When it comes to hiring diverse candidates—proven to make teams smarter and more innovative—good intentions do not necessarily lead to good results. Internal analyses showed that even though the company had interviewed a higher number of non-white candidates in preliminary rounds, their final hires were still overwhelmingly white, Harvard Business Review reports.
Often it’s because well-intentioned hiring managers end up inadvertently weeding out qualified candidates from underrepresented backgrounds because of unconscious bias, says Ruchika Tulshyan, founder of Candour, a consulting firm that helps businesses hire more diverse employees.
Changes in process and diversity initiatives alone are not going to remedy the lack of equal representation in companies, Tylshyan writes. Individual managers who are often making the final hiring decisions need to address their own bias.
There are several things managers can do to combat these biases:
• Accept you have biases, especially affinity bias, which is a tendency toward people who look most like you, even if you yourself are from a background with less representation at your company.
• Create a personal learning list and seek out resources that you wouldn’t normally come across. Look for books and articles to read that are written by people with a different background or lifestyle than your own.
• Ask where bias could show up in a decision. Is it when deciding if a person would fit into a company culture? Is it when deciding if a candidate has the best prior experience?