Unconscious bias are deep subconscious attitudes towards race, gender, appearance, age, wealth, stereotypes, emotional reactions and more.
These hidden drivers can affect a business in different areas such as diversity, affecting company culture, employee career development and a successful recruitment process.
Below are some examples of unconscious bias to be mindful during recruitment:
- Be conscious when writing job specifications – avoid using job titles such as ”Ninjas”, ”Gurus” as those term are more masculine.
- Affinity bias: Unconscious preference is given to a candidate. i.e. if the candidate went to the same university as you, share the same hobbies or share similar qualities and beliefs.
- Beauty bias: unconsciously notice people’s appearances and associate it with their personality and skills. Immaculate hair = attention to detail.
- Gender bias: preference for one gender over the other for certain jobs, this stems from deep rooted beliefs and stereotypes of gender roles – i.e we always associate a car mechanic as a male instead of female or a nurse as a female rather than a male.
Now that you understand the meaning of unconscious bias and recognise the various types, you’ll start noticing when you slip into these mind sets. There are many ways counter your unconscious bias.
The first step is to be aware, see each person as an individual, include various people in your recruitment process and change your outlook to prevent attributions bias by aiming to assess others more positively.