Human beings are hardwired to prefer people who are like us, which is one reason bias creeps into hiring decisions. Diversity initiatives and process audits can help, but for hiring to improve meaningfully, individual managers have to recognize and address their personal biases. The first step is to accept that you have biases. Think about why you might feel drawn to some job candidates more than others, and what biases or preferences might be involved. Consider how factors such as race, gender, education, socioeconomic background, and even height might influence you. Aim to go into hiring decisions with an awareness of how they might go astray. Then, when you’re actually evaluating a candidate, keep asking yourself: “Where could bias show up in this decision?” You should also form your own opinion of the candidate before comparing notes with your colleagues, so you aren’t influenced by others’ views.

This tip is adapted from “How to Reduce Personal Bias When Hiring,” by Ruchika Tulshyan

Share with cohorts