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Candidate Search recruiting

Reducing Bias in the Hiring Cycle

September 1, 2020

Creating diverse and inclusive workplaces is a major theme running through corporate America today. And while everyone seems to want to increase diversity, we must determine the actionable steps companies can take to make increased diversity a reality. HackerEarth reached out to our CEO, David Windley this week to discuss his best practices for reducing hiring bias.


HackerEarth Interviews CEO, David Windley


Follow this simple 5-step plan to reduce hiring bias and improve diversity in your candidate pipeline and your workplace.

1. Accept That Biases Exist.

By nature of being human, our brains instinctively categorize. It’s important to understand that we all have conscious and unconscious biases. To find a solution to a problem, we must first be aware that the problem exists.

Take a look at @IQTalent CEO David Windley’s 5-step plan for #reducingbias in the hiring cycle!Click to Tweet

2. View Diversity as a Business Decision.

Reducing hiring bias is a business decision. Ultimately, we are trying to find the right people who will be the best performers within our company and culture. We are looking for those with the right characteristics and competencies. If bias creeps in, you can sub-optimize the search for the top performer by eliminating someone based NOT on their characteristics or competencies.


3. Don’t Base a Candidate’s Fit for a Role on Historical Data.

Statistics based on historical data prove that certain functions lean toward gender and ethnic demographics. We should not assume that the best candidates follow these macro statistics.


4. Create a Clear Process.

An assessment-based interview process should identify characteristics, competencies, and skillsets needed for a particular role. The interview should have specific questions that create targeted feedback. Hiring managers must reject feedback in the form of, “I like this person. He is a good fit.” The questions need to reveal if the person will be a good performer, and the feedback should frame why the candidate will be a good performer in your particular company.


Pro Tip: Identify core competencies. At IQTalent Partners, we have five core competencies: Desire to Excel, Team Orientation, Performance Orientation, Communication Skills, and Adaptable/Resilient. Our interview questions are structured to reveal if our candidates have these skills.


5. Invest in Technology.

AI and machine learning can take human bias out of an initial search. The AI will pull up resumes or profiles of the candidates with the right skills, education, and experience without knowing the person’s gender or ethnicity. This allows for an unbiased candidate pipeline at the beginning of the search.

#Reducingbias in the #hiring cycle is not just good for society, it’s good for business. Follow these steps from @IQTalent CEO, David Windley, to diversify your pipeline:Click to Tweet

Other tools can uncover patterns in the interviewing and hiring process. Investigate technology that will evaluate data over time and uncover any trends or patterns specific to your company’s hiring process or to a specific recruiter and work to reverse any biases in the hiring cycle.


Reducing bias in the hiring cycle is not just good for society, it’s good for business. It allows you to hire the truly best person for the role. Staying disciplined within a targeted process is challenging, but it will continue to bring the best results. Consider having a well-trained facilitator on your staff who sits in on the interviews and checks in throughout the hiring process. If you have the mentality that you are hiring for the best fit for the organization and you stick to evaluating the candidates’ competencies and skills, your results will yield less bias and stronger candidates every time.


Changing the hiring process that you’re used to can be exhausting. To get started on the right foot, we recommend augmenting your internal recruiting team, even temporarily, to reignite your search process! IQTalent Exchange takes the research and sourcing off your hands, ensuring an unbiased approach. The process is simple. You input your job description and receive a curated list of top passive candidates in days, along with their contact information to keep the process moving. Find out more on the IQTalent Xchange site!

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