This is a guest post written by Tina Alonzo, CM, CHRS, DEI Administrator for the Office of the Executive Vice President for Administration
As stated within our University Strategic Plan, we commit to expanding opportunity, advancing equity, and elevating excellence. As outlined within the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategic theme, we are engaging in efforts that recruit, retain and expand career development for staff from diverse backgrounds. One effort that serves as one component of the connected series of tactics is mitigating bias in hiring. Bias is a human condition, not a character flaw and can influence our ability to make equitable decisions without adequate self-awareness. According to the Cognitive Bias Codex, we have 188 systematic patterns of cognitive deviation and the brain can process 11,000,000 pieces of information on an unconscious level, so it’s imperative for us to prioritize equity and diversity in the hiring process. Here are a few best practices to be most effective:
- Building a diverse selection committee is one way to minimize bias in the search process.
- Identify qualified applicants based on pre-determined criteria required for the position when screening.
- Avoid discriminatory bias, prejudice or stereotyping in evaluation criteria and communications.
- Redacted screening is one tool to reduce initial subjectivity by removing preconceived notions associated with identifying information that may trigger biases or unfair assessments.
- The applicant/candidate experience matters; remember they are evaluating MSU as an employer of choice during every step of the hiring process.
- Ensure adequate diverse representation in the applicant and candidate pools.
- The goal is to broaden the applicant pool, not lower standards.
- Cast a broader net and expand your reach.
- False narratives can be formed before a position is ever posted, influencing the overall equity of the hiring process.
- Use inclusive and balanced language in the position posting; always display how to request accommodations.
- Be able to adequately explain decisions to retain or reject candidates, linking to job requirements and qualifications.
- Embrace differing communication styles.
Would you like to learn more and access additional best practices and tips? The Executive Vice President for Administration’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion recently launched the Mitigating Bias in Hiring eLearning to aid efforts in prioritizing equity and diversity in hiring.