How Hospitality Companies Can Avoid Hiring Bias

While a company may have great intentions when it comes to hiring diverse candidates, different types of bias can easily cause efforts to fall short of those diversity goals. Unconscious bias can be especially problematic in the recruitment process, for both the candidate and employer. Not only does it hurt the company’s chances of hiring the most qualified candidate, but it also hinders workplace diversity and retention. Since studies have shown that more diverse management teams perform better financially, it would be in a company’s best interest to eliminate anything that could cause poor hiring decisions.

So, what concrete steps can hospitality companies take to reduce the impact that bias plays in the hiring process?

Be Upfront

Nail down salaries, experience requirements, and job descriptions with all decision-makers before you even begin searching for candidates. Gender, race, and age can unfairly play a large role during the negotiation stages of recruitment. Make sure expectations are set equally across the board from the beginning. Being transparent upfront can also go a long way in building employee trust in your workplace.

Consider Your Sources

Do you rely heavily on employee referrals to find candidates? Since people tend to network with those of a similar demographic, this practice may result in a less diverse pipeline of candidates from the start. Supplement referrals by actively seeking out candidates from a variety of sources like social media professional groups, cultural organizations, and educational institutions like HBCUs.

Try “Blind Resumes”

Hiring bias can begin before an interview has even been scheduled. To reduce the chances of a candidate’s perceived race, gender, or nationality clouding a hiring managers’ judgment, present resumes without photos or names. This can ensure that your company is setting up interviews based solely on a candidate’s actual qualifications and making room for diversity early in the process.

Keep your interviews structured

Although unstructured interviews might seem like a great way to encourage candidates to be more relaxed and show their personality, they can open the door to unreliable assumptions from interviewers. Instead, opt for standardized behavioral interview questions that can be used for each candidate. Use rating scales for the most important questions. This will ensure that each candidate is assessed on the same, equally-weighted attributes and not whether they seem “more likable” to an individual hiring manager.

Use Assessments

There are a variety of different assessments available to employers today. Not only can companies get an accurate image of a candidate’s problem-solving and analytical skills, but they can also dig deeper into a person’s behavioral tendencies. If used correctly, behavioral assessments can also help management better understand what will motivate a person once they join the team.

Partner with a Hospitality Recruiter

Making real changes in how you promote diversity in your company’s hiring process is tough to do alone. The hotel and restaurant recruiters at Horizon Hospitality are committed to providing the structure and guidance to ensure your recruiting process creates a diverse and successful workforce. Contact us today to learn more.

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