No one wants to admit it to themselves. But we all have implicit biases. Implicit biases are biases and prejudices that we have instinctually that we do not know about or think about consciously.
Consciously we may know that all people are equal. Yet subconsciously, we all have feelings that we’ve created about men, women, people of different religions, people of different skin colours, young people, older people, and more. None of these are on purpose, nor do they imply that you are a hateful or prejudiced person. It is simply a human behaviour that we are still learning to control.
Implicit Bias and Professional Talent
Your personal biases and prejudices are your own business. But when it comes to building a successful company, what you need more than anything is talent. Whether that person is black or white, young or old, male or female, it doesn’t matter as long as they are going to bring you the revenue and productivity that you need from your staff.
Your goal is to hire the best of the best. But implicit biases are everywhere. So how do you avoid letting these biases affect your hiring practices?
- You can have a staff member remove names from resumes before you review them. This helps eliminate any accidental bias towards someone whose name gives away something about their demographics. This is a good practice to implement.
- You can have a diverse team provide independent scores for resumes. This can help reduce at least some implicit biases (though of course they can all have the same biases, so it’s not clear how much that would affect).
- You can use a scoring system that tries to use objective scoring. These are very effective but they take years of experience to study and use.
Yet another strategy that can be very useful to implement is simply using a third party, like Recruit Shop, for your recruitment needs. We use our own unique methodology to ensure that we’re looking at people’s talent. We score resumes using a specific system, find the ones that make the most sense for you, and then send the list to you. You can be certain that each and every person on that list, regardless of their demographics, is qualified for the job. Then you can give each one a chance and see which one feels like the best fit.
When you work in recruitment, your priority is finding talent. Learning more about implicit biases and controlling for those biases by using a recruitment company (as well as some of those other strategies above), and prioritising talent above anything else.