The Unconscious Bias of Diversity Within Recruitment

The term workplace diversity has become a very hot topic among the majority of companies. Particularly so within recruitment. In the present day, when many large companies are looking to recruit, they’ll try to find ways to diversify their workforce wherever possible. But why is this the case? And how can you implement it within your own company? 

Our country has been absorbing a vast array of various cultures and beliefs over the past half century, and that should translate into our workforce. Especially so as not everyone has had the same equal opportunities in the past; caused from any factors such as the colour of their skin, or the beliefs that they have held. This is an ugly side of history. But nowadays we want to change that, and make sure everyone has the same opportunities.

What is diversity?

So, what exactly is diversity? In the basic sense, it’s having a wide range of backgrounds within your workforce; through any of the various aspects of their being, such as:

  • race,
  • religion,
  • sexual orientation, 
  • gender identity,
  • social class, 
  • age
  • disability

The common consensus is that by having all of these varying backgrounds, you can get all manners of viewpoints and ideas, learned from the individual’s personal experiences or cultures. That way when tackling any potential tough issues, you can attack it from many different angles or thought processes. 

Now to face an ugly truth; our society still has a long way to go to be a completely fair community for all backgrounds. We’re improving but many prejudices can still be found, in both the general news and recruitment. At times these prejudices are acted upon intentionally, which is truly abhorrent and has no place within the world. But other times it may be acted upon unconsciously, an unfortunate heredity passed on from a bygone era. This is called unconscious bias, and it can still rear its head from time to time. 

What is unconscious bias?

In a brief description, unconscious bias is when you may gravitate towards candidates that share characteristics that you may also have or believe in. This could be anything from their physical appearance, religious or political beliefs, gender, social class, etc. At times an employer may experience this as they are unaware how best to interact and relate with someone who hasn’t had the same experiences as them. So they’ll look to hire someone who is similar and remain within their bubble. 

You may or may not be certain you hold no unconscious biases; however, it’s extremely important to be aware of it and to reflect if you may be acting upon it. Human beings are very prone to snap decisions, and making judgements on first impressions. So try to acknowledge this and slow down with your thought process. This will help you to really consider the candidates application, and their relevant qualifications and experiences. 

Using imployable to help beat unconscious bias

We’re proud that our app helps negate any unconscious bias that a potential employer may have. As our app fits candidates to jobs based on a percentage of their skills, qualifications, and experience; rather than any outlier factors that the candidates possess, which may skew an employer’s unconscious bias. Once that initial first impression has been set after an application has been considered; an employer would be harder to sway and act upon any unconscious bias they may hold. 

Though that’s not to say that it’s 100% fool proof. We’re all wired differently at the end of the day, and unfortunately some employers will act upon their unconscious bias more readily than others. In which case, there aren’t many external methods to fix that; the only course of action that could be taken is for the employer in question to explore their internal headspace, with some assistance, to pinpoint why they would act upon these biases, and then look to change them. 

Diversity within your company

So, the message that’s to be conveyed in this blog is to always consider the existence of unconscious bias, and to ponder on whether or not you may be acting upon it when recruiting. To have a diverse workforce will prove to be very beneficial in the long run, for both you and your employees. In both the various beliefs and thought processes that can guide your company through many issues, and the fact that other companies and institutes respect having a diverse range of employees. There are even statistics to support these claims. According to an article published by Forbes, ‘Inclusive teams make better business decisions up to 87% of the time.’. This proves that workplace diversity is beneficial to both parties involved. 

However, when acting upon these unconscious biases; you can prevent having these perks for your company, and instead just be locked within one thought process. Which may not always work for some situations. So always remember to consider the person as a whole, rather than specific attributes of their being. 

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