Implicit Bias Affect on Selection & Recruitment

Results of the IAT

During the Implicit Association Test I completed, my results indicated a strong automatic preference for thin people over fat people. The test came to this conclusion because I was faster to click when the image of a thin person and a “good” word were together, rather than when an image of a fat person and a “good” word paired together. I do not think the results of the test were accurate because I appreciate all body shapes and sizes, and I’m a huge advocate for body positivity. 

Implicit Bias Impact on Selection Process

Implicit bias can have a major impact on the selection process when it comes to reliability and validity. Interviewers who have an implicit bias to hire people who look like the majority of others will generate a pool of non-diverse candidates. Reliability is the consistency and dependability of a performance measure (Swift, 2021). Reliability will be obstructed as the interviewer is likely to dismiss minority applicants earlier on in the interview process, even though their qualifications are just as good as the other “majority” candidates. The interviewers are simply making generalizations about the candidate based on their appearance, religion, gender, or other characteristics (Payne et al., 2018). This makes the selection process unreliable. Additionally, implicit bias will invalidate the selection process. The selection method will not accurately measure job performance because it’s obstructed by the implicit bias of the interviewer(s).

Recommendation

To prevent implicit bias from impeding the selection process, I would recommend that companies educate their hiring departments about implicit bias and structure their interview process. This way interviewers will be able to recognize their own implicit bias and understand how it affects the recruiting and selection process. Additionally, a structured interview gives less room for discretion and more discipline when asking questions. Furthermore, it’s crucial that HR departments appreciate diversity since diversity has major impacts on employee morale, productivity, turnover, and retention.

References

Payne, K., Niemi, L., Doris, J. M. (2018). How to Think about Implicit Bias. Scientific American. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-to-think-about-implicit-bias/

Swift, Michele. (2021). Recruitment & Selection. Lectures 1-5.

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