2 min read

11 quick ways to remove bias when hiring remotely

Things you can implement by sending one email — not 20.
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So many advice lists on this topic offer well-intended but waffly solutions that are difficult to implement. 

‘Get To Know Their Strengths And Weaknesses’. ‘Remember Your Values’. 

Not this time.

Whilst that stuff is needed, we prefer to recommend straightforward, practical tips that are instantly actionable. Things you can implement by sending one email — not 20.

So here are all the fastest, most concrete ways to reduce and eliminate bias when hiring remotely in 2021.

  1. Check and edit the job description

Use the wrong language, and you risk putting off candidates before they’ve even applied. Adjectives, in particular, can carry gendered connotations. Quickly solve this issue by using one of the many tools out there to check the description language and tell you where it’s coming up short.

  1. Use a skills checklist and aptitude test

Draw up a skills checklist and rate candidates as you go through the process from 1 to 10 on each count. Even better, use an aptitude test like pymetrics that is entirely grounded in data to get an objective read of a candidate’s capabilities. CVs are self-reported and non-predictive. A behavioural science and AI-engineered analysis is not. 

  1. Advertise the position overseas

The further your ad reaches, the more likely you will find someone with precisely the skills and work style you need. And by advertising internationally, you can also access a more diverse talent pool.

  1. Remove all identifiers from CVs

Sure, there are some obvious ones: name and photo. But removing other identifiers can help further eliminate bias. University, school and hometown should both be blocked out, too, ideally. If you want to go a step further, don’t allow whoever is conducting the recruitment drive to review the CV until they’ve got through a skills test. 

  1. Use several interviewers

Because one or two might have unconscious biases. Three or four are less unlikely to all have the same issue — especially if they are a diverse bunch.

  1. Conduct several interviews

The more you do, the better you’ll know the candidate. Plus, the time differential can help eliminate recency bias (favouring recent events over historical ones), confirmation bias (focussing on information that confirms prior beliefs), and a host of other common memory biases. 

  1. Use AI candidate matching

So long as the AI itself is not biased, matching your roles to candidates using AI will help eliminate any prejudice — and uncertainty —  that comes with remote hiring. 

  1. Ask the same questions for everyone

Otherwise, you risk embedding likeability biases and the ‘same-as-me’ bias. ‘Oh, I went to Bristol University too!’ Not good and not fair.

  1. Be aware of your intuition

Your gut is best for choosing new wallpapers and whether to go on a second date. It can also be a potent indicator of danger and opportunity. But when recruiting, it just makes you less objective.

  1. Define and share your inclusion targets

Sure, set some inclusion targets. But disseminate them far and wide in your business if possible — it’ll help you stay accountable and on track.

  1. Use non-video calls early on in the process

What someone looks like can help your unconscious bias to place them in a box. If it makes sense, use simple audio calls until the final interview round.

For more Juggle insight, check out this piece on why you need to refocus on inclusion.

Toby Douglas-Bate
2 min read
Makers is a software development company that focuses on creating a new generation of tech talent.

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