What does unconscious bias mean in recruitment?

Companies around the world are putting Diversity and Inclusion at the forefront of their 2021 Change Plans. 

People managers are introducing blind recruitment campaigns with Equally Placed, and ensuring that Diversity and Inclusion are part of their long-term agenda.

But what happens when bias can occur without you even realizing it?

Science says that unconscious bias exists. 

Our minds form split-second opinions without us even realizing. Meaning that in recruitment, we can form opinions on candidates solely based on our first impressions, or familiarity. 

We create an opinion of a person based on our own personal experiences, culture, and exposure.

And this often causes unfair hiring practices. 

An example of this in the early hiring stages can be reviewing a candidates CV and choosing not to interview them because they attended a school with a bad reputation in your area. 

Another example of this is the Halo Effect, which is the opposite. It means that a hiring manager could be more inclined to interview a candidate because they went to the same school as them or grew up in a prestigious area.  

These are biases that are difficult to eradicate in such a people-centric role.

And some argue that unconscious bias isn’t always unconscious. 

For example, when hiring managers look to select a candidate who will ‘fit in with the culture’. This is a conscious decision to select a candidate who they have a certain opinion of. 

Blind recruitment campaigns exist to keep all and any biases at a minimum and offer truly inclusive recruitment campaigns. 

Recruiting with true inclusivity means recruitment based on facts