Diversity & Inclusion, Recruiting

Navigating D&I Blind Spots During the Hiring Process

Blind spots are just that—unintentionally biased perspectives that we all have, but are unaware of, that can cause us to make decisions based on misconceptions.

Source: Artur Szczybylo / Shutterstock

These feelings can cause organizations to miss out on top talent and can result in certain employees being overlooked for key positions. There are opportunities to minimize the potential for bias, though, says Elizabeth Mye, Global Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Intermedia.net, a Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) and business cloud e-mail provider.

Build Diversity into Your Recruitment Panel

One key way organizations can help minimize blind spots in the hiring process is by selecting a diverse interview panel, says Mye. Instead of just people from the candidate’s potential immediate work group, extend the interview panel to employees from other parts of the company and geographic locations, she suggests.

Build in diversity to reflect the diversity of your employees to help candidates get a sense of those they will be working with. This, says Mye, “will ensure a well-rounded assessment and cultural fit while providing the candidate better insight into the company and culture.”

Teach Hiring Managers to Understand Their Blind Spots and Bias

Pressure to find resources quickly to cover urgent business needs can detract from many hiring managers’ ability to have clarity in finding the right new team member, says Mye. “Many hiring managers are in such a hurry that they don’t stop to reflect past what the current skill requirements are for the job.”

Working with them to establish criteria directly related to the duties of the job can keep them focused on what matters and prevent extraneous considerations when making hiring choices.

Feed the Pipeline

Diverse candidates often don’t make their way into top positions because there weren’t enough of them in the pipeline to begin with. “At Intermedia, we have developed a Cloud Academy program that provides students in their second year of college with business training and skills,” says Mye. “Not only are we contributing to the development and growth of these young individuals, but it also helps us identify the best talent early on.”

Companies can benefit enormously by building a diverse workforce. But to do so, they must be aware of the blind spots and biases that can hinder these efforts and take steps to minimize or eliminate them.