Hidden Biases and How to Combat Them

In the world of recruiting, hiring managers are constantly careful in ensuring that candidates are hired without any form of discrimination. These efforts may well be necessary – a number of psychological studies reveal that we can unconsciously learn different biases, which could have an effect on who employers choose to hire. Different psychologists have composed a number of examinations that allow you to “test” yourself and see what sort of biases you may harbor. Harvard’s Implicit Associations Test, the most well-known IAT, helps expose automatic associations our brains make between different objects – for example, we may more quickly associate “male” with “career” than with “housework” (those interested in finding out more about implicit associations can take the Harvard Implicit Associations Test here.) While the word “implicit” may imply that nothing can be done about these so-called “hidden biases”, there are several ways to ensure that diversity in the workplace remains prominent.

  • Set up an online pre-employment testing account as a job candidate. Online employment tests give applicants an opportunity to showcase their skills and impress an employer before the interview stage in the hiring process. Scoring well on online pre-employment tests can help an employer recognize that you possess the qualifications necessary for the job, eliminating any problems a hidden bias could have caused.

  • Check your company’s numbers. Employers should constantly be reviewing and comparing their employees’ salaries, responsibilities, promotions, and more in order to determine if any discrimination or favoritism is present. Any discrepancies where race, gender, or sexuality may play a factor should immediately be addressed.

  • Recognize the importance of diversity for your business. There are proven benefits to a diverse workplace. Introducing employees of different backgrounds can help you run a more successful company, as it allows for multiple perspectives, new ideas, and different approaches in problem-solving.

  • Take any complaints you receive about bias or discriminatory practices very seriously. Employees should feel safe going to an employer with any concerns they may have.

Discrimination within a business is a very serious concern that all employers should be looking to eliminate. Encouraging diversity in the workplace and focusing on qualifications rather than background during the hiring process can help eliminate bias and create a healthy environment for employers and employees to work. 


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