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5 Reasons for Hiring Managers Need Implicit Bias Training

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Everyone has biases. Many of these are so benign that they don’t need addressing. However, if your biases lead to you discriminating or viewing others in an unfavorable reason for no legitimate reason, you might need implicit bias training. It’s especially important for hiring managers, as shown by these five reasons.

Understand Implicit Bias

Hiring managers may choose to contact a particular candidate over another but not know why. You might say it’s because another candidate was more qualified, but what led you to that conclusion? Someone could have an implicit bias that causes them to see younger women as being less intelligent and thus not hire them for higher-level positions, despite the fact that they’re qualified.

Fairer Interviews

Interviews can be less objective than hiring managers think they are, based on the types of questions they ask candidates. Questions in interviews can vary, based on the responses of candidates and other extenuating circumstances. However, it’s not fair to ask certain, tough questions for one candidate and not do the same for others. Women often get asked about their home life and implications of their lack of stay at the position come to play before they even start the job. Men, even ones that bring up their marital and parental status usually don’t get the same questions about balancing home and family life.  Implicit bias could be asking a male candidate about their managerial experience but not doing the same for female ones.

Notice Biases in Others

When you learn a new concept, you can also become more aware of others’ lack of skill in said concept. There could be a more hostile work environment than you realize due to how easily implicit biases are hiding in plain sight. If you find it to be a serious issue, you might talk to your boss or head of human resources and discuss what could be done.

Name Bias

Doing a background check is essential when hiring someone. However, many hiring managers perform sloppy background checks that could lead them passing over a qualified candidate because they pulled up someone with the same/similar name, but who is entirely different. Sophisticated name matching software lets you ensure that your background checks are sound and that you’re not unwittingly denying a great opportunity to a worthy candidate.

Many applicants don’t get their resume read because their name sounds too “ethnic” for a hiring manager. The biases that come with their expectations of who this applicant is often color the lens in which the application is looked at. Often times, candidates with black or Hispanic names get looked over regardless of qualifications.

Unlearning

Part of cognitive-behavioral therapy, one of the most successful treatments for mental illness, is recognizing triggers that cause certain feelings to arise. Implicit biases can lose their power by being identified and stopped before they can do damage. You might always have these biases, but you’ll at least be able to stay mindful of them.

Hiring managers don’t need to explain their reasons for implicit biases. It’s likely that they don’t know the root of their biases, but if they acknowledge they’re there and that they need to take measures to combat it, they can show new hires that they’re serious about providing a workplace that’s inclusive to all.

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