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Recruitment and Selection

Ways in which bias could be embedded within your organisation’s recruitment and selection processes:

  1. Bias within the selection process: The selection process can be a useful way of assessing a candidate's skills and abilities. However too often the results of tests from selection centres are being accepted on the basis of ‘blind faith’.
  2. Falling into the ‘mini-me’ trap: We all know that first impressions count. Interviewers form opinions about candidates within the first few minutes of meeting them leading to bias in decision-making. 
  3. Organisational fit and recruitment filtering: Organisational fit operates when employers, recruitment agencies and head hunters seek individuals who not only have the skills and abilities to undertake the task of the job role, but also consider the extent to which an individual will fit into the culture of the organisation.  
  4. Informal networks and word of mouth recruitment: We know that the old boys’ network acts as a way of excluding some social groups from taking advantage of possible recruitment opportunities. The ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know’ practice still operates within the recruitment business today. 
  5. Sector based stereotyping: Excluding individuals from employment opportunities because of sector norms and stereotypical perceptions only exaggerates ingrained bias.  

Avoiding discrimination and workplace bias. 5 simple tips on becoming an employer of choice:

  1. Review your Person Specifications: Ensure that your Person Specification and Job Description is free from bias – remove all unnecessary requirements that simply act as job filters or ways of narrowing your talent pool. 
  2. Review your recruitment images: If you want to attract applicants from a wide range of backgrounds employ images and text that will appeal to a broad range of possible candidates. Research shows that minority groups respond to adverts that reflect their social identity.  
  3. Set diversity targets for recruitment agencies: If you don’t ask you don’t get. Without direction from their clients, there will be little motivation for recruitment agencies to field a wide range of talented candidates.
  4. Remove bias within selection tests: Ensure that the types of case studies you use as part of any selection tests do not favour any particular group. Similarly, ensure that you use psychometric tests that are free from bias. 
  5. Be aware of the ‘halo affect’: The halo effect operates at an unconscious level and allows candidates to pass through a ‘favourable filter’, by sending unconscious codes about who they are and their relationship to the interviewers.

The process of restricting talent: a short scenario

Sponsored by The Law Society.

This video was co-produced by Steps, world leaders in drama
based training.  For more information on their fantastic work around
diversity and inclusion: www.stepsdrama.com

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