Having biased opinions can interfere with good decision-making and cloud judgement during a hiring process. Being biased means having a preconceived opinion or favoritism towards someone or something. 

When reviewing candidates, it is important to leave biased opinions behind. Here are some ways to reduce bias in your hiring process:  

Focus on qualifications 

Instead of focusing on the demographic characteristics of your candidates, focus on their skills and qualifications. Racial and gender discrimination are some of the most common forms of unfair bias when hiring applicants. Regardless of education, experience, and skills, a candidate with a distinctive African American name is 10% less likely to hear back from an employer. In addition, women are 30% less likely to be considered for hire then men.  

It is important for employers to read resumes and conduct interviews without preconceived opinions. Focusing on the qualities a candidate possesses will help employers hire the right candidate for the position.  

Address workplace bias 

One way to reduce bias is to openly talk about it. It is important to communicate this issue with other managers involved in the hiring process. Expressing the importance of having an unbiased opinion during a job interview will help make sure that everyone is on the same page.  

Here are some ways to address workplace bias with your team  

  • Explain the importance of having an unbiased opinion when hiring 
  • Frequently discuss the topic of unconscious bias  
  • Express the benefits of hiring someone with skills and qualifications, regardless of their age, race, gender, religion, etc. 

Make changes to your job descriptions  

A job description often gives applicants a basic understanding of company culture, so using inclusive language is crucial.  

When developing job descriptions, don’t consider the exact type of person you see fitting the role or imagine those who have done the role well in the past. Women are less likely to apply to jobs with selective and intimidating job descriptions because they feel the need to fulfill every single qualification. So, instead of having an extensive list of requirements, decide what is necessary and what is beneficial.  

Providing a brief list of necessary requirements and a longer list of “bonus” skills and talents will help your company seem more inclusive.  

Consider how diversity can benefit your company 

There are many benefits to hiring employees with diverse backgrounds. Having a diverse workplace will help with cultivating innovative ideas and getting diverse perspectives. Knowing that your company is full of diversity will also pique the interest of applicants. 75% of jobseekers look for diverse and inclusive companies to work for when applying.  

Eliminate Illegal Questions  

It is important to be educated about the legal guidelines governing hiring in the state you reside in, as well as federal guidelines. Here are the categories that are illegal to discriminate by:  

  • Race 
  • Color 
  • Religion 
  • Pregnancy 
  • Sexual orientation 
  • National origin 
  • Gender identity 
  • Age 
  • Disability 
  • Genetic information 

While we all have unconscious bias, we must make an effort to eliminate its impact in the workplace. It is important to practice leaving biased thoughts behind when entering an interview or reading a resume. Follow these tips to help reduce bias within the workplace.