Gender bias is still very much present in today’s hiring and recruitment processes, and organizations are missing out on opportunities to hire, develop, and retain top talent due to several faulty gender stereotypes. Studies of the past show that decision-makers tend to favor men over equally or even more qualified women when it comes to hiring, promotions, and compensation.
This unconscious bias obstructs diversity and hinders efforts in creating a solid working culture. However, there are ways that you can follow to help you identify and reduce these biases. So how can you reduce gender prejudice in your hiring practices? The following strategies might come in handy.
Set Clear Criteria for Employee Selection
Evaluate your current employee selection criteria. Does it predict success on the job? Is your company systematically filtering out women? Does your workplace promote work-life balance? Make sure that you establish clear and genderless criteria and qualifications for employee selection and promotion decisions. The more detailed the criteria are, the more you will be able to know whether an employee meets all of the essential criteria – regardless of gender.
Avoid Gender Bias
On average, women require shorter work hours – at least temporarily – after they become mothers. That’s why employers sometimes hesitate to hire, retain or even promote pregnant workers with family responsibilities. Some employers may even look for reasons to discharge pregnant employees to avoid paying the costs of finding a replacement during maternity leave.
But many employers don’t understand that by choosing to hire and empower a mom, you’ll get a loyal asset with a sense of responsibility and dedication to her job that extends beyond her scheduled hours. In fact, working moms manage their responsibilities more effectively and in less time than average full-timers.
Use Gender-Neutral Language
Recruiters and hiring managers, whether they are aware or not, may use gender-biased language in the initial stages of a hiring process. To prevent this, HR should carefully examine the language used, such as she/he.
Job descriptions and titles may drive away qualified applicants if you include interpersonal skills and qualifications that might sound gender-biased. Try to be fair, accurate, and straight to the point when it comes to writing your company’s job descriptions. List what the job really needs and select neutral words that are acceptable to both genders.
Automate Your Recruitment Process
In addition to time-saving and cost reduction, automating your recruitment process can help eliminate any bias when hiring candidates the traditional way. Using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) like ZenATS can add business intelligence, accessibility, and transparency to your HR selection process. An ATS can give you access to detailed reports where information related to successful applicants and job vacancies will all be available with a simple click.
Select a Diverse Interview Panel
Even with an ATS, recruiters and hiring managers still need to be aware of biases that may appear throughout the recruitment process. But to avoid gender bias and discrimination at this early stage, composing diverse interview panels is essential. Creating an interview panel with colleagues of different genders, ethnicities, social backgrounds, and/or ages can help prevent unconscious biases from happening during the interview stage.
Amanee Hasan is a content writer for ZenHR, an award-winning and top-rated HR solution that offers world-class HR software services in the MENA region. She focuses on creating content highlighting the latest HR trends and gives organizations and individuals the tools, knowledge, and research they need to create successful work environments where people thrive.