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Implicit Bias


Everyone possesses bias, whether conscious or not. We must recognize our biases and then educate ourselves to keep them from defining our behaviors. It is important for employers and those engaged in the hiring process to review their personal biases prior to beginning an employee search so that they do not let them influence decisions. In addition to the hiring stakeholders studying implicit bias and privately reviewing their results, there are other ways to avoid being influenced by these subconscious behaviors. For example, when comparing multiple resumes, employers may want to remove names or other identifiers from the documents, so the candidates are being judged solely upon experience, thus taking gender out of the equation, at least in the initial phase of vetting.

Below is the link to an implicit bias test. It is commonly used by search committees both in the business world and the nonprofit sector. Each member of a search committee should take this brief test privately after learning about implicit bias together as a group. The results should not be shared or revealed together. After the group completes their tests, they should discuss their results in general and follow through with learning methods to reduce the influence of bias.