When it comes to recruitment policy and hiring procedures, unconscious bias is sadly still a significant factor that a lot of companies across the UK have yet to identify and which is causing poor hiring decisions that can have far reaching implications ranging from a lack of diversity in the workforce to the chemistry and efficiency of the workforce as a whole.


Unconscious Bias is not a science however when it comes to recruitment, there are some key areas we can look to in order to better identify our past decisions and address how we can use this as a lesson to better our recruitment policies for the future and promote a more sound hiring practice and avoid various undesirable after effects.


1 – Do not judge a book by its cover.

This phrase gets used so often it sometimes gets completely ignored.  Also known in the trade as ‘Effective Heuristic’.  Dismissing a potential candidate for your company based on a personal sense of style, age or similar visual appearance attributes is one of the most common failures of modern business in unconscious bias.

2 – Similar to yourself bias.

This one is easy.  If a potential candidate for the new job happens to like the same football team as you or was from the same geographical area then they can instantly gain an unfair and unconscious bias boost over other potential candidates.  This phenomenon does not simply side with male employers.  It is a common bias with both sexes.


3 – Company Policy and Procedure Justification.

This is where you dismiss a potential candidate because ‘your gut’ tells you that they would not fit into the current business mould of doing things.  Hiring someone outside of the comfort zone does not sit well with many hiring managers yet this lack of diversity is only helping to stagnate the company as a whole.


4 – Overconfidence in your hiring skills.

Just because you have hired a few good eggs in the past does not mean that every single recruitment hire is going to work.  The overconfidence in thinking that you have got it right so far…why not now, can lead to a clouding of judgement.


5 – Intuiting and Gut Instinct as a hiring skill.

This is almost a combination of the traits above.  Your gut tells you that this person with a good taste in fashion, who likes the same football team as you and seems like they would fit into the current company mould would be a perfect candidate and after the last two new recruits worked out so well – why not this one.  Intuition is filled with irrationality and does not belong in what is supposed to be an unbiased recruitment process.


This is just a small sample of what unconscious bias is all about but as you can now see, it is incredibly easy for unconscious bias in recruitment to have far reaching implications for your business.

If you would like to know more about our Unconscious Bias Training and Coaching services across the UK, please contact us today.


unconcious bias in recruitment


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