What is unconscious bias?

By definition:  

How a person thinks can depend on their life experiences and sometimes they have beliefs and views about other people that might not be right or reasonable. 

This is known as ‘unconscious bias’ and includes when a person thinks:  

  • better of someone because they believe they’re alike 
  • less of someone because that person is different to them, for example, they might be of a different race, religion or age 

This means they could make a decision influenced by false beliefs or assumptions. Sometimes it’s also called ‘stereotyping’. 

 – Source: UCAS  

The most important thing to remember is that it’s unconscious, and you therefore need to acknowledge that it may be there, in order to overcome it. A lot of people recruit people who are like them. That’s because they think they’ll be easier to work with, ideal for socialising occasions, or they may even assume they’ll work harder, when other candidates may be better qualified for the role. This is unconscious bias.  

It’s important to make ourselves aware of any unconscious bias we may have in decision making, especially in recruitment. Soon, we’ll be able to release our strategy for ensuring there is no unconscious bias in our recruitment process. Watch this space! 

You can discover what your unconscious bias is here, in the Harvard University test: Take a Test (harvard.edu) 

If you’d like to speak to us about recruitment, get in touch