Do hidden biases effect hiring decisions?

Yes, of course they do. We all have our biases. The question is: how can employers / hiring managers avoid letting those biases (whether based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or disability) get in the way of hiring qualified candidates?

What systems or HR practices can small-business owners put into place to keep them from letting biases affect their hiring practices and standards?

Uncovering and controlling your unconscious biasThere are actually free online tests you can take to uncover your hidden biases. Once you know what your unconscious biases are, you can work around them by consciously choosing to hire a person you would normally be biased against.

I have a free online program that goes into this subject with lessons and with links to the free online hidden bias testing websites. See:  We do offer self certification for the program if you need continuing education credits.

Random Selection

Another very easy thing to do is to choose your new hires randomly. I know this sounds kind of crazy. But there is science to it – see:

Basically – when we don’t have a good reason to do something, we make up a reason – this is called rationalization. It turns out that decisions made this way are worse than making decisions by random chance or random selection. So if you are having trouble deciding on equally well qualified candidates - once you have vetted them as qualified - choose the one you hire randomly. Literally: pull their name out of a hat or something of that nature. This will help prevent you from introducing your bias into the hiring process through rationalization.

Random selection works in nature and it works in hiring too.

Affirmative Action

When you combine your awareness of your hidden biases with the knowledge that random selection actually works better than bad reasoning, this brings you to a word that has come to have negative associations and that is affirmative action.

It doesn’t matter if you are a small business owner or entrepreneur or even a seasoned hiring manager at a large firm, don’t be afraid of affirmative action. Affirmative action is a way to correct for your bias consciously. It’s not a legal hassle. What it is, is a reminder that you have to take affirmative action and consciously choose to hire people you wouldn’t normally hire because of your biases. Otherwise your biases will control your hiring decisions and your company will suffer as a result.

Diversity is good for your business and its good business. In order to get the benefit of diversity, you have to put some effort into. It won’t happen on its own. You have to make the effort to get out of your comfort zone and actively look for people who challenge your biases.  How often have we been told, oh – we just don’t have enough good women candidates to choose from or enough black candidates to choose from.  If you are saying that, the problem is – you aren’t actively looking for them.

Consider Yourself

To correct for your bias and achieve better results, you have to take affirmative action!!!!!!  If you aren’t willing to take affirmative action to get something done, then perhaps you aren’t suited for a position in leadership.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...