Unconscious bias, also often described as implicit bias, is often defined as a sort of prejudice or unsupported judgments in favour or against a thing, a person or group — drawing an immediate comparison to another thing, person or group. In other words: it is usually a process based on completely unfair, yet subtle discriminations. Naturally, for the recruiting and acquisition of diverse talent, it’s a problem.
“Recognising and removing unconscious bias needs to be naturally embedded into our thoughts and decision-making processes – where your focus goes, your energy flows.”
Danny Stacy, Senior Recruitment Evangelist at Indeed, thinks it will be impossible to ever fully avoid it in recruitment and TA processes. “Rather we must acknowledge and challenge it, in ourselves and in others”, he says. “The work is never done. Recognising and removing unconscious bias needs to be naturally embedded into our thoughts and decision-making processes – where your focus goes, your energy flows.”
‘An ever-evolving journey’
Whereas many organisations may end up recruiting more diversely — the manner in which they retain those employees is still problematic. “Without a truly inclusive environment where a sense of belonging and equity is fostered, top talent (diverse or not) will become disillusioned, frustrated and seek pastures new”, Stacy says. “Seeing Diversity and Inclusion as a “goal” to be achieved is very different to building it into the foundations of your organisational culture.”
Rather than going for quick-fixes, Stacy views the tackling of unconscious bias as an ‘ever-evolving’ journey. “The important thing to remember is that whether we are early in the journey or are further along, challenging it at every level of our hiring and retention process, there is always more that can be done”, he says. “From the “low hanging” fruit of removing biasing information from CVs through to implementing a thoroughly transparent, fair and modern recruiting process and facilitating company wide town hall meetings allowing marginalised groups to share their stories.”
One small step…
While the journey may outlast many of those currently working within TA and recruiting, the current leaders have a unique opportunity to be the frontrunners for change. “It is a long journey, but small steps build up to big changes”, Stacy says. “I’d argue very few, if any, talent leaders are seeing dream-worthy Diversity and Equity results. And if they are, then perhaps that comes down to their measures of success. True north must be equity for all and no one should be content until we reach that goal.”
“Future leaders must ensure Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Belonging are rooted within all levels of decision making.”
In order to take those steps toward a broader goal, Stacy will do everything within his power as an evangelist to help other become as interested and invested in the topic as he is. “Future leaders must ensure Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Belonging are rooted within all levels of decision making”, he says. “Not only because it is proven to provide commercial results, nor because it leads to better talent applying and staying, but because it is the right thing to do.”
On March 23rd, 24th and 25th, we’re hosting ToTalent Live 2021, the first ever European Recruitment Leadership Event. Danny Stacy will take the virtual floor on the first day of our three-day event. Don’t miss his insights on how you can tackle unconscious bias: sign up now.