The better you know someone the more likely it is that your unconscious bias will sneak into your perception of them. - fact!
Unconscious Bias are social stereotypes about certain groups of people that individuals form, outside their own conscious awareness. Everyone has them. They come from where we grew up, who we interacted with and the socio-politics of where we live.
McKinsey & Company published Is there payoff from top-team diversity? It included their study which found that US companies with diverse executive boards had a 95% higher return on equity than those lacking diversity.
But don't fear, there are ways you can combat your unconscious bias!
Automation is a solution, which can help to combat unconscious bias, that can be used throughout the recruitment process. You can read about the use of automation at the different stages in our previous two articles in this series: Increasing Diversity in Sourcing and Increasing Diversity in Candidate Screening.
Your ATS will have screening tools - if you make use of these then it can help you to whittle down your shortlist to those candidates with the most potential and best resume of relevant skills. Similarly to at the other stages, this technique will allow you to completely remove personal details and opinions about the candidate, helping you to increase diversity.
2. Seed Talent Pipelines
Research shows that having more diverse candidates in your pipeline makes it more likely for a diverse candidate to be chosen for the role. There is actually a recruitment strategy called the "two in the pool effect" : at its simplest it is a numbers game but there is also some psychology behind it, ultimately the diverse candidates are more likely to stand an equal chance of being chosen.
Just remember it is important these candidates are truly qualified, diverse recruiting's ultimate aim is to remove background as a factor in the decision and hire the right person.
3. More People = More Perspectives
You should make sure at least two people are involved in the shortlisting process, so that any unconscious bias or initial assumptions can be challenged.
Having a group of you reviewing candidates at later stages, after using automation initially and after the stages of using 'blind' resumes, is a great way to ensure that any uncertainties or turn-offs about a candidate are discussed and it is deciphered whether they are due to bias or genuinely relate to their prosperity in the role and company.
A discussion is always helpful! Remember this is only truly helpful if those discussing the shortlist are they themselves diverse!!