Unconscious, or in some cases direct, bias in hiring is affecting the ability of employers to find people with the skills needed to achieve business goals. Conciliation service ACAS has this week revealed a negative attitude among employers to candidates with tattoos which is affecting recruitment decisions.
Nearly one in three people between the ages of 29 to 44 have tattoos. It is probably that will include some of the most highly skilled people in your talent pool.
Company culture and the impact on customers is a factor for employers in making their final candidate selection, but ACAS has urged companies to reconsider their stance.
Appearance is not the only bias affecting hiring. Recruitment in the banking sector, for example, filters job applicants based on their education or parents’ income, with selection processes which carry out a variety of assessments which include ‘behaviour and dress’. This is a trend which is echoed by the CIPD that suggests that women face workplace discrimination over their appearance at work, with over 80% fearing that their long term career would suffer if they did not ‘dress to impress’.
Bias in recruitment or in your workplace reflects on your employer brand and deters talent from applying to your job posts.
How does your HR team remove bias from your hiring process?
HR technology provides a straightforward way to minimise unconscious bias in hiring:-
- Adjust your screening filter to remove degree filters and candidate names on applications. The CIPD reported back in April that women with 'foreign sounding names' were changing their names on job applications in order to improve their chances of securing employment.
- HR analytics will quickly provide data on the background of job applicants, candidates interviewed and the background of new hires to reveal hiring patterns.
- Use asynchronous video interviews during the initial screening process.
Will we see the emergence of text interviews as standard in hiring?
Removing screening filters and reviewing HR analytics in an effort to introduce ‘unbiasing’ into your hiring will help but a ‘new’ type of interview has also been suggested, that of text interviews. Combined with anonymised CVs during initial screening, text interviews would ensure that the candidates who survived the initial screening and were invited to interview.
Text interviews were recently highlighted as the next big thing in recruitment by Dr John Sullivan writing for ERE Media. Their advantages include:-
- Easy automation and scheduling through your recruitment software at any time.
- They are carried out remotely, therefore reducing the cost of hire and time to hire.
- They are more convenient and offer more privacy for candidates as they are easily accessible through mobile technology.
- Like video interviews they can be carried out asynchronously.
- Appearance and body language are no longer a factor when text interviews are used during the initial screening process.
- They are easier to scan post-interview than recorded video or telephone interviews.
- Your recruitment analytics will provide feedback on how successful they prove to be in reducing any bias in your hiring process.
As the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC)’s latest report suggests that a third of employers can’t take on more work without hiring more staff, HR must continue to streamline hiring processes to attract the talent their organisations need.
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