In the hiring process, bias occurs when you form an opinion about a candidate based only on a first impression or prefer one candidate over another because one seems like someone you could hang out with outside of work. A candidate’s name, picture, or even hometown can influence your decision unconsciously. Bias can affect your decision, often with criteria irrelevant to the job. Here are four ways to eliminate discrimination from your hiring process.

Limit Adjectives in Job Descriptions

Did you know that the more adjectives you have in an online recruiting ad, the more likely the ad might contain subtle gender bias? It is true. Adjectives like dominant are unconsciously associated with masculinity, while adjectives like committed are unconsciously associated with femininity. Eliminating gendered language from online recruiting ads makes perfect sense, as does limiting adjectives describing your ideal applicant. Remember that the more adjectives you use to describe your imagined candidate, the higher the chance for gendered language to appear in your ad. Structure your ads to reach out equally to men and women, which will also help you reach a larger talent pool.

Consider Video Interviews

A video interview can help to reduce bias in the hiring process. Multiple people view a video interview, which acts as a check-and-balance to inherent biases. Although a video interview identifies a job candidate’s attractiveness, accent, race, age and other characteristics, you can train and monitor your interviewers to focus on criteria relevant to the job you have available. Furthermore, a video interview is more cost-effective than transporting candidates for in-person interviews allowing you to interview more broadly.

Use Technology

There is a good chance that your recruiting is already benefiting from technology, as many companies use computer algorithms to narrow down their applicant pools. Artificial intelligence applications are in development that sifts through applications while blind to gender, race, and other potentially biasing factors while focusing only on qualifications. Technology designed to eliminate workplace bias hides a candidate’s name, age, photo, and additional information so you can focus only on the qualifications for the job.

Use a Structured and Defined Hiring Process

As a hiring manager, it is only natural for you to listen to your gut feeling when you evaluate a job candidate. The problem here is that it influences you to hire people like yourself, people you get along with easily. This type of bias is exceptionally dangerous because you are not even aware of the discrimination. A structured and defined hiring process can help your organization avoid this problem. A system can identify and target key competencies needed for a particular job and then structure the hiring process around them. The more fluid a hiring process, the more likely you will hire someone with a similar background as others in positions at the same level.

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