Given the civil unrest we have seen this year, many would agree that deeply-rooted systemic racism is still a problem in the U.S. At the same time, studies show that unemployment that resulted from the Coronavirus pandemic has disproportionately impacted people of color. This has caused business leaders to take a hard look at how they treat their most valuable asset–their talent.

To create a more inclusive and equitable workplace, organizations must start by transforming the process that dictates who gets hired. When left unchecked, traditional hiring processes leave ample room for unconscious bias to influence employee selections.

The need to develop and implement objective, fair and consistent processes for evaluating candidates has never been greater. With eSkill’s hiring tools, companies can reinvent their human resources practices, training routines, and other systems to eliminate unconscious bias in hiring and training.

Reducing Unconscious Bias Starts with the Hiring Managers

Reducing unconscious bias in hiring and training starts with explicitly training managers on the types of biases and how they impact hiring and promotion decisions. Understanding bias at the outset will help those in hiring positions recognize bias when they see it so they can make objective and fair employee selections. When they understand how bias can impact business outcomes, hiring managers can take ownership in reducing the impact on talent decisions.

Employers should use examples of hiring discrimination lawsuits to illustrate how detrimental bias is in the workplace. For example, in 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reached a $4.2 million settlement with Bank of America to resolve alleged hiring discrimination violations. During a routine audit, the DOL discovered alleged hiring discrimination against Black, Latinx, and female candidates.

Develop Standardized Hiring Processes

Even with a clear understanding of how unconscious bias plays out in the workplace, hiring managers need support to reduce unconscious bias in hiring and training. Here are a few ways to do it.

  1. Create a standard hiring process: A significant factor in reducing bias is the structure of the hiring process. It is important to establish a standardized hiring process to ensure fairness and objectivity and give each candidate the same opportunity to demonstrate their abilities. When hiring managers have a roadmap for selecting candidates, from initial application to final interview, they can reduce bias in the hiring process. 
  1. Administer employment skills tests: eSkill’s job-based skills tests provide hiring managers with a way to objectively compare applicants without the harmful influence of implicit bias. When every applicant takes the same employment skills test at the same point in the hiring process, all candidates have an equal opportunity to demonstrate their potential. Skills tests not only create an even playing field for every candidate, but they are also highly predictive of candidates’ likelihood of succeeding in a job role and at the company. 
  1. Implement Structured Interviews: The job interview process is extremely susceptible to unconscious bias because it typically involves evaluating a candidate face-to-face, whether virtually or in-person. Meeting someone for the first time triggers a series of unconscious snap judgments that cause people to make assumptions bases on qualities that are not job-related, such as race, gender, and socioeconomic status. These unconscious biases result in unequal treatment of candidates. In fact, Yale University released a study that revealed hiring managers judge candidates’ socioeconomic status based on the first few seconds of speech. Furthermore, the candidates perceived to be from a higher social class received more lucrative salaries and signing bonuses.

One way organizations can create a less biased interview process is by implementing eSkill’s structured interview process. In these structured video interviews, every candidate records responses to the same set of questions in the same order, and the scoring is standardized. With eSkill’s team scoring feature, multiple hiring team members score interview responses using a pre-defined scoring rubric. This way, hiring teams can review and calibrate scoring practices, creating a truly standardized process that curbs inherent biases.

 As business leaders begin to transform their processes to reduce unconscious bias in hiring and training, they must ensure their hiring managers have the necessary support to carry out this goal. With eSkill’s suite of hiring tools, including customizable skills tests, structured video interviews, and team scoring features, employers can provide the framework hiring managers need to create a more fair and objective candidate selection method.

Interested in Reducing Unconscious Bias in Hiring and Training?

Learn more about the benefits of using eSkill’s job-based skills tests and structured video interviews to eliminate unconscious bias in hiring and training.

Request a demo today.

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