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How to Overcome Bias in Your Hiring Process
July 24, 2021 at 6:30 PM
by Devayani Bapat

“One of the biggest problems with the world today is that we have large groups of people who will accept whatever they hear on the grapevine, just because it suits their worldview—not because it is actually true or because they have evidence to support it. The really striking thing is that it would not take much effort to establish validity in most of these cases… but people prefer reassurance to research.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson

As Neil deGrasse Tyson rightly stated that human beings have a tendency to create a bias in their mind, one that can be easily tarnished with research that most do not want to conduct, very often these biases creep into the process of hiring too.

It is human nature to carry forward one’s opinions and views into every scenario they are presented with, but to overcome these preconceived notions to make way for bigger and better things is key. That’s what we’re here to talk to you about today, hiring bias, how to identify you have a hiring bias, why you must overcome it, and how you can do so. So dive right into this read, we promise you it’s going to be all things, insightful and hopefully, bias-free.

How to Identify and Overcome Hiring Bias

1. What is a hiring bias?

2. How can you identify a hiring bias?

3. Reasons why you must overcome a hiring bias.

4. How you can overcome a hiring bias?

1. What is a Hiring Bias?

Have you ever realized that every single day, you make decisions and choices without thinking about them first? As an individual with a conscious and subconscious mind, you weigh the pros and cons, foresee an outcome and decide whether or not you want to indulge in an activity every single day. Sometimes you make these choices consciously, with an aware mind, however, every day you make decisions without even realizing they’re “decisions” that you’re making. I know this sounds confusing, but let me give you an example.

Have you ever gotten into a car and driven yourself to a grocery store? Let’s assume you have. Now let me paint out the scenario for you. You realize your fridge is understocked. This realization gives rise to the decision of heading to the grocery store. This is a conscious decision you have taken. You’re heading to your usual grocer, one you’ve visited multiple times. This is a biased choice that your subconscious mind took without you even realizing it was a decision you were to take.

Just as in this scenario you realize there are some decisions you take with knowledge and some that you take without, in hiring too, very often you carry forward biases, subconsciously or consciously and these are known as hiring biases. For instance, if you’re a graduate from a Harvard School of Business, a candidate applying to your firm, a graduate from the same school as you, will be one you’ll be keen on taking through to round 2 of recruitment. This is because one very often tends to gravitate towards people that provide them with a sense of belonging, a sense of familiarity. These hiring biases can often lead to firms closing off from diverse hiring practices and that’s something that needs to change.

2. How can You Identify a Hiring Bias?