Organizations of all types grapple with how to do activities such as searching/hiring in a way that overcomes the fact that all persons involved in the selection process are impeded by cultural fluency, deeply entrenched values that shape judgments. Interestingly, men and women share ideas about gender that lead them to apply the same assumptions to selection processes. Similarly, minority persons share ideas about race with dominant white culture, with a similar result to selection/hiring processes. These ideas are sometimes referred to as "hidden biases" or "unconscious biases." Recognition of this tendency can help reduce impact on review processes.
Below is a great Ted talk, called "What Does My Headscarf Mean to You," given by Yassmin Abddel Magied in 2014. She explains the ideas of "hidden biases" or "unconscious biases" well and gives some great examples of how we may automatically make assumptions given certain situations.
Advice for minimizing the influence of bias and assumptions:
The recruitment and selection process is important for all aspects of the institution. The Sr. Recruiter has the expertise to assist hiring managers and search committees with procedures to ensure the winnowing of candidates is done fairly and objectively. There are several pieces to the recruitment and selections process; sourcing candidates, reviewing and tracking applicants, conducting interviews, and final selection for employment. Finally, reference checks are important as tools to assure selection outcomes.
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