Whether conscious or unconscious, hiring bias is real…and its a real problem. Study after study has shown that people tend to hire candidates who remind them of themselves, rather than the person best qualified for the job. The result? The organisation misses out on the best talent and suffers from a lack of diversity, which can lead to group-think and a stifling of innovation, all of which are killers in today’s disrupted, hyper-competitive world.
The most effective way to tackle hiring bias is not to try and change people, which is really hard to do (especially given that so much bias is unconscious). Instead, it is far easier and more effective to change the hiring process to eliminate bias. The April issue of Harvard Business Review has a great article by Iris Bohnet that shows how.