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Implicit bias in recruiting: how can we avoid it?

Posted by Christina Perry on Aug 17, 2016 11:01:19 PM
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Implicit bias is a natural and unavoidable reality when we’re dealing with people. The very things that make humans able to do things a computer can’t—like feelings and instincts—are also the ones that can be a liability in hiring.

Humans are, obviously, complex; we all have experiences that shape the way we perceive the world, and the other people in it. We naturally identify with some people more than others, based on where they live, where they went to school, cultural background, shared interests and traditions.

Sometimes these conscious and unconscious biases mean discrimination; most of the time they probably don’t. Regardless of intention though, implicit bias is pervasive in our society.

But the limits of even the best recruiters don’t stop there; in addition to having implicit biases, we humans get tired. And we have other things on our minds. A resume that we look at in the morning, after coffee and with fresh eyes might look better to us than the same resume at the end of the day. Because by then we’ve read 50 others, spent a couple of hours on the phone, and are probably thinking about the traffic on the way home, picking up dry cleaning, and what to cook for dinner.

They’re not malicious, and most of the time they’re not even conscious, but these implicit biases and variations in perception can have serious consequences in hiring. Any inconsistency at all, even if it doesn’t pertain to something discriminatory, can invite scrutiny and place your organization in a vulnerable position.

This is where data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence can give you a tremendous advantage: Restless Bandit’s Talent Rediscovery software uses all of these to predict which candidates are most likely to be successful at your company, and to identify hiring patterns humans can’t see.

But Restless Bandit doesn’t look at things like name, gender, address, or area code. It also doesn’t get tired, and it doesn’t have bad days. It’s the ideal tool to find the best candidates you already have, avoid implicit bias, and let your recruiters spend their time on the things a computer can’t do—like interacting with candidates and determining which ones are the right fit for the role, and for your company.

See how Restless Bandit can help—claim your two recruiter seats, on us!

Topics: talent acquisition, machine learning, talent rediscovery, hiring, artificial intelligence, restless bandit, implicit bias, eeoc, bias, compliance, recruiting, data science

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