors such as gender, race, ethnicity, age, appearance, disability, or socioeconomic background.
Examples of unconscious biases include:
- Confirmation Bias: The tendency to favour information that confirms our existing beliefs or stereotypes and discount or ignore information that challenges them.
- Halo Effect: Forming an overall positive impression of a person based on one positive characteristic or attribute without considering other relevant factors.
- Similarity Bias: Preferring or being more positively inclined towards people who are similar to us in terms of background, interests, or experiences.
- Implicit Association Bias: Associating certain attributes or stereotypes with particular groups or categories, even when we consciously reject those stereotypes.
- Beauty Bias: Giving preferential treatment or perceiving attractive individuals as more competent, regardless of their actual skills or qualifications.
Unconscious bias can have significant negative impacts on company growth and success. Here are some ways unconscious bias can hinder company growth:
- Limited Talent Pool: Unconscious bias can lead to overlooking or undervaluing talented individuals from underrepresented groups. If biases influence hiring decisions, it can result in a limited and homogenous talent pool. This restricts the organisation's diversity of thought, perspectives, and experiences, which can hinder innovation and problem-solving abilities.
- Retention and Employee Engagement: Unconscious bias can create an environment where certain employees feel marginalised or undervalued. This can lead to higher turnover rates, lower employee engagement, and reduced productivity. A lack of diversity and inclusivity can create a hostile or unwelcoming workplace culture that negatively impacts employee satisfaction and motivation.
- Missed Opportunities for Innovation: Homogeneous teams driven by unconscious bias may lack diverse perspectives and ideas. Companies need to include individuals from underrepresented groups to gain valuable insights and innovative solutions from diverse experiences and backgrounds. Embracing diversity can foster a more innovative and creative work environment.
- Limited Customer Reach: Unconscious bias can also impact a company's ability to connect with and serve diverse customer bases. If decision-makers are not representative of the customer demographic, it may result in products, services, or marketing strategies that do not resonate with diverse audiences. This can limit the market reach and hinder growth potential.
- Reputation and Brand Image: In today's socially conscious landscape, companies are increasingly evaluated based on their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. If unconscious biases are evident in hiring, promotion, or leadership decisions, they can damage the company's reputation and brand image. Negative perceptions related to bias can impact customer loyalty, investor interest, and the ability to attract top talent.
Tracking unconscious bias in an interview can be challenging because biases are often subconscious and not easily observable. However, there are strategies you can employ to minimise the impact of unconscious bias and promote a fair and inclusive interview process. Here are some approaches to consider:
- Structured Interview Process: Implement a structured interview process that includes a set of standardised questions for all candidates. This helps ensure consistency and fairness in assessing candidates, reducing potential bias. Prepare a list of relevant job-related questions in advance, focusing on the skills, qualifications, and experiences required for the role.
- Training and Awareness: Provide training and education to interviewers about unconscious bias, its impact, and mitigation strategies. Make interviewers aware of their potential biases and the importance of conducting interviews objectively and fairly. Training can help interviewers recognise their biases and take steps to minimise their influence on decision-making.
- Blind Review: Consider adopting blind review practices where personal identifying information (such as name, gender, race, or age) is temporarily removed from resumes and application materials before interviewers review them. This reduces the likelihood of unconscious bias based on irrelevant factors.
- Diverse Interview Panels: Ensure that interview panels consist of diverse interviewers representing different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. This can minimise the impact of individual biases and provide a more comprehensive assessment of candidates. Multiple perspectives can contribute to a fairer evaluation process.
- Structured Evaluation Criteria: Establish clear and objective evaluation criteria for assessing candidates' qualifications and suitability for the role. Use a scoring rubric or evaluation matrix to guide the assessment process and ensure consistent and unbiased evaluations. Focus on job-related criteria rather than subjective judgments.
- Post-Interview Debriefing: Conduct post-interview debriefing sessions among interviewers to discuss and evaluate each candidate's performance based on the established evaluation criteria. Encourage open and honest discussions to identify any potential biases that may have influenced perceptions or evaluations.
- Ongoing Evaluation and Review: Regularly review and analyse interview data, including feedback and evaluations, to identify any patterns or biases that may be emerging. Track and monitor data related to diversity metrics, such as the demographics of interviewed candidates, to ensure equal opportunity and identify potential disparities.
Unconscious bias in an interview can make you hire an unsuitable candidate in your company, affecting your entire organisational growth. To dodge this, you can use HyreSnap Interview as a Service platform.
It is an AI-backed interview outsourcing platform that can ease your hiring process and help you eliminate unconscious bias in your company. Below are the key highlights of this 21st-century interview outsourcing platform:
- 500+ Subject Matter Experts
- Experience of Conducting 2500+ Interviews
- AI-Based Performance Reports
- Interview Recordings
- Personalised Interview Solutions
Biasing in the recruitment process can affect your hiring results and even your organisational growth in the longer run. Hence, we recommend minimising unconscious bias during the hiring process as much as possible.
If you have any doubt about minimising that, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will help you conduct unbiased interviews for your company.