Unconscious Bias

Tackling Unconscious Bias

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Confronting Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias can and probably will affect every organisation at some stage or another. Numerous studies have found that unconscious bias can have an impact on recruitment, retention, and promotion of staff. This in turn could hinder individual employees and could cause larger obstacles for the wider company.

What is Unconscious Bias?

Unconscious bias refers to a bias that we are unaware of and which happens outside of our control. Typically, these biases are learned stereotypes that are automatic, unintentional, universal and able to influence behaviour. It is possible that we bias without even realising it as we sometimes aren’t aware of activity that goes on inside our brains which can affect decisions we make. These biases can be something as simple as the city the candidate lives in or education the candidate has.

Unconscious bias in turn can affect your judgement and decision making during the recruitment processes and when interviewing potential hires. It is vital that those involved in the recruitment process are aware of such biases and how to confront them.

How to Tackle Unconscious Bias? 

Some research finds that it is impossible to avoid all unconscious bias. Experts do believe that by understanding what biases we may have, going through training to understand these, you might be able to notice when they arise.


First, organisations should ensure that all individuals involved in an interview or promotion process complete unconscious bias training. There are specialist trainers and learning & development organisations who can give you specialised training sessions. They will be able to provide activities for people to learn what unconscious biases you may have. There also will be tips to help recognise when these biases arise and how to ultimately confront them. This could be key when hiring that talented candidate who could make a big influence in your business.

Interview Process

Second, organisations should assess how they are qualifying the right hire or promotion. Do you use psychometric tests? Is there a technical assessment involved? Do you ask competency questions? Is there a similar panel of interviewers involved in each interview? Identifying what essential experiences, technical skill, and competencies are important. This may mean Having a structured and consistent interview process should help limit the amount of unconscious bias that arises.

Diverse Panel of Interviewers

Lastly, it is important to make sure that a diverse group of individuals assess an individual to hire or to promote. By increasing the diversity of views and contributions of people involved, the more likely a productive discussion will occur. This should then help to reduce unconscious bias and ultimately reach a fair decision. Lots of studies have shown that a diverse group of views, experiences, and backgrounds benefits not just the interview process but the wider company as a whole.

How can YourPrime Help? 

If you want to find out more how we can help you recruit and retain a diverse workforce, have a read through our blog page which is updated regularly by the experienced YourPrime Recruitment team.  Or, if you would like an informal chat, simply get in touch get in touch.



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