Over my whole recruitment career I have seen diversity and inclusion become more and more important when organisations are looking to hire and retain their workforce.
However, despite mine and so many organisations best efforts, unconscious bias is still present during the talent acquisition process from CV’s through to interviews and job offers.
You will often hear the phrase that “you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression”. Many people can make a really solid impression within the first seven seconds of meeting someone and important traits like trustworthiness can be determined within a tenth of a second. So, while companies may have good intentions, underlying brain activity can easily distort their decisions.
The different types of unconscious bias
Unconscious bias can come in many different forms from gender and race to religion and socio-economic status. While implementing new talent and recruitment strategies will help reduce the bias, the first step is recognising some of the most common types.
A key example of this bias is to assume that a candidate would be better suited to a role due to their gender.
This type of bias is most evident when a recruitment team latches on to one positive trait, ignoring any obvious flaws which would make a candidate unsuitable for a role.
Everyone has their flaws, but this unconscious bias sees talent acquisition teams focus on a single negative characteristic and ignore the positives.
We’re naturally drawn to those we share similarities with, but this can lead to a single-minded workforce. Affinity bias often sees recruitment teams lean towards those they relate to.
As unfortunate as it is, unconscious bias can also make people immediately favour those they believe to be more attractive than other candidates.
When we learn of a candidate’s achievements, we’re quick to compare them to something else. This bias means hiring managers are not judging the applicant on their merits and may even underplay their achievements.
Recognising and overcoming unconscious bias can quickly create a more productive workforce.
An article by Forbes suggests culturally and ethnically diverse executive teams were 33% more likely to see better profits, and when applied to more senior levels, this percentage only increased.
To find out more about how KD Recruitment can support you with your recruitment strategies and help avoid any unconscious bias, you can contact us or look at the difference services we can offer your business: