5 Ways to Beat Stereotyping When Hiring

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Stereotyping goes well beyond biases associated with a person’s race, national origin, gender, age or religion; it includes any unfair judgment based on that person belonging to a particular group or demographic. For example, many generations are associated with certain stereotypes. Similarly, those who enjoy certain television shows or movies, recreational activities or anything else may become victims of stereotypes. Making assumptions about a person based on how they are dressed can also be harmful.

When hiring, stereotyping can be particularly damaging. These unfair judgments may prevent the hiring managers from properly assessing candidates, causing them to miss out on great talent. Additionally, if they express their belief in these assumptions during an interview, the job seeker may develop a negative opinion of your company. And, in the worst-case scenarios, a candidate who has been discriminated against may even take legal action as a result.

Eliminating stereotyping in hiring can seem like a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are five ways to beat stereotyping when your company is hiring.

  1. Acknowledge the Issue

You can’t defeat a problem if you don’t recognize it is present. Nearly everyone makes some assumptions based on stereotypes, including some they may believe are harmless or even beneficial to the candidate. Additionally, not all people react to stereotypes consciously. Unconscious bias does occur, leading people to make discriminatory choices without really realizing why.

By acknowledging that stereotyping occurs, you aren’t just preparing to remedy the issue; you also bring attention to the problem. This increases general awareness, which can be helpful in its own right.

  1. Provide Training

Both conscious and unconscious bias can be combatted with proper training. Partially, this is about increasing awareness. However, it also sets boundaries that employees have to respect.

Not only will workers and hiring managers be more aware of the damage stereotyping can do, they will also be more inclined to recognize it. Plus, you can teach strategies to prevent stereotyping from having a major influence in hiring.

  1. Blind Recruitment

Blind recruitment is a process where all personally identifying details are removed from applications before they are reviewed by the hiring manager. By eliminating all information that could indicate a candidate’s age, background, gender or affiliation with any group, you can ensure that bias does not play a role at the early stages of the selection process.

  1. Standardize Interviews

Many companies give hiring managers a lot of flexibility during the interview process. As a result, not all candidates may be asked the same questions, and this can open the door to potential bias.

Consider standardizing all interviews for a particular position. Have the hiring manager create a set of questions in advance and have them reviewed by HR to make sure they aren’t biased, intentionally or incidentally. Then, make sure the hiring manager sticks to the list.

While the approach is somewhat rigid and mechanical, it can increase overall fairness, decreasing the odds that stereotyping will impact the interview.

  1. Perform Work Sample Tests

Often, a work sample test is a better indicator of a candidate’s potential than an interview alone. By requesting they complete an assignment similar to a task they would perform on the job, you can compare how each job seeker does in relation to the others. Then, you can narrow the pool based on those results, ensuring a fair assessment of their capabilities.

Looking to Hire? We Can Help!

By following the tips above, you can beat stereotyping when hiring. If you’d like to know more, the staff at VB can help. Contact us to speak with a member of our knowledgeable recruitment team today and see how our hiring expertise can benefit you.

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