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How To Avoid Bias In Hiring

About the Author

Author Lance LeFort is sought out by leaders in Animation, VFX, Video Games, and Digital Entertainment who recognize the need to attract the industry’s best talent. Through LeFort Talent Group’s extensive network of relationships and their “deep dive” qualification process, they are able to identify and secure individuals who represent the top tier of professionals.

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How To Avoid Bias In Hiring

Bias can happen in every aspect of your personal and professional life, even in the hiring process.

We are all prone to judging someone before we get to know who they are. Almost all of us know someone that surprised us by being completely different (in a great way) than what we initially pegged them to be. Keep reading to learn how allowing biases to have a role in hiring decisions can prove to be a huge mistake.

Bias Can Lead to Hiring Mistakes

Bias can happen in every aspect of your personal and professional life, even in the hiring process. Many biases begin when reviewing resumes. People can begin to make assumptions about another person simply based upon their name. While an organization cannot legally deny a highly qualified candidate an open position based upon age, gender, sexuality, or marital status, it does occur.

There are other biases such as poor credit, unemployment status, appearance, and weight that can be gray areas depending on the position. In fact, overweight or obese candidates are more likely to face discrimination and be paid 1-6% less than equally qualified average weight people. This is more prevalent in women than men. The higher a person’s body mass index (BMI), the less hirable they are.

Emotional bias is one that is hardest to pinpoint and control. Many times a hiring manager will have an emotional connection or gut feeling about a candidate. The candidate could share many traits of that manager’s best friend or even themselves. This type of emotional bias could result in a mis-hire.

Another large group of top talent that is often overlooked are those without perfect credentials or are job jumpers. These can, in fact, be some of the best hires for many reasons. In regards to those without perfect credentials, it is important to hire for attitude and train for skill. In reality, every new hire will have some learning curve. Hiring someone with fewer credentials or experience means you are hiring someone with fewer bad habits.

Not convinced? Look at the qualification requirements for open positions at your organization. Even look at the qualifications required for your position. Do you currently or did you possess the requirements necessary for the position when you were hired? Most requirements (short of those in highly technical or medical fields) in job postings do not predict success. Truly, a proven track record is more impressive than direct experience. Those with weaker credentials tend to stay longer and are cheaper to hire. They can also be game changers by bringing in new ideas and a fresh perspective to the organization.

Even though the concept of long-term tenures is antiquated, 43% of employers will not consider job jumpers, but this could be a very shortsighted way of thinking. Not only are most skills transferable, job jumpers tend to be super talented professionals. This is why they tend to be recruited. They are adaptable and easy to attract and procure. Best of all, they are innovative and bring ideas and skills from the competition.

Do not get trapped in bias, whether it is physical, emotional, or based upon a candidate’s experience or tenure at previous companies. These biases will risk your organization’s ability to hire some of the best talent that is available.

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