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Inclusive Hiring: Avoiding Bias in the Recruiting Process

Being inclusive and offering equal opportunities for all is the right thing to do. Not only that, but it also makes business sense. Diverse teams are 35% more productive. Three out of four job seekers prefer companies with diverse teams. Other benefits of diverse teams include different perspectives, increased creativity, and higher engagement.

Biases in the Recruiting Process

We all have biases, but only 48% of HR managers admit their biases. It’s estimated that similarity biases make up to 78% of hiring decisions – we tend to gravitate toward people who are like us. For example, women are 30% less likely to get called back for interviews, and white-sounding names get 50% more callbacks than Black-sounding names. (Zippa)

Many biases affect the recruiting process. To name a few:

  • Halo Effect: assuming a person is good based on one attribute
  • Horn Effect: assuming a person is bad based on one attribute
  • Ambiguity Effect: gravitating toward candidates with known attributes or clear track records, like experience at a big company vs. experience at an unknown startup
  • Age Bias: making assumptions based on a candidate’s age, like “older people don’t embrace technology” or “younger people don’t want to work hard”
  • Recency Bias: gravitating toward people you interviewed more recently
  • Education Bias: gravitating toward (or away from) people who went to a particular school

Creating an Inclusive Hiring Process

Expand your talent pool and create a more inclusive hiring process with these tips:

  • Watch your language: carefully review your job ads for language that might be alienating or preferential to different groups. For example, use gender-neutral pronouns, avoid language that pertains to nationality (try “must possess excellent English-speaking skills” instead of “must be a native English speaker”), and don’t use verbiage about physical capabilities like “fit” or “able-bodied.”
  • Train your team: make sure everyone involved in the hiring process has learned about biases and how to avoid them.
  • Reach out: go to a variety of events, connect with organizations in your community that support underrepresented groups, and look for job boards used by different communities.
  • Keep it consistent: use structured interviews rather than informal conversations so candidates are being evaluated on the same things.

If you could use assistance creating a more inclusive hiring process in your organization, reach out to Purple Ink! We’d be happy to help.

Emily Miller
Emily Miller
Emily is Purple Ink’s Director of Marketing. She enjoys being able to exercise both her creative side and her analytical side, and as a Learner, loves helping to create new services and tactics and discovering the best ways to share them with the community.

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