Unconscious Bias in Recruitment

Unconscious Bias in Recruitment

In the hiring process, unconscious bias occurs when a prospective employer forms an opinion about candidates based on their first impressions.  At the initial assessment stage this might include a candidate’s name, age or place of birth which could influence the line manager’s opinion positively or negatively despite not having any relevance to the job requirements. According to Bright Talk, 79% of HR professionals agree that unconscious bias exists in both recruitment and succession planning decisions, whilst Agency Central conducted an industry poll that concluded 96% of recruiters think unconscious bias is a problem.

What is less known however is the impact of photos and videos in the recruitment process. Whilst employers may form an opinion of a person from an image or video, the question is, does this negatively or positively affect their decision process? The general practice in the UK is to not add a photo to your CV, whereas interestingly this is not the case across the majority of the world where it is very common to add your photo.    

Scientific evidence suggests that as humans are visual creatures, with half of the brain being directly or indirectly devoted to processing visual information, representing yourself via an image or video may be beneficial; this explains why people often learn better with pictures or videos rather than words alone.  Therefore, when it comes to assessing a CV, an employer is likely to pay more attention to one with a photo than without. Ultimately job seekers are trying to get the attention of employers and with an average of 6 to 10 seconds being spent initially reviewing a CV, a photo or video could increase this time giving the job seeker an advantage.       

It therefore follows that if you can get your video profile in front of employers you will stand a much higher chance of engaging with them and also significantly reducing the likelihood of unconscious bias impacting a decision, as the reviewer can immediately see beyond those first two dimensional impressions, replacing them with more informed and a richer fully dimensional perception of the individual.

To find out how Jobs 2U Direct can get you in front of employers visit www.jobs2udirect.com   or download the app, search for Jobs 2U Direct.   If you are an employer, and would like to find out how we can support you source talent directly visit www.directhiringsolutions.com. Alternatively, I would welcome your thoughts on this post and can be contacted at david@directhiringsolutions.com.