Hiring Bias

Hiring bias is the unconscious prejudice in favor of or against a group of people that influences a recruiter s judgment during the recruitment process. Letting biases affect the hiring of candidates for job positions can lead to a uniformity and lack of diversity in a company or organization.

In a 2015 McKinsey report, Diversity Matters, businesses that are gender-inclusive and ethnically diverse are 25 percent more likely to exceed financial returns above their respective national industry medians. As modern companies tilt toward a more inclusive and diverse workforce, the human resources department is at the helm of ensuring fairness in hiring, not to favor a specific ethnicity, race, or gender over others.

But is it possible to have a totally unbiased and neutral judgment in selecting qualified candidates for open positions in a company? The answer is complicated. People have biases learned and accumulated over time which help them navigate the tides in a complex world. Social constructs such as race, religion, culture, politics, and gender inform their judgment, opinion, and criteria of choosing.

Reducing hiring bias

Biases, however, can be tempered through a conscious effort of knowing the subject more and being aware of personal prejudices before making a decision. It is a challenge to hiring personnel since people tend to express a liking to a preferred group of individuals above others.

As the goal of recruitment is to get the best candidate for the job, by reducing hiring bias, one can select the right person for the position and spare oneself from discrimination charges. Mitigating hiring bias helps promote inclusiveness and diversity, which is beneficial to the business as it changes the cultural dynamics of an organization. A diverse workforce develops mutual respect between genders or ethnicities, and it has a deep and extensive pool of talents that encourages creativity and sparks innovation.

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