Bias in the hiring process is a difficult challenge to overcome. But it has been documented time and again that a diverse and resilient workforce is better for business. To eliminate bias, you need to take a good hard look at not only your approach to hiring but your hiring practices historically. It requires an open mind and a commitment to building a diverse team and managers and leaders’ support in hiring and retaining those individuals. Here are 3 things you can do to start changing the climate for a more open and inclusive workplace.
1. Get Better Data to Enable Better Decision Making
The insight into efficiencies and processes, performance, and problems provided by data visibility improves organizations’ overall responsiveness to their contingent hiring needs. When businesses see issues such as lack of diversity clearly documented in the numbers, this allows them to address those issues before they become a problem.
Big data is all about decision making and making the right decisions at the right time. It enables companies to see trends and identify gaps that are otherwise hidden from view. This is especially true for people’s data. Every decision depends on real information that is collected and analyzed for optimal impact. With clear data, employees become more effective, issues are addressed quicker, teams are more responsive, and processes become more streamlined. The key is being able to see through the noise and making sense of the information. Bias in hiring can be addressed quickly and effectively when you have the data to back up the claim.
2. Be Wary of Hiring for “Cultural Fit”
A common measurement of a good fit for a company is evaluating whether you (or your team members) would enjoy going out with the candidate for a happy hour. Cultural fit is a challenge to evaluate in an interview setting. Still, generally, people can get a feeling for whether they enjoy spending time with someone even after just a few minutes of conversation. Be cautious of this method, however, because it’s easy for unconscious bias to influence hiring decisions if you rely too heavily on whether or not you want to spend time with someone socially, and that can quickly lead to overly homogenous teams which lack the diversity of thought and backgrounds that can make the team really effective. If everyone looks the same, acts the same, and thinks the same on a team, there will never truly be a breakthrough opportunity.
3. Instead, Hire for What Makes Them Unique
Rather than stacking your benches with lookalikes, consider what candidates can bring to the table that makes them unique (from other candidates but also other team members). Along that line of thinking, take a moment to really explore what makes each of the candidates special. Do they provide different perspectives or any soft skills that can add a new depth to your team? When thinking through how new team members can benefit your company, think through not just the role but the individual who will be engaged within that role, the skills they bring, their personality, their background, and their insights that can work to round out your team and make you all more impactful in the long run.
Connect with the Hiring Experts
Bias can be conscious or unconscious, but the bottom line is that it will hold you and your business back if left unaddressed. To build a more robust and diverse team, connect with the hiring experts at Williams Staffing today.