You can’t talk about diversity in the workplace without diving into bias.
What is Bias?
Unconscious biases or implicit biases are “social stereotypes about certain groups of people that individuals form outside their own conscious awareness.” (Source). This is by far the most common type of bias.
Conscious biases, sometimes called explicit biases, are the exact opposite; beliefs about certain groups that holders are aware of and consciously supporting.
In the workplace, biases can rear their heads in any number of ways. Regardless of the type of bias, the results are the same: certain individuals are excluded from situations in which they are qualified.
For too long teams have felt wary about attacking unconscious bias because it can feel insurmountable. But there are ways to overcome unconscious bias and improve diversity in the workplace.
How HiringSolved Visualizes Bias
Here at HiringSolved, we believe that the first step to overcoming bias is to visualize and understand that it’s there.
HiringSolved will visualize the diversity rate of a pipeline, previous employers, top skills, and more to help recruiters understand a talent pool. In addition, HiringSolved’s Diversity Insights dashboard makes reporting on the diversity of your database simple and effective.
Diversity Prediction funnel analysis allows you to see exactly where diverse candidates are succeeding or failing in the hiring process. If you are seeing massive dropoffs at certain points of the journey, you’re one step closer to understanding how to overcome that roadblock.
What You Can Do To Overcome Bias
To start, use tools like HiringSolved to see where unconscious bias is creeping into your hiring process. It’s easy to turn a blind eye to problems if you don’t see data to back them up, but don’t hide from the reality of the situation. To get better, we need to acknowledge and understand that there is a problem.
Ask questions of yourself and others to understand where those biases are coming from. This part will probably be uncomfortable because it relies on being honest about your personal biases that you’d probably rather hide from. Ask questions like,
“Why do I feel this way?”
“Am I being objective in my assessment? How?”
“Does this candidate remind me of someone else that I don’t like?”
“Am I relying too much on gut feeling?”
By taking a minute to slow down and question your reaction to a person or a situation you are giving yourself the chance to make a more intentional decision.
Focus on Objective Qualifications
When assessing candidates you should always be focused on objective qualifications like skills and abilities. In fact, you can even translate more subjective traits like reliability and being a team player into objective qualifications. Consider looking instead at attendance and punctuality. Focusing on objective and data-driven qualifications can help to keep your gut feelings in check and bring structure to the hiring process.
Speak Up and Speak Out
If you’re committed to overcoming biases and improving diversity in the workplace, then it’s time to become an ally. When you see someone acting on one of their biases, take a minute to speak with them in as neutral of a way as possible. If you hear a male colleague interrupt a female one, step in and give your female coworker the microphone. Give credit when it’s due to the people who come up with great ideas. Make sure that you are creating a team that not only welcomes diverse employees but supports their right to be exactly themselves at work!
Acknowledge Mistakes and Apologize
Mistakes are going to happen! No one likes to admit when they’re wrong, but doing so gives credibility to your efforts. For example, if someone points out that you’ve made a mistake, apologize and assure them that you won’t make that same mistake again. Then take it upon yourself to educate yourself about what you did wrong and how you can avoid a repeat.
Being aware of a problem makes you capable of tackling that problem head-on. We created HiringSolved to help you do exactly that. Get in touch with our team to learn more about how we can support you as you improve the diversity of your workplace.