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Unconscious Bias in Recruiting Panel | by jurvetson
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Unconscious Bias in Recruiting Panel

Genevieve (CMO and co-founder of Scout) led a panel of people experts from CultureAmp, Dropbox, Greenhouse, and Paradigm on the topic of Unconscious Bias (the accumulation of mental shortcuts both hardwired and developed, that lead us to form judgements, often unfair in nature). I took a video of the entire session.


Here is a section from the blog post summary:


"We are all biased - and our biases color the decisions we make in the workplace, whether we’re interviewing, or assessing performance, or determining if someone deserves a raise or promotion. We learned there is no way to “untrain” the instinctive impulses that lead to our biases. It’s part of the human condition (and one of the ways our brain handles an otherwise overwhelming cognitive load). That being said, awareness of bias and how it manifests is one of the keys to creating a diverse and inclusive environment. Only when we’re aware of our hard-wired biases can we actually address them.


1) Say Goodbye to Culture Fit and Hello to Culture Add: The term “Culture Fit” can often be a mask for bias. If your company is employing the “beer test” line of thinking for determining culture fit (e.g., would you want to have a beer with the candidate?), you might be missing out on some incredible talent. Unless the candidate’s job description actually entails drinking beers, why bother posing this question to interviewers? This question is often investigating “is this candidate like me”, a form of homophily bias. Instead, consider asking yourself these questions:

Do you feel the candidates values align with ours?

Do you feel the candidate would add to the existing culture?


2) Use Inclusive Language in Job Descriptions: Tools like Textio can help you re-work your job descriptions to be more enticing for all applicants. Avoid aggressive language like “ninja,” “disrupt,” or “ruthless,” and also shy away from “fixed mindset” attributes which speak to innate traits like intelligence. Studies show that women will apply to a job when they have 80% of the job qualifications. That figure is just 50% for men. Knowing this gap exists, avoid “fixed mindset” language patterns that deter female applicants and replace them with “growth mindset” attributes (e.g., creative, adaptable, collaborative)."

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Taken on January 17, 2018