Reducing Hiring Bias is the First Step Toward Building a More Diverse Tech Team

Posted: April 17, 2019


Chances are, your hiring process is missing good candidates because you’re falling prey to hiring biases you may not even know you have. Studies show that unconscious bias permeates most of our hiring processes, which is why companies often  enact diversity and inclusions programs. The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) says, “Unconscious racism, ageism, and sexism play a big role in whom we hire.” How can companies overcome these biases when it’s possible we don’t recognize them when they occur?


Unconscious Bias Likely Affecting Your Hiring Best Practices

Chances are, your company isn’t happy with the level of diversity within the organization. If this is true, try working backward, starting with the process of sourcing and hiring new talent. Is it possible your team is falling victim to unconscious assumptions or biases about race or ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age or some other human characteristic that subtly influences our choice of candidates?


SHRM says the first step toward addressing any possible issues in these areas is to standardize the hiring process as much as possible. Create awareness of these issues by conducting training that will peel back the layers of racism, ageism, sexism, homophobia, or other issues that are keeping you from hiring good candidates and preventing your company from presenting a diverse cultural image to the rest of the world.


The Roots of Cultural Bias and How to Overcome Them

The truth is every human has unconscious biases, and many of them stem all the way back to childhood and early lessons we learned from our parents. Awareness training can create dialogues between people and get to the heart of these perceptions that have been woven into the very fabric of our thought processes. It is only by working as a team to expose these often-unconscious attitudes can we learn new ways of behaving that eliminate them altogether.


Best Practice Tip #1– Change Your Job Descriptions

Even the subtleties of language in your ads can deter a diverse mix of candidates from applying. SHRM says that words like “collaborative” or “cooperative” can attract women, while “competitive” or “determined” can turn them off. Try mixing up the word choices to see if there is a change in who applies.


Best Practice Tip #2 –Make Your Resumes Anonymous

Next, try to level the playing field by eliminating biases toward demographic characteristics. SHRM reports that names like “Jamal” or “Latisha” get fewer callbacks than “John” or “Emily.” There are software programs that can remove personal identification so they do not play a factor in your decision-making process.


Improving the Outcomes: Unconscious Bias and Your Company

Unconscious biases can be rooted as deeply as the subconscious, which is why they are so difficult to ferret out. But because they run so deep, they must be yanked out by the roots, and this takes time, training, and energy to embrace change and reap the benefits of a more diverse workforce.


Reach Out to Select Resources to Add Talent to Your Team!

Talk with your Select Resources team about how to improve your hiring practices today! The experts at Select Resources fully support and promote diversity in their workforce and in the people they place on assignment. We are actively engaged in creating a diverse and inclusive work environment for our employees. Contact us today!


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