8 Unfair Hiring Biases and How You Can Avoid Them
Never judge a book by its cover. Unless, of course, you’re hiring, in which case it’s all fair game! Here are some examples of Unfair Hiring Biases and how you can avoid falling into the same traps that many others have before you.
1) Being Overqualified
Being overqualified is a common, but unfair hiring bias. What does it mean to be overqualified? It can mean a candidate has more qualifications than what the job requires, such as more education or experience. For example, if an employer is looking for an administrative assistant who is required to work 40 hours per week with one year of experience in secretarial work and the job candidate has two years of experience with three years of schooling in business administration, this may seem like someone who is overqualified. The potential employer may pass on this person assuming that they would not want to work 40 hours a week doing this less exciting position or they could be potentially looking for something else entirely.
2) Being Older Than Most Employees
Being older than most employees is typically considered a disadvantage by employers. In this unfair hiring bias, it is often seen as a worker’s responsibility to make sure they are always up-to-date with the newest skills in order to compete. However, as people age and their skills develop, many learn that the newest technology might not be for them. Today, there are many resources available for those looking to find jobs that fit more appropriate needs rather than just following the trend of technology. These sites will help you find an employer willing to consider your experience over what the last gadget was that you could work with
3) Having Too Much Experience
As a company, it may be your plan to look for the best talent available. However, there is such a thing as too much experience. If you’re looking to fill a very specific niche in your industry, hiring too much experience may lead to nothing but trouble.
Instead of looking for the perfect candidate right off the bat, try starting out by figuring out what you don’t want. Write down three qualities or qualifications that are most important to your position. For example Team player, up-to-date with recent developments in my field, and have excellent communication skills – that kind of stuff.
4) Being An Introvert
Many managers erroneously think that extroverts are naturally good at leading teams because of their public speaking skills. But, introverted leaders can be every bit as effective in both business settings and for team building. As an introvert, you have many strengths that you can lean into. For example, your ability to listen, read facial expressions, manage discussions with others, and focus on outcomes rather than the process of achieving them—all these are valuable skills that translate well into leadership skills.
5) Having a Family
If you have a family or are planning on having a family, it’s important to note that being a parent can impact your employability. If you’re thinking about having kids in the future, try to think about what you’ll do about work as soon as you learn that your wife is pregnant, if only to be able to present yourself as the perfect candidate for job interviews. It might seem impossible right now, but there are some companies out there that make an effort to be accommodating of parents. They offer maternity leave, childcare services, and other perks like flexible hours and unlimited vacation time. Be sure to find out which companies these are so that when you apply for jobs you know where they offer an environment more suited to your situation.
6) Being a Non-Smoker
Even though it is 2019, some hiring managers may still rule you out of a position if you are a non-smoker. Hiring managers have been known to apply prejudicial labels to those who don’t smoke as they can’t trust them because they are addicted to nicotine or something else. The best thing you can do is politely ask the interviewer if this would be an issue for them, or if they know someone who is a smoker but doesn’t drink. If so, bring up how their smoker-without-drinker friend has done well at their company. This way it could work both ways and show the hiring manager that you respect what their concerns are about smoking in the workplace, but also about potential addiction issues.
7) Being Young
When you are young, you have the world at your fingertips. The difference with these biases is they apply to those who are already making their mark in the working world. These biases often make it harder for those who are just starting out to get noticed and climb the corporate ladder. Younger workers also tend to be more creative and risk-taking than older workers, which is a good thing if not discouraged or punished for it. One of the most important things you can do to avoid unfair hiring bias is to talk about why you’re looking for an opportunity with your potential employer before accepting one without knowing more about what opportunities would be available to you.
8) Applying for Jobs That Are a Bad Fit For Your Skills or Interests
Applying for jobs that are a bad fit for your skills or interests is common, but often leads to the wrong job. If you have the courage to face rejection on a regular basis, you can find a position that is right for you. No matter what type of field you’re in, it’s important to be realistic about the job responsibilities and salary requirements. This will help ensure that you don’t waste time applying for jobs with little or no prospects.