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My wife and I visited the Grand Canyon for our anniversary at the beginning of the month. We love to camp and during our trip, we had no bias for the North or South rims of the canyon so we visited both. During our first night at the North Rim—it snowed! No joke! Actually, it was pretty cool. The following morning my wife said – “you want to build a snowman?” Heck yeah. So we did. The above picture at first glance looks like our snowman was four feet tall. In reality, it was less than 18″ tall. After your first glance, the bias in your brain told you the snowman was big. This stands to reason since snowmen usually are 4-5′ tall. Then you saw the picture in the top right-hand corner and realized your brain was fooled into thinking the snowman was big.

Humans are overconfident

Most humans are overconfident in their ability to recruit, screen, interview, and hire another human without allowing bias to creep in. Bias is influenced by first impressions during a resume screen or first meeting. Some might call this gut or intuition. As humans, we genuinely believe we can focus on what’s most important while tuning out a candidate’s gender, race, ethnicity, or even their alma mater. The fact is we make an assessment without even realizing it and the more we think about it the more we are impacted by it. A recently published article on HBR shared that the more we try to ignore a candidate’s physical characteristics the more we end up over-compensating and have greater distraction because of them.

Tuning out bias

Most AI, along with some humans, have the ability to tune out this noise. However, is AI perfect and the ultimate answer? Not quite. Even though AI and a few humans can ignore these characteristics the majority of the time bias finds its way into the recruiting and hiring process. It’s a sneaky and annoying fact of life that we all struggle with. Are you willing to risk it?

In my last article, Diversity in Ecosystems, I wrote about how we humans use technology to do remind us to stand up in order to get the blood flowing or when to go for a walk and even to pick up the kids from the community swimming pool. If we need technology to do these basic things then a hybrid approach to recruiting and hiring seems to be in order. The hybrid is adding helpful technology that will keep us focused on what matters most. When humans partner with technology we are able to make a more informed and consciously inclusive decision.

Bias removal in resume screening

There are a few technology providers that provide a resume screening process where personal information is redacted about the candidate; name, social media links, schools attended, previous employers, as well as a headshot. With this information removed from the screening process the candidate’s skills and experience stand out rather than the reviewer focusing on gender, race, or ethnicity and making a biased decision.

Don’t be duped

Humans often take things at face value, perhaps the way you did when you saw my snowman. If AI is trained with biased information you stand the risk of being duped by not only your own bias but also those perpetuated within AI. TalVista can help you avoid making hiring decisions that can come back to haunt you. When conscious inclusion decisions are made, avoiding bias, your company will benefit from stronger employee engagement,  improved company perception, reduced legal risk, and better financial returns.

Want to learn more about TalVista’s solution for redacting resumes and reducing bias in the screening process for better conscious inclusion decision making? Email us at [email protected]