You’re at a networking event. Table plan. Two people to sit next to – quick decision:
- Sam – 25-year-old Car Mechanic
- Dr Kumar – specialist Eye Surgeon
- Mel – experienced Hairdresser
- The MD of a pharmaceutical company
- Jess – a single parent
- AJ – Sales Strategist
- Toni – a self-made millionaire
Did you pick the people matched closest to you and/or your work?
Would your decision change if you saw the people face-to-face first?
As employers, we need to stop ignoring unconscious bias – the silent elephant in the room – particularly with hiring.
Do you lean on gut instinct – subjective judgements, face to face; choosing people who are ‘nice’ or just like you?
Do you lean on robots and psychometrics – you get what will help you, on paper, but do you get people who are genuinely engaged in your business’s purpose and goals?
Do you lean on interactive exercises, coffees, or even interviewing over a pint – you drift to a potential ‘mate’, more of the same, and miss the chance to add a new dynamic to a team?
Here are three approaches: 1. What’s in it for me? 2. What’s comfortable? 3. What can I learn?
Whichever way you lean depends on you, your character, your upbringing… your unconscious biases.
As employers, do we cover all three…, enough of the time?
Do we check our initial perceptions?
Do we acknowledge the subconscious discourse behind the visions and ideas we form?
It’s time to look in the mirror. We should; this is an undercurrent to every business decision we make.