6 Tips to Address Unconscious Employment Discrimination

6 Tips to Address Unconscious Employment Discrimination

Kelly Barcelos on October 23, 2019 in Recruitment Strategy

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”

– Audre Lorde

Have you ever rejected an interviewee based on their age, appearance, or disability, no matter how much they deserved the job they applied for? While you might feel like you were being objective and made the right decision, let’s face it – you’re a human before you’re a recruiter and you can be as unconsciously biased toward others as anyone else.

As humans, our instincts can influence our choices as much as our conscious minds. As recruiters, however, your sole goal should be to build a diverse workplace—where only talent and skills matter. Therefore, you must have progressive recruitment strategies in place, which you should strictly adhere to.

How to reduce bias in the hiring process?

1. Frame proper job descriptions

The first thing to consider is the job description, which can be really encouraging or extremely stifling, depending on the words you use. Avoid using words that seem to bend toward misogyny or restriction in any way. Rather, write descriptions using unbiased words that convey your company culture in a positive light and don’t turn off any potential applicant.

2. Filter candidates carefully

While skimming through résumés, recruiters may unknowingly make judgments by simply looking at candidates’ names, work history, or schools they went to. Give every applicant a chance. Don’t filter them based on groundless factors like name or grades, thus turning your back on what an ideal candidate could bring to the table.

Rather, focus on blindly reviewing résumés and filter the potential candidates based on the focus, clarity, grit, and the interest they show. 

3. Plan structured interviews

Another way out is to keep the same set of questions for each applicant. Following an informal approach where you ask random questions from each candidate definitely invites unconscious bias to the hiring process.

Discover each candidate’s experience and knowledge systematically and keep a proper feedback system for all promising applicants to evaluate their performances alike.

4. Ask for work samples

One of the recruitment strategies that you need to have to make your organization a success is to conduct work sample tests when hiring people. The tests should be such that these help you assess whether a candidate can actually do what their job is going to be about.

This is a helpful step in comparing a candidate to another and making the right choice.

5. Define your diversity goals

Bringing diversity in your staff should not only mean recruiting people from different geographical areas or people with different skill sets. It should also mean hiring as many women as men, or selecting people with any education level or background if they have the skills.

Diversity is about having all kinds of employees in your workforce, regardless of their name, age, gender, or race.

And that’s the way to go!


Bias in hiring is not calculated, hence called unconscious bias. To tackle it, figure out recruitment strategies keeping in mind the tips mentioned above and employ the skills that you are looking for.

If you have any other tip, feel free to share it in the comments section below. 

Kelly Barcelos

Kelly Barcelos is a progressive digital marketing manager specializing in HR and is responsible for leading Jobsoid’s content and social media team. When Kelly is not building campaigns, she is busy creating content and preparing PR topics. She started with Jobsoid as a social media strategist and eventually took over the entire digital marketing team with her innovative approach and technical expertise.