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How to Hire without Bias

In this day and age, everyone seems to be aware and in avoidance of any discrimination in the work place. Employers can face more than serious consequences if they do not follow the rules and regulations regarding discrimination during the recruiting process. With that being said, it’s important to make sure your recruiting process is free from any bias or misinterpretation.

Know The Rules
As an employer, it is your duty to know the laws governing workplace discrimination. Along with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission administering laws against discrimination, your state and local jurisdictions may have additional regulations which you need to be aware of. If you’re a small business owner, you may not need to be as concerned with accusations of discrimination because the EEOC only applies to those who have fifteen or more employees – but, your state laws may not consider you exempt in the same way. Regardless, you could still be sued by a job candidate if they believe they were treated differently due to discrimination, so it’s better safe than sorry. As an employer, you should also be aware of the Equal Pay Act, Age Discrimination Employment Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, and more.

The Hiring Process
It’s extremely important to be able to defend your hiring decision if an accusation were to ever occur. This begins with the job analysis. Make sure you are very clear when listing the duties, skills, level of experience, and education required for the position. It is crucial that these requirements stay the same for each candidate you consider. Therefore, it’s best to avoid requirements that include physical characteristics. For example, if you have an open position that requires heavy lifting, it’s better state what the lifting requirements are (i.e. must be able to lift 50 lb. boxes) than to give specific height and weight requirements of a person’s figure. The next step is to base your interview questions off of the job analysis.
When interviewing, it’s always best to ask all of the candidates the same questions so there is no room for discrepancies. Document each candidate’s answers by taking notes during the interview. Inviting a colleague or manager to join you during the interview is a great protocol. That way, not only is there a witness to the interaction, but you can also compare notes once the interview is over in order to better your hiring decision. Once you do make a decision, write down your reasons for the selection to clarify that it was based on the position’s requirements.

Additional Tools/Methods
If you would like to be certain you are steering free of any possible accusations of discrimination during the recruiting process, there are new software programs that can help your company do so.

This technology uses blind auditions to find the best talent for your company. Their way of doings things is comparable to “The Voice” and has proven to impact the diversity of your work place.

Search Party
Known as a recruitment marketplace, Search Party connects employers and recruiters in a new way. It finds “anonymous profiles” that exclude any bias-inducing information such as age and gender until you commit to interviewing them.

Implicit Association Test
The IAT test helps to reveal thoughts that test-takers are unknowingly hiding from themselves. Developed at Harvard, the purpose of this test is to help people become more self-aware. Employers can use this information and check their biases before they make a hiring decision.

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