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Avoiding Unconscious Bias in Recruitment

A snippet from our Unconscious Bias Course

Until we become aware of what they are, any unconscious biases we have will always be influencing our decision making. This is why it’s crucial for management to reduce bias in recruitment and promotion as much as possible, you need to watch out for the common biases creeping into these processes - and it’s one of the topics that we cover in our Unconscious Bias for Management training

Here’s a taster of what we discuss in our course…


You can’t stop a bias from affecting your decisions until you know what the bias is. It’s best to listen to yourself and take note of your behaviour around different people - and see what your patterns are! Don’t be shy, and don’t worry - we all have them.

Vacancies & CVs

There’s a way to avoid bias even in a stage as early as this! Your aim is to hire the person that is best suited for the position because they have the experience and skills that are needed for the role - and this needs to be your focus from the get-go. You might be surprised to hear that something as small as a name on a CV has your unconscious mind forming an opinion before you’ve even met a candidate!

Interview Panel

The more diverse your interview panel, the better chance you’ve got of avoiding bias. Even if there’s only two of you – make sure you can bring different points of view to the table.

Similarity Bias & Affinity Bias

We naturally gravitate towards people that are similar to us or remind us of people we like, even if we’re not aware of doing it. This means we’re more likely to work with people that we feel comfortable with. And even though it’s an important factor at work, you need to be careful not to hire a candidate just because they have similar tastes to you or remind you of your favourite sibling; you also need to be careful not to miss out on hiring a great candidate just because they look like your ex!

Contrast Effect

In an interview, don’t compare a candidate to the person that used to fill that role, or to an idea you have in your head. The only thing they should be measured against is the job spec.

Confirmation Bias

It’s easy to see what you EXPECT to see or HOPE to hear, but it’s more of a challenge to remember what is actually said and done. So pay close attention, and if you take notes during an interview, write down what the interviewee has actually said, word for word if need be.

Unconscious Bias Training (for Managers too!)

Our Unconscious Bias Training course covers unconscious bias in the workplace, strategies for reducing bias at work and what's next for you and your employees for encouraging users to identify and reduce bias right from the outset.

Our Unconscious Bias Training for Managers covers the above sections as well as your management responsibilities.  

To get started with a free trial of either (or both!) of these courses, give us a call or email today!

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