Get to the Root of Your Recruiting Biases

20 May

Hiring biases still exist.

Whether HR professionals want to admit it or not, biases can come up during the talent acquisition process. A new study from researchers at Columbia University, Northwestern University and the University of Chicago found that recruiters, no matter if they are men or women, tend to pick male candidates or female ones during recruiting. Gender may not be the only partiality hiring managers and HR professionals have when examining job candidates. According to Simply Hired, there are approximately 100 different types of biases people can have. For HR departments to truly find and acquire top talent, they need to stomp out these prejudices and stick to whether each job seeker has the qualifications for the job and is a cultural fit personality-wise for the workplace.

Yet this is often easier said than done. According to the study, confidence was a major factor in HR professionals' decision to hire men, as the female candidates tended to downplay their abilities and talents. Confidence was seen to be an indicator of experience and overall performance, and so recruiters, more often than not, chose the male candidates over the female ones.

However, in an analysis of the study for Harvard Business Review, Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, CEO of a gender consulting firm, said it isn't truly up to women to change the stereotype, but that self-promotion is often a male trait that is looked down on among female leaders. This can be a hard, ingrained bias to get out of the workplace, but Wittenberg-Cox noted it's important for HR professionals to stay aware of how gender plays a role in hiring talent and promoting key performers internally. Simply Hired suggested HR professionals understand exactly why they are recruiting certain people and not others. Identifying if resumes have more to do with biases than other factors can be beneficial to helping recruiters find the best new hires.

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