Why You Need to Make Sure You Don’t Have Bias in Your Hiring Process

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Jan 8, 2014

Hiring bias is like a crack in the bottom of your business’s boat. If you continue on without ever fixing it, you will ultimately sink.

Whether you know it’s down there or not, it’s always best to check for any problems. Your hiring depends on it.

But what if bias helps you hire the right person? It’d be hard to argue against it. Deep down, when the final decision comes (even after all the talking about “fair hiring”) you could rely on the very bias you talk about avoiding, and it could work.

How to fix a bias

Put the moral and value-based issues aside. It helps to look at bias as a business case.

Biased hiring may work sometimes. It may work a few times. However, it will not work consistently, over time, and across multiple hiring leaders.

Even Google admits that many business leaders enjoy hiring from “gut feelings,” but also that those same leaders actually create mediocre (and even terrible at times) results.

These leaders choose under qualified applicants or even people ill-suited to the positions. Why? Because they felt right. These under-performers will ultimately make your business underperform.

The best way to remove bias from your hiring process is to create the right structure.

Create a job profile

This lists everything the new job will require. Not alma maters or favorite sports, you want skills and knowledge.

Use everyone involved in the hiring and interviewing process. Take their opinions and insights and use them to create the perfect list. It will give you a clear vision to then evaluate applicants.

Make the interview about the job

This takes preparation and understanding. The interview should assess the applicant’s ability to perform the job and their fit inside the company.

Things can get sticky with “fit.” Too quickly, someone not fitting company culture is really just a different way of saying your bias doesn’t like this applicant.

Take a cold, hard look at this point. This applicant has all the skills and attributes you described in the job description. Does he or she really not fit the company? Or is it you?

You need the best talent around. Will you be able to put up with someone, as long as that person is doing great work?

Use quantifiable metrics

Rating each applicant with grades, scores and other quantifiable metrics will make evaluating much easier. You don’t need to rely on feelings or guts. Applicant B score higher with every interviewer than Applicant A. The discussion just got easier.

Plus, modern hiring software will provide you with the tools to make these grades and scores easy.

What do you think? Is hiring bias hurting your hiring?

This article originally appeared on The Resumator Blog.