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Bias in Candidate Selection 08-14-14

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Bias in Candidate Selection 08-14-14

  1. 1. Reducing Bias In the Candidate Selection Process Awareness and Mitigation Joshua Ramey-Renk Director of Talent and HR Operations v.8/14/14
  2. 2. What we’re going to talk about: • What is bias? • Some types of bias • A couple of puzzles to solve! • Best practices for reducing bias during the selection process
  3. 3. What Is Bias? Automatic judgment against or for one thing, person, or group compared with another. Usually perceived to be unfair. Consistently shown to be unhelpful.
  4. 4. Please Note We are not here to beat anyone up. Snap judgments are normal, natural, and a way humans have evolved in order to survive.
  5. 5. Quick Quiz #1 Art is from Brazil, Brad is from England, Carlo is from the US, and Dianna is from The Philippines. They are all getting ready to interview, but the coordinator knows there is one more person who is supposed to interview as well, but can’t remember who. Is it Erita from India or Jessica from Ireland? .
  6. 6. What pattern did you see? • If you saw the alphabetical pattern, then Erita would be next (A…B…C…D…E!) …but • If you saw the # of letters in the name, then Jessica is next (3…4…5…6…7!)
  7. 7. What did this illustrate? • We are programmed to seek patterns and identify similarities and differences, and those patterns are often engaged at the subconscious and immediate level. Whether you saw the alphbetical pattern or the number pattern reflects a way that you are preconditioned to judge things.
  8. 8. Grounds for Bias • Name (e.g., Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal?) • Education Credentials (e.g., School Pride) • Area Code/Zip Code • Interview Styles • Environmental Background: Necessity? • Others? Care to share a personal experience? (If not, it’s ok!)
  9. 9. WARNING. HR SPEAK AHEAD
  10. 10. ` The Two Sides of the Same Bias Coin • Halo/Horn • Primacy/Recency • Proximity/Similarity • Central Tendency
  11. 11. ` HALO / HORN One good thing. One bad thing. A single quality overshadows everything else about a candidate.
  12. 12. Primacy / Recency Primacy: Selection is made based on information that was presented earlier rather than later in a process. Recency: The last person interviewed always seems like the best candidate.
  13. 13. Proximity / Similarity Bias “Wow, this candidate is just like me. That’s awesome!” “Hmm, this candidate is just like me. That can’t be good”
  14. 14. ` Central Tendency Everyone’s great! Everyone’s average. The interviewer is unable to select who is best for the job. 100 50 0
  15. 15. Please Note There is no such thing as a “positive” bias. Bias of any type is unhelpful when trying to reach a rational decision.
  16. 16. Why? Bias removes objective analysis.
  17. 17. Quick Quiz #2 • Are these in the correct order? Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue? • How about now? , Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue?
  18. 18. What did this illustrate? • In real life, information is conveyed in a lot of ways, and sometimes, something delivers multiple kinds of information • In order to mitigate bias, we have to be sure that we understand what information is important…was it the names of the colors, or the color of the letters??
  19. 19. Can we completely eliminate our biases? However, we can temporarily, for a while, mitigate unchecked assumptions. No.
  20. 20. Process focus is proven to be the most effective way to mitigate bias. Focus on the candidates’ skills and the requirements of the position. Get other opinions. How?
  21. 21. Sierra Club Best Practices Conduct in-person interviews with the top 2-3. Start with a focus on quantifiable skills. Phone screen the top 25% of applicants. Do a second round with the top 5. Have people help you out during this decision process
  22. 22. Interview and Reference Questions (Where you should and should not go) Let’s talk about the reference check/interviewing process. Note: The same issues apply.
  23. 23. Interview Questions, pt. 1 (Where you should and should not go) • Before asking an applicant a question, ask yourself: What does this question have to do with the job? • As much as possible, ask only job-related questions. • As much as possible, ask the same questions of each applicant. • Standardize interview questions so that they can be asked of all job candidates.
  24. 24. Interview Questions, pt. 2 (Where you should and should not go) •Standardize the forms on which you record information about the interview. This helps you keep unbiased data. •Avoid subtle discrimination such as indirect statements that may show a preference for a particular group. • If an applicant offers personal information of a protected nature, steer the conversation back to the skills needed to do the job.
  25. 25. Reference Checks Again, focus questions on skills and job-related attributes. By the way, be sure that your candidate knows when they are being done and has signed the release page of the application.
  26. 26. Reference Checks Not sure about what to ask? Need some ideas? You can find sample interview and reference check questions in Taleo!
  27. 27. To summarize: 1. We all have biases! 2. Bias can be mitigated through process, standardization, and different viewpoints. 3. A focus on job-related skills is the best way to consistently select the best candidate from the pool.
  28. 28. Any questions?
  29. 29. Some research: • Bertrand, M., & Mullainathan, S. (2003). Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? Case study. NBER Working Paper No. 9873. • Self, W., Tetlock, P., Mellers, B., Mitchell, G., Hildreth, J.A.D. (2012). Calibrating Process and Outcome Accountability Systems in the Workplace to Meet Fairness and Efficiency Goals, http://www.shrm.org/about/foundation/research/Pages/FdnResearchTetlock.aspx • Anderson, N.& Shackleton, V. (2011). Decision making in the graduate selection interview: A field study, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.2044- 8325.1990.tb00510.x/abstract. • Rakić, T., Steffens, C., Mummendey, A. (2011). When it matters how you pronounce it: The influence of regional accents on job interview outcome, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.2044-8295.2011.02051.x/full
  30. 30. Some resources: • Gladwell, Malcolm. “The New-Boy Network.” What the Dog Saw. New York: Little, Brown, and Company, 2009. • Sandberg, Sheryl. Lean In. (Appendices and end notes) New York: Alfred A. Knopf 2013 • Analysis of your own bias, Harvard Research Study https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/demo/takeatest.html
  31. 31. Questions? Contact: Joshua Ramey-Renk Director of Talent and HR Operations 415-977-5611

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