The Future of the Working World: Eliminating Bias

I was fully immersed in the needs of the hiring manager and what “fit” they were looking for. 

What I did not realise?

How much of the talent pool this thought process excluded. 

I did not internalise that my brain was looking for patterns and using past experiences to make judgements that were not based on data. I thought I was hiring to fit the needs of my clients, but with hindsight being clear as day - I was hiring to fit my own and my clients' biases. 

You might be doing the same…

We fast forward to a day and age where I do not like to use the term ‘unconscious bias'. It’s a scapegoat for not doing the work to undo learned and taught bias. I am continuously delving deeper to understand my personal biases and I hold myself accountable for them every day.

You should do the same…

At Hidden, we consult with businesses every day on small individual steps to achieve a wider collective goal. A business that does not look to eliminate bias in its hiring processes will not live up to the thousands of organisations truly striving to achieve inclusivity in the future working world. 

Hiring is just one part of where bias is showing up for your business. 

Team meetings, project assigning, performance reviews, ideas attribution, praise. All of these are where we see, daily, that bias affects how business is done. 

To make a start, here are some of the actions that you can take today: 

- Prepare an agenda for every meeting 

Allow space for those who do not process information in the moment to comment ahead of time and include all voices in the discussion.

- Use 360 reviews for feedback 

This is a standard one, but to complement this feedback style, get your teams to keep a brag sheet hyping up all of their personal achievements ahead of reviews and read it regularly. 

- Plan your recruitment efforts 

Use great tools like scorecards, objective interview criteria and diverse interview panels to make the process more equitable. 

- Encourage a daily open and accountable culture 

Train your teams to call one another out and have conversations about bias. Conversations create accountability. Accountability creates action. 

- Bake in time for thought

Harbour space to make choices and make sure your team are not rushing decisions, triple-cooked in bias. 

All in all,

Fast-paced businesses are the perfect petri dish for bias and affinity preference to foster. The training courses you've encouraged your team to complete do not single-handedly solve this problem, we have to get to the root and change the way that individuals and businesses work. 

If you find yourself always pushing for the next deadline, the next meeting, there is no time to stop and think. Create an environment where your neurodivergent team have time to process, your meetings are not a space merely filled by the loudest and most confident employees, and your hiring strategies are not baked in bias. 

AND remind yourself...

Speed kills inclusion

If you want to talk more about this, email me on kate@hidden.io