For most organizations that we work with, ensuring fair and unbiased hiring practices is a critical component of promoting equity and inclusivity in the workplace. Hiring decisions not only impact an organization's success but can also have significant consequences for the candidates being evaluated. Unfortunately, unconscious bias can easily creep into the interview process, leading to inconsistent evaluations and unfair treatment of candidates.
We've compiled the top 7 practical tips to help you create a bias-free interview process. We will share the first 3 this week, and then continue in next week’s newsletter, Part 2.
1. Use a scorecard to decide who makes it to the first round of interviews from the applicant pool.
A scorecard is a tool that can help you ensure consistency in the hiring process by evaluating each candidate based on the same criteria. The scorecard should include objective criteria that are relevant to the role, such as years of experience, relevant skills, and education level. Assign a score to each criterion and use a threshold score to determine which candidates make it to the interview stage. By using a scorecard, you can avoid the temptation to subjectively prioritize certain qualifications or characteristics over others, which can lead to bias and a less diverse candidate pool.
2. Conduct structured interviews with the same questions in the same order.
In structured interviews, each candidate is asked the same set of questions in the same order. The questions are written out to assure that even the wording is the same each time. This approach helps to ensure consistency and fairness in the interview process by providing a consistent basis for comparison across candidates. It also allows you to evaluate specific skills or competencies that are critical for the role without getting caught up in things that may subjectively appeal to an interviewer such as similar education or background. Be sure to avoid leading or biased questions and focus on objective criteria.
3. Train interviewers to pass objective comments back to the hiring team.
It is common for interviewers to communicate strengths and “red flags” back to the hiring team so that these items can be probed in further interviews. When evaluating candidates, it's important to focus on objective items that can be measured and compared. This includes factors such as experience, education, and technical skills. Avoid making subjective comments about a candidate's personality, character, or background, as these can be influenced by personal biases and are difficult to compare objectively. Instead, focus on objective criteria that are relevant to the role and probe into specific examples or experiences that demonstrate the candidate's ability to perform the job.
By following these three tips, you can start the process of creating a more objective and fair interview process that leads to better hiring decisions. Stay tuned for Part 2, which will come out next week, where we'll share more practical tips for creating a bias-free interview process.
If you need assistance in hiring a leadership position for your organization, please reach out to me at sshah@ManevaGroup.com. We will schedule a no-cost, no obligation 30-minute consultation to discuss how to supercharge your recruitment efforts.
Maneva Group is a woman and minority owned national executive search firm focusing on the social sector with expertise in completely managing the recruiting process, curating diverse and exceptionally qualified candidate pools, and advising C-suite executives and board members through crucial hiring decisions.