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How to Reduce Hiring Bias at Your Company

Bias, especially unconscious bias, has been and will always be a challenge when it comes to hiring. More important than completely ridding the workplace of unconscious bias, companies can strategize around bias to cultivate a culture of inclusion, diversity, and awareness in the workplace. 

Below we’ll look at strategies you can take today to reduce hiring bias and create diverse, winning teams. 

What is hiring bias?

Hiring bias, AKA bias in recruiting/recruiting bias is an extension of implicit or unconscious bias. Implicit bias is when individuals make pre-reflective beliefs or hold attitudes about individuals or groups based on social stereotypes or past experiences. These can be both negative or positive associations, and if left unchecked, bias can influence our feelings, attitudes, and behaviors toward individuals or groups of people.

Bias in hiring processes works the same way. When recruiters or HR teams allow an implicit feeling, attitude, or opinion, based on an individual’s group or identity, to affect their hiring decision, they’re acting on an implicit bias. 

If hiring the best candidates who fit well into your company culture is the primary hiring goal, then reducing hiring bias, which prevents recruiters from making objective hiring decisions, should be a priority for all HR and hiring teams.

[Related:  4 Examples of Unconscious Bias in Recruitment- See What to Avoid]

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Why is reducing hiring bias so important

Reducing hiring bias is important for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it can prevent you from making objectively good hiring decisions that will benefit your organization. 

Second, hiring bias can prevent diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. Harmful stereotypes against minorities and marginalized groups can cloud our perceptions of nontraditional candidates before we’ve had a chance to evaluate their actual skill set. It should also be noted that diversity in the workplace has been well studied, and the vast majority of these studies show that diverse teams do better than their non-diverse counterparts.

Below are some of the key benefits of diversity in the workplace:

Whether your aims are to drive revenue, market more efficiently, create a more inclusive workplace culture, or become more competitive in the hiring market, removing bias and prioritizing diversity is a sure way to improve across the board.

[Related: The Ultimate Checklist to Avoid Bias in the Recruitment Process}

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How to reduce bias in the hiring process 

Removing bias in the hiring process will allow you to find better candidates who are more compatible with your corporate vision and culture. The below strategies can help reduce bias and enable you to create diverse, winning teams. 

  • Build awareness of bias in recruitment/hiring
    • The first step in limiting hiring bias is acknowledging it exists and building awareness around the topic. Provide presentations, videos, learning material, and training programs that allow your HR team to recognize hiring bias and work around it. With time and practice, your recruiters will be able to better identify and see through their personal biases. 
  • Make resumes blind
    • Blind resume screening involves removing the name, age, and other personal descriptors. By focusing on the most relevant aspects of a resume – their work experience, education, skills, and other qualifications – you can make the resume process more objective and meritocratic. 
  • Use valid assessments and standardize initial interviews
    • Pre-employment assessments can be good indicators of skill set, industry knowledge, soft skills, emotional IQ, and more. You can utilize assessment tests to isolate the most relevant and coveted aspects of an employee’s skill set. When you get to the interview phase, make sure that questions and processes are standardized. Following a uniform interview approach will limit questions that highlight the personal biases of specific team leaders. 
  • Likeability/intuition is also a bias
    • While gut instinct can be useful in assessing candidates, it’s important to be aware of how likeability can be a product of our own biases. While we might feel more comfortable around specific candidates, that sense of comfort might come from aspects of our personal lives, like where we grew up, that isn’t necessarily relevant to the job title in question. 
  • Collaboration is key to hiring
    • Having a diverse and inclusive hiring team will generate diverse and inclusive hires. More collaboration in the hiring process will root hiring blind spots that can go unnoticed if you only have one person responsible for your hiring needs. A broad group of individuals with a variety of backgrounds will have a more well-rounded assessment of an applicant than just one person. 
  • Technology is your friend
    • Hiring analytics and reference-checking technology will help you make smarter, data-driven hiring decisions that look at hard numbers as opposed to things like personal background or instinct. Recruiting analytics will empower recruiters to have the tools and knowledge to make reliable, quality hires. 

Part of what’s so difficult about implicit hiring bias is how insidious it is – most of us aren’t even aware of our biases. With the above tips, though, you can limit the effect that hiring bias has on your recruiting process and work towards cultivating quality teams that will lead to growth, profit, and healthier workplace culture.

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Crosschq can help you limit bias in the workplace

Crosschq's Talent Intelligence Platform™ helps you limit the effects of hiring bias by providing you with better sourcing capabilities, transparent pipeline management,  360 digital references, and data-driven analytics to help you measure Quality of Hire.

Crosschq is fast, efficient, and objective, providing your hiring teams with the most relevant information they’ll need to make the right hiring decisions. 

Start creating diverse, winning teams and make quality hires with Crosschq today. Schedule time with one of our product experts for a 1:1 consultation to come up with a customized plan that works for your company. 

Mark Ko

by Mark Ko

Content Writer

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