5 Ways to Reduce Bias in Your Recruitment Process—And One Way to Eliminate It

When hiring new employees, bias is unfortunately quite common. Hiring prejudices—whether conscious or unconscious—sneak into the minds of those conducting job interviews, negatively influencing decision-making and clouding judgement with preconceived bias.

How to Reduce Bias in Your Hiring Process

Bias leads to an unfair recruitment process that can be damaging in many ways. You may hire the wrong people leading to high turnover, which wastes valuable time and money. Your workforce will likely lack diversity. Bias can also affect internal promotions and sully your company morale and culture. When bias rears its ugly head in hiring decisions, there can be obvious legal consequences. Lawsuits are not only costly, but they can damage your brand’s reputation, impacting sales and discouraging top talent from applying for future positions.

For these reasons, hiring decisions must be as objective as possible, based on neutral viewpoints. Race, gender, age and appearance should not factor into the equation. Hiring managers and recruiters need to evaluate evidence about a candidate’s ability to do the job rather than rely on subjective assumptions.

But, how?

The short answer is structured interviews (now available in digital formats for easy adoption and faster rating), which are twice as reliable as bias-riddled, instinct-based interviews (more on this later). But, first, let’s dive into some best practices to reduce bias in your recruitment process.

Tips to Overcome Hiring Bias

#1. Offer Awareness Training

Sometimes our biases are unconscious, so make it a priority to introduce common hiring biases to all those involved in the interviewing process. Awareness training for recruiters and hiring managers brings biases to the surface, allowing people to more easily identify subjective thinking when it pops up during interviews. Once hiring managers and recruiters are aware of their personal biases, they are better prepared to challenge them.

#2. Ask Candidates to Perform Skills Tests

Another way to reduce bias in the recruitment process is to ask applicants to complete a skills test. This step is often done even before interviewing because it helps set an objective standard in the early stages of hiring. Skills tests relate directly to the type of tasks involved in the day-to-day job, allowing the candidate to prove that they have what it takes to succeed in the position. It also helps employers critique the quality of candidates’ responses rather than judging them by factors that do not relate to their ability to do the job well.

#3. Involve Multiple People in the Hiring Process

Have several people from the organization review candidates’ applications, and even sit in during interviews. Getting multiple opinions mitigates the possibility of similarity hiring biases by relying on interviewers with different interests and backgrounds, some of whom will have more in common with the candidate than others. set up hiring workflows that automatically notify team members when it’s their turn to interview a candidate or submit an assessment.

#4. Create Standardized Questions

Before interviewing job applicants, take time to specify exactly what questions you want to ask. What are you hoping to find out about the aptitude of interviewees? Standardized questions should be asked to all applicants. Not only should every candidate be asked the exact same questions, they should be asked in the same way and in the same order every time. This ensures all candidates receive the same interview experience, minimizing bias.

#5. Establish a Reliable Scoring Baseline

To maximize the chances of candidates being evaluated fairly and consistently, clearly define metrics that will be used to assess people’s suitability for different job positions. Making sure everyone is using the same scoring baseline helps reduce bias and favoritism. Static hiring criteria, which is the basis of structured interviews, is an important part of making an apples-to-apples comparison between potential hires.

The Value of Digital Structured Interviews

What if we told you all the methods of reducing bias in the hiring process could be solved by one, easy-to-use tool? Sound too good to be true? Well, think again! Structured digital interviews are the answer.

Also known as behavioral interviews, rated interviews, ranked interviews and competency interviews, structured interviews offer a superior method of hiring—especially when candidate rankings are digitized.

Structured interviews are far more reliable than their unstructured counterparts, allowing hiring teams to make smarter, more objective, more legally-defensible hiring decisions. When administered correctly, they have a predictive validity of 62 percent, which is twice as high as the predictive validity of unstructured interviews.

How Does VidCruiter Software Help Reduce Hiring Bias?

VidCruiter is a leader in HR and recruitment, offering expert digital structured interview advice, advanced video interviewing software and an array of online skills testing options. We can help you develop digital interview guides, customizable rubrics, and an automated scoring system so your hiring team will make smarter hiring decisions, mitigate personal biases and build a strong, capable workforce.

We’re happy to work with you to determine what type of person you want for each position at your organization. We’ll help you identify the specifics in order to build unbiased questions and skill tests to objectively rank all applicants.

VidCruiter’s rubrics and interview guides are completely customizable, allowing you to rate candidates according to whatever criteria makes the most sense for your business. As interviewers rate candidates, overall rankings are calculated in real-time, making it simple to compare multiple applicants. Custom workflows can even be saved as templates, simplifying the setup of future interview questions.

VidCruiter removes all the barriers that prevent employers from leveraging structured interviews. By automating tasks, VidCruiter software minimizes administrative work, making it easier for businesses to adopt the proven effectiveness of a structured interviewing process.

Employers have an obligation not to place emphasis on things that aren’t relevant to the hiring decision. Is bias affecting the quality of hires at your company or organization? Then work to create a hiring culture that identifies and challenges assumptions, making efforts to counter bias at every opportunity.

The easiest way to do this is through VidCruiter’s structured digital interviews. We can help you diversify your workplace and quickly identify top candidates, doubling your odds of hiring the right person for the job.

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Jessica Newman
Jessica Newman is a skilled wordsmith, an innovative marketer and a passionate entrepreneur. She’s the Chief Content Creator at The Word Wiz and staff writer at VidCruiter.