How Rigorous Assessment Can Overcome Bias in Hiring

March 1, 2024

Minimising space for bias in your selection processes by building in valid and predictive assessment.

Understanding the impact of bias in hiring

Bias in hiring can have detrimental effects on individuals, organisations and organisations' reputations. It can lead to unfair treatment and exclusion of qualified candidates that perpetuate inequality. Understanding the impact of bias is crucial for creating a fair and inclusive hiring process. But understanding bias alone is not enough, we need to minimise as much room as we can to stop it creeping in.


Exploring different types of bias in the hiring process

Bias in the hiring process can have significant negative consequences, perpetuating inequality and limiting diversity and inclusion.

  • One common type of bias is affinity bias, where hiring managers show favouritism towards candidates who share similar backgrounds or characteristics. Anything from where you went to university, the football team you support, your accent, can all affect how an interviewer perceives you
  • Another form of bias is first impressions bias, which occurs when hiring decisions are heavily influenced by initial impressions or gut feelings. This can lead to snap judgments and overlooking important qualifications.
  • Finally, you might have come across halo/horns bias, where hiring managers let one positive or negative trait overshadow their overall assessment of a candidate. 
These biases can negatively affect the fairness of our selection processes. It is crucial for organisations to recognise and address these biases.

The role of bias training in reducing biases

Bias training can help in reducing biases in the hiring process. It involves educating hiring managers and employees about the various types of biases that can occur and providing them with strategies to mitigate their influence.

However, it is important to note that bias training alone is not sufficient to eliminate biases in hiring. Valid and predictive assessment methods need to be integrated into the selection and development processes to minimise bias. This brings us to the next point: the importance of valid and predictive assessment.

The importance of valid and predictive assessment

Valid and predictive assessment methods are essential for minimising biases in the hiring process. These methods involve using standardised and objective measures to evaluate candidates' skills, motivations, and potential for success in the job role.

Embedding rigorous assessment like well-validated and relevant behavioural and aptitude assessments, structured interviews, and thoroughly-designed assessment centre exercises means you reduce the chance biases have to creep into your processes.

Reach out to learn more about using predictive assessment methods and minimising bias in your selection processes!


Katie Thomas