Building awareness about unconscious bias in hiring

It is human nature to categorize people using assumptions and stereotypes and the majority do this unknowingly and without harmful intentions. These are known as unconscious biases and may lead to certain groups being treated less favourably. For example, when we meet someone, we may judge them based on what we see, their accent, their status, and even their education. Most of the time, our biases are likely influenced by our background, our culture and personal experiences. Research has shown that this unconscious bias can have detrimental effects on hiring as well as the work experience. So here are some things that we can do to create awareness and reduce these biases in hiring and at work.

How to spot unconscious biases

  • Be self-aware

  • Question others and yourself

  • Accept that we all have unconscious biases

  • Acknowledge your unconscious bias

  • Commit to making change

Things we can do to create awareness

  • Blind skills challenges

  • Awareness training

  • Do not make impulsive decisions

  • Monitor your own behaviour

  • Pay particular attention to biases related to the nine protected characteristics

  • Avoid making assumptions or relying on gut instinct

Avoiding bias before interviews

  • Remove gender wording

  • Review job descriptions

  • Make data-driven decisions

Avoiding bias in interviews

  • Standardise interviews

  • Create a structured interview process

  • Have an interview panel

  • Use technology to remove natural bias

Test your biases

These above simple awareness tips can help you build awareness about unconscious bias.

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