The Unbiased Hiring Process
Prejudices can happen subconsciously whether we want them to or not.
Knowing this, how do we safeguard ourselves and our company from hiring based on unintentional discrimination.
This may seem like an easy answer question, but the truth is a little more in depth than one sentence. To truly reach as close to a level of true objectivity as possible, there are three main steps that must be adhered to. Look over your current process to make sure it covers the bases as well, otherwise you may need to re-evaluate how you hire!
Before ever conducting an interview, be sure to at least have one other person present and make sure this person is of a different background or gender than you.
When we look at potential candidates, we tend to hire those that have things in common with us. It is not an overtly biased choice, it’s just one that makes us feel more comfortable. By using the eyes and knowledge of another person, you are doing your best to circumvent such ‘slanted‘ choosing as much as possible. Ideally, you should have three people to prevent any ties.
Once you are ready for an in-person interview, create an objective rubric to judge the candidates.
This should read very much like a college grading scale where the answer given is judged on if it hits the key points you are looking for. Any of these points can be elaborated on, and all negatives must be explained in writing. This will keep the interviewers’ heads in a logical frame of mind, forcing all judgment to be as fair and unbiased as possible since any negatives or positives must be backed up with fact as opposed to opinion.
The third point may not apply to all companies, but it is still an important point to consider.
Affirmative Action is used by certain businesses to promote fair hiring. This can get tricky should the choice come down to two equally qualified candidates with one belonging to a protected class. In such a case, Affirmative Action can be used to break the tie. If, however, the protected candidate does reach the final stage of hiring and is not chosen, be sure to write out an extremely detailed submission highlighting why they were not chosen. This will be your defense should someone claim discrimination.
As stated before, prejudice is not something that can be muted entirely. It is an inherent part of what makes us human.
This does not mean you should not take all the necessary steps to ensure you mitigate it as much as possible during your hiring process. Remember to always work with another person and to keep things objective. This is the safest way to avoid any form of unintended offense.
© New To HR