Hire the best and the brightest and slide them into right-fit positions. That’s the goal of every company, representing every industry across this great nation. But bias, both the conscious and the unconscious variety, can interfere with this goal. While human nature possesses a degree of unconscious bias, this culprit can be a definite hindrance to creating the dynamic, diverse workforce needed to propel businesses in every sector to their greatest potential.
According to a 2019 McKinsey & Company report, companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25 percent more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile—up from 21 percent in 2017 and 15 percent in 2014. Further evidence comes from a Boston Consulting Group study that found a strong and statistically significant correlation between the diversity of management teams and overall innovation. Companies that reported above-average diversity on their management teams also reported innovation revenue 19 percent higher than that of companies with below-average leadership diversity.
As the nation’s focus continues to zero in on equality and justice, the business world finds itself challenged to reduce bias in hiring practices and promote diversity and inclusion across all aspects of their organizations. And not solely for the advantages and benefits the company will undoubtedly reap via expanded innovation and increased profits, but also because it’s the right thing to do.
Consider these practical tips for defeating unconscious bias.
1. Remove gender-leaning words from job descriptions
Words matter, and in the case of job descriptions, it’s the implications tucked inside words and phrases that can send a subtle yet impactful message. Whether by intent or not, specific terms can encourage one demographic while pushing away another. Most notable messages contain gender or age bias by utilizing hip, trendy phrases or words that have a masculine or feminine connotation.
Artificial intelligence tools such as Textio can detect the language in job descriptions that unintentionally contain bias or lack diversity, alerting you to content that may impact your applicant pool.
2. Standardize interviews for every candidate
An objective approach is a key to eliminating bias throughout the hiring process. Achieve this goal by utilizing a pre-determined set of questions with every candidate. Craft the list of questions around specific job performance concerns related to the open position coupled with overall and position-specific problem-solving aptitude. This type of structured interview process creates a level playing field and provides a better basis for determining if a candidate has the skills needed for this position.
3. Utilize an interview panel
If you prefer a strategy that focuses on a human-based approach, look no further than an interview panel that includes a diverse mix of key personnel. As an integral part of the recruitment process, a panel works as a deterrent to unconscious bias by ushering in a broader perspective that cannot help but lead to more informed decisions.
A.R. Mazzotta is proud to be certified in Connecticut as a Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) and Small/Minority Business Enterprise (SBE/MBE). Their Supplier Diversity Program certification offers many benefits for the companies we work with, including possible tax incentives, fulfillment of state/local supplier diversity requirements, fresh ideas, and more flexibility than larger suppliers. Connect with us today for employment solutions that will work for your company. Call or text us today to connect with a real person at 860-347-1626 or apply online.