Today, you’d be hard-pressed to find a company that doesn’t profess a commitment to diversity. Yet, will all the feel-good language on websites and job postings, homogenous teams are extremely common in today’s tech sector. Does this mean that hiring managers are biased? Most hiring managers are good people who just want to find the best candidate for the job, but unconscious bias is a very real phenomenon. You may not purposely discriminate, but bias in the hiring process does happen. Here are three strategies you can use to reduce IT hiring bias.
Try Flying Blind
Removing names and addresses from resumes can instantly level the playing field and forces evaluators to focus only on candidates’ qualifications for the position. Some companies take this one step further by hosting blind auditions for tech jobs. On sites like HackerRank, CodeFights, and Gapjumpers, employers can post assignments related to the skills they need for a particular position. Candidates do the work, and hiring teams do not see names until they have made their evaluations.
These steps do not eliminate the unconscious bias that can creep into the interview process, but it does reduce it. Blind screenings increase the odds of gathering a group of diverse finalists representing different age groups, genders, socioeconomic backgrounds and ethnicities.
Apply Consistent Processes
Conducting free-flowing, conversational interviews with each candidate can be a problem due to subjectivity. Interviews that just go where the conversation leads lead to less accuracy in the evaluation process, because different candidates discuss different things.
Structured interviews require the use of a predetermined set of questions, asked in the same way to each candidate, in the same order. A standardized scorecard is then used to “grade” each candidate on his or her answers, providing a record that allows for fair consideration during the selection process. This ensures that each candidate is judged on the same criteria from application to offer.
Conduct Skills Testing
Some people have a hard time in interviews. They are stressful, manufactured interactions and the pressure can cause some candidates to act more reserved or nervous than they are in their normal, daily lives. Conversely, some people are extremely good at the interview process, taking advantage of the fact that hiring managers are drawn to people they like. This can skew the evaluation process and ultimately lead to poor hiring choices.
Using skills tests as part of the hiring process allows you to see just how a candidate works through a problem and whether they have the skills they claim to have. Group tests and challenges can also be valuable, so that you can see just how candidates work as part of a team to solve a problem. Someone you may have been unconsciously drawn to (or unconsciously pushed away from) may turn out to be the rock star you’ve been looking for when you put them through a skills challenge.
Work With Experienced Recruiters
Developing effective, unbiased IT hiring strategies can be difficult for overtaxed HR teams. This is where a professional recruiting partner can make all the difference. If you want to attract the best and the brightest, you need the right recruiters on your team. The IT experts at CSS are industry leaders with a proven track record of success. Don’t lose the war for talent. Contact CSS today to learn how we can help you achieve your hiring goals.