The webinar is available on-demand below

How to Remove Bias From Your Hiring Process


At most organizations, hiring quality candidates isn’t just limited to the recruiting team. Qualifying all parties involved in the hiring process is critical, as studies have shown that interviewer conduct is amongst the top-mentioned factors in candidate feedback surveys.

HR professionals are tasked with ensuring that interviewers are qualified in order to provide a professional hiring experience to avoid common biases that appear in the hiring process. This presentation will:

  • Share proprietary wage gap data and personal experiences with pay inequality from Hired's "2018 State of Wage Inequality in the Workplace" report.
  • Discuss tactics to streamline recruiting practices, avoid unconscious bias and eliminate the wage gap. 
  • Prepare your team with the knowledge and resources necessary to identify and hire top talent while remaining compliant. 

Q&A From The Live Webinar

Any recommendations on ATS systems to use? An ATS system is extremely important in having a system of record to collect feedback from interviews and serve as one “source of truth”. Namely has a seamless integration with a variety of ATS systems. Check out our partner page to find an ATS system that’s right for you.

What about those who don’t have an ATS system in place? Although having an ATS is our preferred method for one “source of truth”, there are certainly ways to get around this. Try developing an internal scorecard where all candidates are assessed on the same criteria. This way, all employees are gauged on the same criteria rather than gender, school, age, etc.

In terms of education bias - I know a lot of campus recruitment programs at large institutions (many financial) who allot a certain number of internship slots to their target Ivy League schools and leave a small amount of slots for “other universities”. Would this be an example of education bias? Naturally, this seems like a strategic hiring move, but this is a great example of educational bias. With all hiring decisions, we want to be sure to ask ourselves whether or not all candidates are receiving an equal opportunity in the hiring process, regardless of their personal resources. If we do not begin changing our mindset and addressing the issue of unconscious bias (school bias, in this case), we will continue to perpetuate these biases if we run across candidates that fit into these boxes.

How can you determine if a behavior-based, open-ended question will result in revealing protected class? While it’s certainly difficult to predict every potential answer that can arise from a question, we want to do our best in ensuring that we’re avoiding revealing protected class as much as possible. It certainly is still possible for a candidate to disclose unnecessary information. In the case that a protected class is revealed, ignore the information received and do not use this in hiring decisions.

When someone discloses personal information (without being prompted), recruiters use it to have a warmer relationship with the candidate. Is that a bad thing? This is certainly not a bad thing, at all! While we want to refrain from using unnecessary information in making a hiring decision, at Namely, we live by the standard “Be human and ignore it”. Therefore, if a candidate mentions that they are getting married next week, for example, do not completely ignore them. Respond normally and then move on from the subject. We want to refrain from becoming robotic during the interview process - candidates should still feel comfortable and welcomed!

Can you provide a link to the Harvard study on “whitening” names on resumes?

Is there a tool you would recommend to run job descriptions through to flag words and terms that may play into gender bias? Our HR team here at Namely uses Textio to audit job descriptions to uncover words that may play into bias.

Do you use any longer-term training or education campaigns for your hiring managers or do you do multiple in-person trainings? Our current interviewer training structure consists of a mix of e-Learning and in-person training opportunities. This gives a variety of options for those who may not have the time to spend an hour, or however long, in a conference room. At Namely, we use Litmos for our eLearning courses (additional LMS vendors can be found on our partner page). Google re:Work is also a Namely favorite for unconscious bias and general managerial training.

I am not in HR/Recruitment, but I’m aware that there is a gender wage gap in my company. How can we address this to our exec team? Sharing relevant data is always a great way to address an issue within a company. Download Hired’s The State of Wage Inequality in the Workplace report as a start. This report highlights relevant statistics surrounding the importance of the wage gap issue. Once you’ve shared the data, align this issue with your company values. Once you’re able to show execs how this issue impacts the business and the foundational values of the business, it not only becomes just the “right thing to do” but also makes logical business sense. Executives care about growing from a business and employee headcount standpoint. If the majority of candidates claim that they would lose interest in a company for gender wage gap, you will not be able to hire or retain employees, which is a big deal.

Does your HR team send a post on-site interview survey to candidates? Yes! We send a post interview survey to all candidates that have made it past the onsite interview stage. Greenhouse has a feature that allows teams to auto-send the surveys. Our Recruiting Coordinators collect and analyze the data from those surveys on how to improve candidate experience.