Five Ways To Eliminate Bias From Your Hiring Process

When you are looking to add to your sales team, you want to ensure you bring on the right people for the job. Sometimes, though, unconscious bias can creep in and skew your decision. Whether you prefer one candidate over another because they share your alma mater or you allow gender stereotypes to steer your decision, it’s important to recognize that bias can impact your hiring decision.

If you and your company are committed to diversity and inclusion, there are some ways you can work to eliminate bias from your hiring process. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share guidance from Tiffany Delmore, a career advice author for The Ladders, on how to do this.

1. Cast a wider net when looking for candidates. Sometimes you can skew your candidate pool without even knowing it. If you look for applicants on the same job boards, social media sites or career fairs, you’re not doing much in terms of diversity. Instead, Delmore recommends hiring managers source candidates from a broader range of sources. You might be surprised at the number of strong candidates you get simply by looking in new places.

2. Reexamine how you screen applicants. According to Delmore, removing bias starts long before applicants ever sit down for an interview. Your job posting and your screening process can prevent some of your best candidates from ever getting a chance. For example, studies show that women often do not apply for a job if they do not meet 100 percent of the listed criteria in the job description. Try to avoid listing skills as required if they are not truly necessary to make sure you post accurately.

3. Don’t use shortcuts. In the current economy, many managers are inundated with applications and turn to AI software to help move candidates through the pipeline faster. However, Delmore says this practice can do more harm than good since some interviewing platforms are not without bias. One platform has even been called out for using voice and word choice to gauge a person’s mental agility and emotional skills. When you rely on software to score candidates on their biometric data, you often only reinforce biases toward applicants who are already likely to be selected.

4. Look for ways to test candidates’ job skills. When you want to avoid unconscious bias in your hiring process, use objective assessments to get a feel for how candidates would handle real-world job duties. Act out a challenging sales call. See how candidates respond to common objections. This gives you insight into how applicants would deal with the day-to-day aspects of their job.

5. Learn how to conduct an unbiased interview. If you typically just roll with interviews, you could be unknowingly inviting bias into the process. That’s because research shows that people naturally set a casual tone for those they feel are part of their in-group. To avoid this, Delmore suggests creating a list of relevant questions in advance and ensuring you ask every candidate the same questions.

Without even knowing it, you may be shutting out some stellar candidates due to snap judgments and unconscious bias. You can work to identify and remove potential biases by widening your net when searching for candidates, reviewing how you screen candidates, removing AI shortcuts, and testing applicants’ job skills. By becoming aware of your potential bias in hiring, you can work toward developing a more diverse sales team.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Tiffany Delmore is a career advice author for The Ladders.

filed under October 2020
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