How to Remove Hiring Biases

The question you might be asking yourself is: what exactly is hiring bias and how can I identify it in the interview process? It’s deeper than “I don’t like this person, so I’m not going to hire them.”


In actuality, all of us as humans have inherent biases. We just do not realize how these biases impact our clarity of thinking and perception of others. For example, it is human nature to make a judgment about a person when you first meet them to conduct a job interview. However, proper training and awareness of biases can help you overcome this issue so that it does not negatively affect your hiring practices.

It's All in the Hiring Process

A large part of removing hiring biases is following a consistent hiring process that is used every time, for every candidate, with no exceptions. First, each candidate should complete an assessment before the interview so that you are evaluating the candidate based on an objective measurement of their thinking. The results from the assessment will help you structure a behavioral interview, removing the risk of our inherent biases influencing the hiring process.


The behavioral interview works because it looks at past behavior in a similar context to predict future behavior in your company. The key is the STAR method of asking questions that dive into real situations, tasks, actions, and results from the candidate’s work history.


Finally, to truly remove bias from the interview process, it is recommended that you use an applicant appraisal form to record a candidate’s answers. This critical step ensures that all interviewers rate each candidate on the same competencies and in the same method to help identify the best candidate for the role you need to fill.

The outcomes of this process include improving new hire productivity, reducing the likelihood of unwanted turnover, and decreasing your exposure to EPL. This process directly addresses five examples of hiring biases that could be affecting your business.

Common Hiring Mistakes from Hiring Bias

When reviewing some of the hiring challenges you’ve experienced, consider which of these five examples of hiring biases might have played a role in the outcomes.

1. Hiring Based on Similarities

Typical Situation: A candidate went to the same college or university, you share similar interests, or you perceive this individual as someone that you could hang out with on the weekends.


How Behavioral Interviews Remove Bias: An assessment and behavioral interview help you dive below the surface of similarities to focus on the emotional intelligence of a candidate and examine actual situations from their work history that predict how they will perform in your company. Essentially, this process provides protection from a risky and costly hire by not allowing the bias of similarity to override an objective evaluation of the candidate.

2. Not Hiring Based on Dissimilarities

Typical Situation: A candidate has a different background, has visible tattoos, or you perceive that you would struggle to get along with this individual if hired.


How Behavioral Interviews Remove Bias: A behavioral interview ensures that you are objectively evaluating the candidate by following a structured interview process. You still might not hire the individual after an objective evaluation. However, if an inherent bias influences the interview process, you could be exposed to EPL, potential turnover costs by hiring the wrong candidate instead of this candidate, and market share loss by allowing the best candidate to walk to a competitor.

3. Hiring Based on the “Best Interview”

Typical Situation: You have narrowed down your candidate pool to three candidates and you hire based on who best impressed you in the final interview.


How Behavioral Interviews Remove Bias: Some candidates are better at interviews than others, whether it’s because they are more experienced, present themselves as friendly and upbeat, or are trained on how to structure their answers. A behavioral interview removes the risk of hiring based on a “good closing interview.” The process cuts through subjective factors to help identify the best fit for the job opening, which reduces your exposure to turnover costs and bloated production costs.

4. Hiring Based on Your Image of the Ideal Person for the Role

Typical Situation: A candidate does not fit your image of the ideal person for a particular role. For example, a car salesperson should look a certain way or a customer service agent should sound a certain way.


How Behavioral Interviews Remove Bias: An assessment and behavioral interview helps uncover the best candidate for a role by focusing on the critical competencies tied to success in a particular role. If you rely on outward appearance to decide which salesperson or customer service agent will best connect with your customers, you risk hiring the wrong employee which contributes to turnover costs, EPL, and added expenses trying to win back customers.

5. Hiring Based on Needing to Make a Quick Hire

Typical Situation: The hiring freeze was just lifted at your company, you need to hire for a new position in your company, or you need to expand staff because of an increase in demand for your product or service.


How Behavioral Interviews Remove Bias: When needing to make a quick hire, inherent biases could creep into the interview process if you are not careful. An assessment and behavioral interview will help you keep your eye on the ball to avoid making a critical hiring mistake. By staying focused on objectively measuring candidates, this will cancel out the noise that could be caused by feeling hurried to quickly hire, onboard, and train a new employee.

ZERORISK HR Offers Training to Help Remove Hiring Bias

ZERORISK HR offers a half-day workshop or virtual webinar on Behavioral Interviewing. This advanced training creates an understanding of an interview strategy to objectively measure candidates and provides you with the tools to implement a structured interview process in your company.


After implementing the interview strategy and process, you will be able to cut through hiring bias to make informed hiring decisions, preventing hidden costs from hurting your bottom line. Contact us today for more information on how Behavioral Interview training can help your hiring team!

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