5 Ways to Reduce Bias While Screening Candidates

Every organization’s primary source of success is its workforce which also defines its foundation. Therefore, the greater the diversity factor entailed amid the heart of the organization, the greater would be the outcomes in terms of recognition and prominence. 

Such is the significance of having a diverse team of employees deployed within an organization’s human resource framework. However, more often than not, recruiters tend to develop biased perspectives, consciously or otherwise, when it comes to hiring talents. Talent acquisition boasts several corporate blots, one of the major ones being prejudice towards a particular group of candidates. 

The list of categorical biases is long, from gender bias and racism to preconceived notions for foreign ethnicities. For instance, a Harvard research surveyed candidates from underrated segments who excluded or included a reference to their races from their CVs. As a result, 25% of the candidates who left out their race got shortlisted. On the contrary, only 10% of the candidates who included their race were called up.   

Hence, it’s pivotal to positively change the hiring trends and move towards unbiased recruitment cycles.

Here are 5 ways in which companies and recruiters can completely get rid of unfairness or favoritism when screening candidates:

Use LinkedIn to hide names and profile pictures.

Over the years, LinkedIn has been an effective channel for finding and assessing quality candidates. But, it often happens that talent searchers come across a profile picture or name that doesn’t go well with their preconceptions. Thus, LinkedIn came up with a brilliant solution in the form of a feature that enables recruiters to hide candidates’ names and pictures.

You can use this feature via LinkedIn recruiter because the names and profile pictures aren’t visible to the recruiters during the sourcing phase. Instead, you’d see randomly arranged letters and virtually generated avatars. This way, you can judge the profiles solely based on the relevant credentials of the candidates without letting their identities trigger your unconscious bias. Visit here to learn how to use this feature.

Turn to blind screenings to avoid unconscious bias.

Do you know what blind screenings are? When you conduct screenings based on work experiences and skill sets while filtering out other details, you’re resorting to blind screenings.

Such other details can consist of a candidate’s name, birthplace, birth date, gender, and personal orientations, to name a few. Subsequently, these details could depict the candidate’s race, religious beliefs, community, and the likes.

Through blind screenings, you can prioritize talent-focused CVs. All you have to do is instruct the applicants to send a customized CV where such intrinsic details aren’t mentioned. You can assign applicants with unique serial numbers and use these throughout the hiring process. 

Also, you can optimize your entire candidate registration procedure via your website’s career page. For example, you can upload a job application form where applicants ought to provide selective details along with a custom application number for themselves. Automating this procedure is always an option, where the application form auto-generates a unique code for the candidates

Regulate your interview processes.

Standardizing your interview process is the key to avoiding or reducing bias while screening candidates. Illustratively, if interviews involve spontaneous questions depending on the flow of the conversation, they would amount to bias towards all the candidates. Results of interviews like these would take into account differently measured evaluation scenarios where every interviewee would be answering questions of varying difficulty levels.

You can regulate your interview process and keep your screening operations away from bias. Prepare a definite list of questions for a particular job role and compare the candidates’ answers to these questions. This way, it’d become easier for you to evaluate them while avoiding any biased tendencies. Moreover, you can incline the questions towards performance-oriented analysis instead of testing all the candidates in a non-standardized manner. Interviewers can keep score for each question answered to make a calculative decision rather than an impulsive one.

Distribute screening duties among different individuals

Is your company relying on a common group of interviewers to interview a wide range of candidates? Consider diversifying your entire team of evaluators, and only then can you expect a diverse pool of candidates onboard. A blend of various genders, races, ethnicities, and ages can be taken into account while forming a team of interviewers.

Having a diverse group of individuals screening multifarious CVs can reduce bias to a great extent. This strategy definitely works as the candidates in contention aren’t bound by any one particular person’s prejudice. Dividing profiles among a mix of reviewers can boost your hiring pool like never before.

Allocate assignments to establish a level playing field

Imagine aspiring candidates submitting job-oriented assignments as a prerequisite for being eligible to apply. This automatically clears the acquisition of superfluous personal details and straightaway helps you shortlist candidates based on their performance. 

All you need is a fair idea about the participants’ practical attributes that would suffice for you to proceed to the screening process. Sounds good, right? That’s the sound of bias diminishing into nothingness while you implement a fair and just hiring policy!

It’s Never Too Late to Begin

Nothing ventured, nothing gained! In contextual terms, it means beginning and initiating unbiased ways of screening candidates as soon as you can. Once you do, a need will arise from your end to better the results and supervise the already improved screening processes. Ultimately, diversity and inclusion will immensely benefit your organization in the long run.

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