Banish your recruitment bias
05 NOV 2019

Published by Kandice Menzie


Banish your recruitment bias

Imagine waking up one day, stepping outside and realising everyone in the world looked and thought like you.

You went to get your morning coffee and the barista already knew your order, in your morning meeting the client instantly loved your pitch, and at home, there’s no dispute over which Netflix series to watch.

Sounds great; right? It would certainly mean fewer disagreements, but it would also mean less inspiration, less diversity and since creativity is often born from frustration and a desire to be heard, less innovation too. You’d be bored and stagnant within a week.

To create big, disruptive ideas you need a diverse range of minds on your team. For design studios it's essential.

This goes for your business too. A business is only as good as the people it hires. If your team is made up of likeminded people who resemble and think like you, there is more chance everyone would get on, but there is also more chance your ideas will be limited and repetitive. Pretty dangerous territory for a design studio.

"If you hire only those people you understand, the company will never get people better than you are. Always remember that you often find outstanding people among those you don't particularly like." — Soichiro Honda, founder of Honda

What is unconscious bias?

Unconscious bias can govern many important decisions – whether positively or negatively – without us even realising it.

In the hiring process, unconscious bias happens when you form an opinion about candidates based solely on first impressions, or when you prefer one candidate over another (using criteria irrelevant to the job) simply because the first one seems like someone you’d easily hang out with outside of work. Even in the early hiring stages, a candidate’s resume picture, their name, or their hometown could influence your opinion more than you think.

How to make sure your bias doesn’t affect your business

- We make assumptions based on what we – think we– know, built on our background, based on our personal preferences, then act on them without a second thought. So, challenging your bias all starts with having an awkward conversation with yourself. Taking a moment to identify your bias’ in order to notice when they come into play. Do you choose one candidate over another because you have a “good feeling” about that person? Why do you have it?

- It’s best to keep in mind that its ideas and ability not sexuality, gender, abilities or age that matters. The right candidate for your business may not come packaged in the way you’re comfortable with so maintain an open mind.

- In order to diversify the talent you hire, you have to diversify where you find said talent. Casting your net wider by using even-handed and established recruitment specialists like Gabriele, means you can fish from a whole new pool of talent; connecting with candidates who have the right skill set but would never have made it into your pipeline previously.

- Come along to our breakfast event taking place Wednesday 13th November. Whilst there are loads of bias’, we’ll be deep-diving into the issue of gender diversity within the design industry by speaking with Nat Maher- Founder of Kerning the Gap.

Join in the conversation.

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