The Wall Street Journal recently ran a fascinating article, “Why We Stereotype Strangers“. It stated that we all have unconscious biases, even if we don’t want to. We form perceptions from childhood, based on what our parents tell us, what we see on television, and even what we observe in strangers. It’s not our fault that we’re biased–but we must understand the workplace implications.
Implicit bias directly affects your workplace. Interviewers, for instance, might be unconsciously drawn to candidates similar to themselves. Bias can hurt your organization because:
You can pass up talent
Finding good people is hard enough. It’s a shame to rule out excellent candidates because of bias.
You can miss out on your team’s expertise
If a team member’s race, sexual orientation, or religion is the root of a manager’s implicit bias, the employee’s valuable input might not be heard.
You can create an insular culture
If your organization lacks diversity, decisions can be made by a group of people not reflecting the diversity of your clients.
Thankfully, you can work around bias by having a goal. Where is your organization now, and where does it want to go? This includes revamping your hiring process:
- Describe the open position.
- State the competencies and traits necessary for it.
- Match candidates’ qualifications to desired competencies and traits without knowing their name, gender, race, age, etc.
- During interviews, be mindful of potential bias.
Perhaps the best way to work around implicit bias is to use an objective hiring tool, such as PXT Select™. This hiring assessment helps you select the best candidates by producing reports with objective data. PXT can’t tell if a candidate is male or female, black, white, or purple! With PXT, qualified candidates shine on merit.
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“PXT Select” is a trademark of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.