HRO Today June 2018 - 27

Special D&I Report
hires. To help curb any potential biases, the hiring
committee conducted blind auditions. Yet, in the
blind auditions, males were still being favored. It was
discovered that the hiring group could hear the clicking
of different types of shoes. A carpet was put down to
make it harder to decipher between males and females.
Soon after, more women were hired.
* John was a hiring manager with an implicit bias
regarding age. He had a pattern of hiring candidates over
the age of 30. The company was looking at recent hiring
trends and realized several well-qualified candidates
under 30 did not move on in the hiring process. The
company was missing out on bright talent and a diverse
set of ideas. John, on the other hand, did not realize that
age was impacting his hiring decisions.
80%
of respondents who perceived organizational
bias would not refer potential candidates to
the company.
Source: Center for Talent Innovation
were 64 percent less likely to perceive bias at companies
with diverse leaders and 87 percent less likely when they
had inclusive leaders.
HR leaders are typically responsible for overseeing a
company's hiring trends, productivity, turnover...and
the list goes on. All of these areas are impacted by
unconscious bias. But how can HR help managers and
other leaders defeat unconscious bias without knowing
the different ways it can manifest in the workplace? For
example, managers may exhibit biases based on age,
similarities, gender, and beauty. Or a leader may directly
compare a candidate to the previous candidate instead of
to the job itself.
To put it in perspective, here are a few examples of
unconscious bias in action:
* An instrumental group had a recent influx of male
* Jeff manages a group of sales representatives that
travel across the Midwest. Judy, a single mother of two,
has been a great employee and is ready for a challenge.
However, she was not considered for the role since Jeff
assumed the travel would be difficult for her.
Strategies for Overcoming Biases
Education is often the best remedy for overcoming
these types of situations, beginning with self-education
and extending into broader spheres. By acknowledging
prejudice in all its manifestations and finding effective
strategies for its eradication, organizations have the
power to make a difference. Here are some ways HR can
help managers and leaders overcome bias:
* Remove names, addresses, and graduation dates from
resumes.
* Use the same interview questions for all candidates.
* Include a diverse team of executives in the interview
process instead of one decision-maker.
* Promote self-awareness with managers.
* Hold manager trainings or workshops.
* Have managers complete self-assessments and set goals.
By implementing these practices, HR can provide hiring
managers with the necessary tools to defeat unconscious
bias.
Michele McDermott is senior vice president of human resources of
Assurance.
JUNE 2018 | www.hrotoday.com
[27]
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HRO Today June 2018

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