Unconscious bias exists in most every organization — and it can stand in the way of diversity and inclusion. Hiring managers are often inclined toward people who look and act like them, even if those people are not the best fits for the job.
The first step toward addressing unconscious bias is simply to be aware of how it might show up. Shana Lebowitz published an article on different types of unconscious biases, including those against people from certain racial and ethnic backgrounds.
Research has found that job applicants were invited for interviews more often when their resumes did not include information about the applicants’ minority status (for example, involvement in a certain organizations).
Some leaders and businesses have devised strategies to minimize the influence of unconscious bias. One example is “blind auditions,” where employers know nothing about the job candidate’s ethnicity, gender, age, or educational background when they review the person’s application.
Madan Pillutla, a professor of organizational behaviour at London Business School, suggested the possibility of eliminating job interviews entirely. Pillutla advises that candidates could come in and work for a day, so that employers could see how they would perform on the job. That would give hiring managers more objective information to evaluate the candidate with.
The lesson here is that relationships with your co-workers’ matter. It is enough to be great at your job — other people in positions of influence must know how great you are.
What steps have you and your company taken to check your unconscious biases during the hiring process?