Diversity is one of the leading trends in the industry in present times. It is being used as a branding and marketing tool in order to make organizations more appealing to prospective employees. It has multiple advantages like improving creativity and innovation, along with decreasing possibilities of growth stunts in the organization.
The first step about bringing in awareness and change in the organization is to start conversations on bias and how it is a mind bug everyone has. It’s relation to diversity, organizational culture and performance must be established in order to encourage every employee to actively participate in the change. This will reflect in the organizational culture and influence the hiring practice.
Details of diversity mappings and methods
Biases pervade all the steps of a hiring process, starting from the searching process to the selection process. The hiring plan must consist of detailed diversity mappings and methods to achieve this. Including statistics would increase focus on diversity throughout the hiring process although care must be taken that an individual is not hired just to achieve the diversity statistic over another individual who is better qualified for a position. Every member involved in the hiring process must be educated about biases, its types, how it permeates into the hiring process and negatively affects the growth of the organization.
The foundation of hiring for a given role is the job description, and the KSAs and KRAs that are derived from it. It establishes a standard for hiring in terms of the knowledge, skills, competencies one should have along with the functionalities they can handle while also being a good fit to the organization culture. The searching step of hiring should reach out to a large range of platforms in order to access the maximum number of groups in order to ensure resumes from a diverse group of applicants. The screening process must follow a blind review process so that affinity bias or beauty bias does not influence the screener.
The first level test must be standardized and have scores to filter candidates through to the face-to-face interview process. It can be a telephonic interview or an online test, where affinity bias must again be cautioned against. Affinity bias in this context would mean the interviewer feeling a sense of familiarity with the person because they interviewee reminds them of someone they know or used to know. This sidetracks their focus because part of their attention now subconsciously goes towards figuring out how exactly they are similar or trying to find more similarities. Recruiters must go through bias training programs consistently to monitor and manage their biases. This will show a significant improvement in the hiring practices and standards.
The face-to-face interview would do well to have a script that interviewers stick to, with a couple of variations in the questions and the difficulty level. Although the interview follows this baseline, the interviewers can improvise based on the interviewee’s performance, all whilst being aware of one’s own biases. It is almost too obvious to insist on a diverse panel for hiring. This is a pertinent step to question the norms and standards set by the cultural majority and bring change.
Active steps towards combating biases in the hiring process would not only combat biases in hiring but improve the morale of the diverse groups within the organization and strengthen their commitment towards the institution.