We may not realize it, but we all bring unconscious bias with us into the workplace. The way we see the world shapes our perceptions of other people and influences how – and who – we hire.

In York Solutions’ recent webinar, Overlooked Talent: How Innovative Companies are Finding a Competitive Advantage, hosts Mary Cate Dukes, Sr. Director of Consulting Services, and Silvia Hinton, VP of the Barriers to Entry Program, called attention to some of these deeply engrained, unintentional stereotypes.

They posed the question: How can we become more mindful of unconscious bias and how it affects our talent pool? Four types of bias can cause us to overlook people during the hiring process:

  • Affinity bias: leads us to favor people who are like us (“We have similar backgrounds, and our interactions feel comfortable”)
  • Confirmation bias: the tendency to search for, focus on, and remember information in a way that confirms our preconceptions (“They showed up early, so they must be good at managing deadlines”)
  • Halo effect: allows one positive quality about a person to influence our overall opinions about them (“They are a good public speaker, so they must be a great manager”)
  • Cloven hoof effect: generalizes one negative aspect to all areas of a person’s performance (“They dress too casually; therefore, they don’t take work seriously”)

Unconscious bias, paired with other hiring practices that unnecessarily limit a talent pool, can cause us to miss out on valuable and diverse potential employees. With available jobs now outnumbering unemployed workers in the U.S., companies must compete for talent. And common screening processes may:

  • Eliminate candidates who don’t “check every box” on a list of qualifications
  • Ignore crucial soft skills, such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management
  • Disadvantage certain groups of people, including women, people of color, and veterans, who are reentering the workforce or changing careers after gaps in their resume

York Solutions’ Barriers to Entry (B2E) program is helping companies combat unconscious bias, humanize their hiring, and find a better way to develop strong teams. The program is an ideal solution for any organization committed to expanding diversity initiatives and any individual interested in starting a career in IT. The B2E program introduces a talented and multifaceted pool of professionals into the workforce, offering:

  • Comprehensive paid training (classroom and on-the-job) for participants
  • Robust screening and hiring processes
  • Coaching and mentorship services
  • Quarterly performance reviews
  • Strategic hiring initiative case studies

Learn more about how the Barriers to Entry (B2E) program can benefit you organization.