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In business, we like to work with people who remind us of ourselves: similar looks, similar accents, similar experiences and backgrounds. No matter how good our intentions are, this creates bias that can lead us to reject great candidates – or to make them feel rejected even when hired. You can’t fight unconscious bias by trying not to be biased. We all have it.
A recent Wiley report on diversity in tech found that 50% of 18- to 28-year-old tech and IT employees had left or wanted to leave a role because they felt "unwelcome or uncomfortable." Additionally, 68% said they felt uncomfortable in a tech role for reasons related to their gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic background or neurodevelopmental condition. This number rose to 75% for all women, 77% for women of colour, and 81% for Black employees.
Women remain under-represented in tech; data from Catalyst Research reveals that women still hold only 26.5% of executive, senior-level or management positions in S&P 500 companies.
Diversity, equity and inclusion at work are vital both to your employer brand and to your bottom line. They’re the keys not only to building a strong, diverse workforce, but also to creating a fair and equitable world.
Three ways to beat unconscious bias
The best candidates aren’t always the ones who’ve been to the best universities – or even those who’ve been to university at all. There are now countless ways for people to learn engineering and coding skills outside the classroom. Don’t rely on a single sheet of paper to tell you everything about a candidate. One way to avoid this pitfall is to work with a trusted recruitment partner who assesses candidates thoroughly before passing you their CV.
If you can, test the skills the candidate will actually be using in the role, and make sure you have a structured template with set questions in place for interviews. More open-ended interviews leave more room for unconscious bias; if you “just click” with a candidate based on an unstructured chat, it may well be because they remind you of yourself.
If you’re not using data analytics in your recruitment process yet, it’s vital that you start (or start working with a recruiter who does). Data-driven recruiting is not only the best way to reduce unconscious bias, it’s also the best way to find the ideal candidates.
If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you stamp out unconscious bias in your recruitment process, contact us today.‹ Back