Unconscious Bias in Recruitment and Selection

Address and avoid unconscious bias in your company’s recruitment and selection processes

All managers must be able to recruit and select talent in a way that overcomes the unconscious biases we are all influenced by. In doing so, they will recruit and promote from a more diverse pool of talent and this will have a positive impact on the overall quality and diversity of an organisation. 

EW Group’s bespoke inclusive recruitment training specifically tackles unconscious bias in recruitment. It draws on over 28 years of experience in developing fair best practice in attraction, recruitment, and retention processes.

From design to delivery, we ensure our training aligns with your business case and organisational culture. Our face-to-face training offers an immersive experience featuring an innovative live interview scenario with a real candidate. Interactive, pragmatic and engaging, delegates leave our workshops able to find practical applications for their knowledge of unconscious bias, diversity, and inclusion in everyday workplace situations.

Tailor an unconscious bias course unique to your requirements.

Unconscious bias in recruitment and selection training – what to expect

Our one-day unconscious bias in recruitment and selection training course has four key elements:

1. Legal context, company procedure, and effective recruitment preparation
2. Sifting and shortlisting candidates fairly and without bias
3. The live interview: unconscious bias in interviewing and decision making
4. Post-interview considerations.

Recruiting managers can expect:

  • Fast-paced, engaging, and upbeat delivery
  • Practical tools to take away and apply proactively to their day-to-day work
  • Exercises and facilitation that reinforce the business benefits of responding correctly to unfair and unwanted bias.

Managers will leave with:

  • A comprehensive understanding of the types of unconscious bias, and their impact on the recruitment process
  • Awareness of the power of assumption, association, and preference
  • Appreciation of what drives ideas of cultural ‘fit’ in an organisation
  • The practical tools they need to design person specifications and selection criteria that are fair, clear and avoid adverse impact
  • Greater confidence in managing their own bias in interviews or decision-making
  • The ability to identify unconscious bias in others and challenge it
  • An understanding of the legal essentials on recruitment and selection, plus recent findings from research into bias and its effects.

How our live interviews address unconscious bias in recruitment and selection

Our unconscious bias in recruitment and selection workshops feature an innovative live interview scenario. These exercises are specially designed to illustrate how unconscious bias operates, and the impact it can have on recruitment and selection.

EW Group’s dynamic approach will develop your managers’ awareness of unconscious bias at every stage in the recruitment process. Practical and engaging, it will enable them to apply best practice immediately to their everyday activities at work, even when they are under pressure to quickly fill a given role – a common time for bias to influence decision making.

Inclusive Recruitment Interview Panel diagram
"EW Group are flexible and accommodating to the needs of clients. Their staff and trainers are approachable and professional, and we consistently receive positive feedback from delegates on their subject matter expertise and innovative approach." Claire Thompson, Corporate Policy and Community Manager at London Borough of Havering

The live interview: our practical unconscious bias exercise for recruiting managers

Our innovative live interview exercise is peer learning at its most powerful. Your managers will become the panel of a simulated interview and closely observe one another. Our expert facilitator will then highlight the subtle ways in which unconscious bias can affect the recruitment process.

With a job candidate in the room (sourced internally or externally), our facilitator will create a safe and constructive environment in which to consider and critique your managers’ behavioural tendencies. It is an enlightening approach, and one which we find:

  • Reduces nervousness around unconscious bias in recruitment and selection
  • Takes away any fear of the unknown around the subject
  • Empowers recruiting managers to address the issue head-on.
Companies with at least 30% of women in leadership or executive positions adds 6% to net profit margin
Diverse businesses are 35% more likely to financially outperform their industry’s national average

Inclusive recruitment open course

Our highly practical Inclusive Recruitment one-day workshop fosters the skills and confidence needed to address unconscious bias in recruitment and selection. It’s also one of our most popular unconscious bias training courses. This is because:

  • It deals with unconscious bias in a specific decision-making moment for recruiting managers: the interviewing process.
  • The themes explored are universally relevant to overcoming unconscious bias in the workplace (when selecting project teams, having difficult conversations, giving feedback, etc.).

Learn more about our innovative approaches to unconscious bias in recruitment training.

Unconscious bias in recruitment and selection resources

How does unconscious bias in recruitment and selection operate?

We are all affected by some form of unconscious bias. For interviewers, when under pressure, it is easy for them to take shortcuts, reverting to established associations and finding natural affinities with candidates who are most like them. This affinity bias can lead to the recruitment of staff who mirror the recruiter, and interviewers can also tend to become less flexible and culturally adaptable in their approach, making them less likely to bring the best out of their candidates.

View our guide on how to be an inclusive recruiter.

Illustration of a spotlight - EW Group

Why should we address recruitment bias?

We believe that workforce diversity has a measurable effect on business performance. 85% of the world’s CEOs agree with us, according to a PwC survey from 2015. Diverse teams are more innovative and perform better in problem-solving. They can also outperform homogeneous teams by 58% in team assessments.

Developing genuine awareness of how unconscious bias operates – and practical tools to minimise it – is key to your organisation harnessing the diversity at its disposal.

Our unconscious bias training will enable your managers to significantly enhance your talent pipeline, from better staff recruitment to fairer opportunities for career progression. Our focus will be to ensure any barriers to the progress of diverse candidates are removed. The course will also support your managers to have open, honest and constructive conversations with their direct reports, and to sensitively unpick their everyday interactions at work.

Seven steps to inclusive recruitment and workplace diversity

Diverse workforces deliver proven benefits to business performance, but how can you ensure that your recruitment processes allow for diverse talent to enter your workforce? In this straightforward guide, we detail seven crucial strategies you can implement today to improve the inclusivity of your recruitment efforts.

Learn more in our step-by-step guide.

reWorked podcast

EW Group’s podcast features expert interviews with leaders in the equality, diversity, and inclusion field. Our guests discuss countless topics affecting diverse businesses – unconscious bias in recruitment and selection included – offering illuminating insights into how to build diverse, healthy workplace cultures and processes.

Listen to reWorked podcast

Book unconscious bias in recruitment training for your organisation today.

Teams with more than one member who represent your target customers are up to 158% more likely to understand their needs
Diverse organisations are 45% more likely to improve their market share