How to Stop These 16 Biases That Can Influence Your Hiring Decision

Similar to investing, in the world of hiring unconscious biases could have a harmful impact

In today’s world where taking in every bit of information is simply overwhelming, first impressions really do matter. Whether getting a job or landing an investment for your startup, having first impressions that elicit a positive vibe is even more important. Many top executives and busy managers who have a lot on their plate usually rely on first impressions to gauge the value of business proposals and job interviews that come their way.

To recruiters, this is no different. Even the idea of having an objective workforce recruitment is slowly eroding, as more hiring specialists resort to personal intuition instead of concrete facts when reviewing resumes and accepting candidates.

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As resumes and interviews pile up one after another, professionals who are in charge of making pivotal decisions may be guilty of one thing that prevents them from achieving success—unconscious biases.

If you have worked or are currently working in talent acquisition, you may have experienced a situation where some recruiters judge a candidate based on his or her appearance. This stereotyping is one example of bias that prevents businesses from hiring top talent and growing their pool of assets.

There are many other unconscious biases you may be unaware of that could influence your hiring decisions—often in a negative way. Beauty bias, like the example above, is the presumption that a person’s skill is relative to his or her attractiveness.

There’s also the halo/horns effect, which happens when you notice a person’s positive trait, and that reinforces your opinion of that person being positive as a whole and vice versa.

Meanwhile, there’s also the similarity bias, wherein recruiters show increased affinity to candidates who have the same interests and values as them, regardless of their competencies and skills.

Statistics show that "diversity" in the workplace is one of the major factors that millennials consider when deciding whether they’ll join a company or not. Then again, many recruiters and HR managers are still prone to "discriminative" practices in their selection process—whether they’re aware of it or not.

For instance, in an experiment by the University of Chicago, applicants who have names that are “typically white” are 50% more likely to receive callbacks than those candidates whose names are considered “typically black.” This reveals the huge effect of unconscious biases in promoting or preventing "diversity" and "equality" in the workplace.

Despite unconscious biases being an ingrained part of our personalities, they can be overcome by simply being aware of them. This infographic lists 16 of the most common biases that business leaders and hiring managers are prone to.

These sources of favoritism and unfairness are briefly explained and given context on how they can affect decision-making, not only in hiring but also in other business processes. To solve this, the infographic provides ways on how managers and team leaders can eliminate these beliefs so that they have more control over making decisions that could make or break the success of businesses.

Indeed, first impressions do matter. But only the leaders who can accurately assess people's strengths objectively can have a shot at long-term success.

About the Author

Edward Page

With an eye for detail and attitude towards excellence, Edward Page has proven himself to be ThisWay Global’s guide in recruitment technology. As a Business Development head, he leads a team to keep on pushing the envelope when it comes to using technology for recruitment—a hiring process that focuses on diversity and less on the bias.

Unconscious biases guide inforgraphic below


unconscious biases