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Must-Know Tips to Prevent ‘Unintentional’ Discrimination or Bias When Hiring

Must-Know Tips to Prevent ‘Unintentional’ Discrimination or Bias When Hiring
  • Opening Intro -

    Hiring isn't a simple and straightforward task.

    It may look like it's just about finding the right resume or choosing the best hire of the lot but there are a lot more challenges than that.


There are even some risks involved while hiring – one being accidental discrimination.

Even if someone thinks that you discriminated against them due to their race, gender, religion, age, nationality, etc., they may take legal action against you. Regardless of whether it is true or not, if someone does claim discrimination, you can face a costly lawsuit.

In this article, we will look at how to hire employees without accidental discrimination or bias:

3 Ways to Hire Employees Without Accidental Bias or Discrimination

Write Exclusionary Job Descriptions

Keep an eye on the job descriptions. There may be words in the description that may seem discouraging to an entire section of applicants. Don’t use words that seem ageist, gendered or restrictive in any way. Using only male-oriented words could turn off the female applicants and vice versa.

Once you write a ‘neutral’ yet comprehensive job descriptions, make sure you label certain ‘requirements’ properly.

For example, certain skills or degrees just look good in a job description but aren’t necessarily required.

Research has shown that women take such requirements literally as compared to men and forgo applying if they don’t fit the mentioned qualifications.

Don’t Filter for Popular, Reputed Schools or Brands

It is a simple hiring technique that many have followed for decades – filtering candidates based on the universities they graduated from or companies they worked for earlier.

But this is a very biased approach. This technique helps in cutting through resumes but you would be adopting those institutes’ biases as well.

You could be missing out on a talented pool of candidates just because they never had big university or company names on their CVs.

Don’t Choose Someone Just Because You ‘Like’ Them

One accidental discrimination many recruiters are guilty of include ‘mini-me’ hiring or ‘the beer test’. This refers to hiring someone who reminds you of yourself or someone you think you would enjoy a beer with.

Both are a biased way of hiring, and in most cases, recruiters are not even aware they are doing it. You can avoid this by having a diverse panel of recruiters and structured interviews.

You can also adopt the following to avoid discrimination in interviews:

  • Prepare questions well in advance that will give you the answers that you are looking for.
  • Don’t have a rigid question format for the interview. Ask questions that are situational, skill-based and behavioural.
  • Don’t base your results on ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Come up with a marking system that will help you score the responses given by the candidates
  • Your questions should focus on the job’s primary requirements instead of focusing on something that isn’t part of the job.
  • Ask the same questions to all the candidates. This will help you gauge them equally and fairly.
other valuable tips:

Aim to have a diverse talent pool in the company. Bias in hiring can be completely unintentional and accidental. However, its repercussions can be massive.

It won’t just hurt the company’s reputation but quite literally cost you. Make sure you follow certain measures and be aware of how the interview process is going down.

Author Bio: Kelly Barcelos is a progressive digital marketing manager for Jobsoid – Applicant Tracking System. She is responsible for leading the content and social media teams at work. Her expertise and experience in the field of HR enables her to create value-driven content for her readers – both on Jobsoid’s blog and other guest blogs where she publishes content regularly.

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