Biased hiring occurs when interviewers (or screeners) form feelings or opinions about candidates that negatively or positively impact the interview. For example, biases could arise based on a candidate’s appearance, voice, gender, or virtually anything else an interviewer finds out about them.
Hiring bias is often subconscious. Everyone has internal biases, whether they admit them or not. And interviewers may not realize they are subtly judging candidates in a way that limits their potential in the hiring process.
But biased hiring is not inevitable; using competencies and structured interviews can reduce the chances of injecting bias into your hiring process. Competencies refer to the characteristics you’re looking for in a candidate. Structured interviews build off of those competencies by asking questions that determine whether or not a candidate has those predefined characteristics.
Specifying the competencies you’re going after before an interview, forcing interviewers to ask the same set of questions, and evaluating candidates solely on the answers to those questions gives candidates a much more even playing field. Interviewers aren’t basing decisions on their gut feelings but rather on concrete evidence. This evidence enables interviewers to compare candidates fairly, dramatically lessening the potential of biased hiring at your organization.