Beating Unconscious Bias in Recruitment

Corner Image Curved
Home » Beating Unconscious Bias in Recruitment

According to a recent survey by Thomas International, unconscious bias is still a big issue in the recruitment process for many organisations.

Only 1 in 16 top management positions is held by someone from an ethnic minority

Candidates with ‘distinctively black names‘ were 50% less likely to be asked for interview

Men are twice as likely to be hired as women

Global GDP could increase by 26% if the worlds workforce was more gender diverse

Blind applications lead to 5 times as many women being selected

Diverse companies see 20% higher innovation revenues

Unconscious bias refers to social stereotyping when presented with information such as gender, race, disability or age. Apparently, it takes just 0.1 seconds for the brain to form an opinion about someone, and whilst many people believe they hire with intuition, this often relies on unconscious bias based on our beliefs, stereotypes, attitudes and life experiences.

With the heightened focus of Gen X and Z on fairness and diversity, organisations cannot afford to ignore this issue and businesses must fix their broken recruitment processes to embrace diversity.

Are you or your organisation guilty of……………..

  • Confirmation bias – having preconceived ideas about the competencies of different social groups.
  • Affinity bias is where we tend to hire those who are most like us.
  • Attribution bias – is drawing a conclusion about something without noticing how it is affected by circumstances
  • Cognition bias is where for example if someone is friendly you might assume they will be good at their job, whereas if someone is shy, you might assume the opposite.
  • In-group bias – we are programmed to follow the crowd and are influenced by those around us.

Some ideas to help you overcome unconscious bias:

  • Review blind CVs to minimise bias relating to age, race and gender.
  • Don’t look for ‘Cultural Fit’ look for ‘Complementary Fit’
  • Look for speed of learning and cognition.
  • Look for behavioural traits as well as key competencies
  • Consider reviewing your hiring managers ‘emotional intelligence’ to give them the tools to probe beneath a candidate’s surface characteristics at interview

As a first step, Utility People are offering blind CVs to any of our clients that are looking to remove unconscious bias from their recruitment processes. If you would like help and advice on how to improve your own processes, do get in touch with us using the button below.

Get In Touch


Ready to find your perfect job?