Research shows that the hiring process is biased. Unconscious racism, ageism, and sexism tend to influence who gets hired. Companies that hire certain types of candidates more than others tend to be less competitive. Teams need diverse ideas, perspectives, backgrounds, and ways of doing things in order to innovate. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to remedy the bias issue.

Implement these tips to reduce unconscious bias in your hiring process.

Rewrite Job Descriptions

Rework your job postings with more neutral word choices. Because job postings often provide the first impression of your company’s culture, subtle word choices can have a significant impact on which candidates apply. For instance, traditionally masculine words such as “competitive” and “determined” often imply that females wouldn’t blend with the work environment. As a result, fewer women tend to apply. Similarly, traditionally feminine words such as “collaborative” and “cooperative” tend to attract more female candidates than male. To counteract this issue, use a software program that highlights stereotypically gendered words. Either replace the words with something more neutral, or balance your word choices among traditionally female and male words.

Blindly Review Resumes

Review resumes free of personally identifying information. This helps you focus on each candidate’s skills and qualifications, rather than their demographic characteristics. Since certain cultural names don’t get the same number of callbacks as others, you need to pay attention to what the candidate can bring to the company rather than what their demographics might say about them. Use a software program that blinds the resume review process to make it more systematic. Improve your odds of including the most relevant candidates in your interview pool.

Standardize Interviews

Use the same interview process for each group of candidates. Structured interviews that include the same set of defined questions focus on the factors that directly impact work performance. Include an interview scorecard to grade on a predetermined scale candidates’ response to each question. Use your results as an additional independent source of data to determine which candidate to hire.

Request a Work Sample Test

Ask each candidate to complete a task similar to what they’d do on the job. This provides a strong indicator of future performance. Evaluate the work sample tests to determine how each candidate compares to the others. Determine which candidate produced the highest quality of work without regard to their appearance, gender, age, personality, or related characteristics.

Hire Diverse Employees

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