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How to Keep an Open Mind While Hiring

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The hiring process, if not done correctly, could be full of biased and unfair decisions, including sexism, ageism, racism, etc. In fact, hiring managers are usually not even aware of making biased decisions. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they are not suitable for that job. They only have to implement a few steps which will further lead to minimizing bias in the whole hiring process. The following six steps will help your HR team find the right candidates based only on their skills and abilities.

Hiring has to be a structured process

Eliminating bias is crucial in the hiring process. Your managers have to behave correctly, and any subtle bias should not be allowed. It could be very dangerous, and some of them might not even realize that they are acting like that. Therefore, the hiring process has to be structured in order to avoid these problems. Managers have to highlight all crucial competencies and requirements for a particular job to be able to structure the whole process around them. That is the only way of finding the right person in the end. Overall, structured interviews show much better results than unstructured. We will talk about it more deeply, further in the article. 

Implement diversity goals

Diversity is essential for a healthy company. However, to increase diversity in your company, you have to set goals first. Do you need more women or men? Do you need younger or older candidates? Maybe you need more ethnic minorities? You how to know the answers to these questions to set the proper goals. On top of that, employing people with disabilities should also be your priority when it comes to diversity. Try to understand their needs, and offer a pleasant work environment for them. In the end, you have to make sure that each of these groups feels good about your company. Make them feel like they are at home and show them a clear career path.

Care about using proper words in your job descriptions

Attracting great job candidates requires great job descriptions. Consider removing every restrictive term from your job description, including gender, age, etc. Many people will simply skip your job advertisement because of wrong words used in the text. And some of these people might be ideal for a particular position. Therefore, try to highlight only the relevant skills and requirements you need from the applicants and make it as inclusive as possible. For instance, the adjective “dominant” will, for some people, favor masculinity. On the other hand, some men tend to step off when they see the word “collaborative”. Therefore, try to remove all these words from your description and try to replace them with neutral ones. Consult experts if you have trouble finding adequate words.

Non-biased CV review

Gender and age are not the only two things that might lead to bias. Believe it or not, managers might prefer someone simply based on their name. That must not be allowed! The focus has to be on the skills and job requirements, and not on names and demographic characteristics. There are many solutions which could potentially fix these issues, but one of them might be the best. Remove gender, age, and name from their applications before you make the decision which person are you going to contact (then, of course, you have to see their name). Before that, try to exclude this information from their applications. 

Standardize your interviews

According to Harvard Business Review, unstructured interviews, which allow candidates to speak freely without strict questions, tend to lead towards bias and unreliable predictions regarding job success. On the other hand, structured interviews, where each candidate has precisely the same set of questions, show much better results because they focus only on relevant skills and requirements for a particular job position. Therefore, standardizing your interviews means focusing only on structured interviews. All applicants will have the same treatment, bias will be minimized, and the right candidate will be chosen based on his skills, qualifications, and experience.

Get rid of the intuition

Intuition might have been beneficial for many people throughout some periods of life, but when it comes to business, there is no room for that. Intuition should not be present in the hiring process. The reason is simple – intuition is filled with assumptions which are biased every time. Therefore, hiring managers should not make their decisions because a particular person “seems to be right” or “seems to have certain qualities”. They have to choose candidates based only on their interview results, where they have to show their skills and abilities. Nothing else should matter.

As you can see, issues like sexism, ageism, or intuition could seriously damage the hiring process. Standardizing and structuring the interviews, as well as setting diversity goals and changing job descriptions, will further lead to finding the right candidate for a particular position.

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