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Fair and Equitable Hiring Practices

Remember that we all have different lived experiences, beliefs and assumptions that play a role in how we make decisions. This is particularly important to be aware of when it comes to hiring as these may potentially impact our ability to be fair and equitable and ultimately select the best possible candidate for the job.

In that spirit, here are a few ways you can contribute toward a more fair and equitable hiring process:

  • Use Interview Guides and continually re-check the guides and scoring rubrics to make sure you’re reviewing fairly. After a while, you’ll start to feel like you’ve memorized the guides and rubrics. This is good since it’ll help you be more efficient, but our memories are fickle things. The more you remind yourself of the concrete, established metrics, the less likely you’ll be to make “gut” decisions that could be colored by bias.

  • Stick to data-based assessments of a candidate’s abilities rather than those based on factors like age, gender, race, etc.

  • Don’t check out the candidate on social media, or Google them. A person’s public profile almost certainly won’t have anything relevant to work, and might instead reveal all sorts of irrelevant information (age, gender, political affiliation, race, etc.). If the candidate application/resume links to a personal website, LinkedIn, or GitHub you can check those out — these are more work-focused, and we can assume a candidate has put what they want an employer to see there.

  • If you come to a conclusion about a candidate very quickly, before you’ve read the whole resume or finished the interview, spend the rest of the session trying to disprove that conclusion. Snap judgments are much more likely to be prone to bias than considered ones. We tend to jump to conclusions and then look for evidence to support our hypothesis. To compensate, if you find you’ve reached a Yes/No conclusion very quickly, spend the rest of the session trying to disprove that hypothesis. Explicitly look for evidence that you’re wrong. If you’ve decided immediately that a candidate is not qualified, spend the rest of your time trying as hard as you can to find evidence that they are qualified.

  • Review these guidelines before every interview or round of resume review.

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