All Bias is Explicit

Making its rounds in the world of talent acquisition is the term "unconscious bias." Our friends at Human Resource Executive recently covered the topic (and gave me an opportunity to weigh in - thank you!) It's an interesting discussion and one that's as old as time. For each of us think we're normal and we bring our version of "standards" into the workplace...and measure others against these expectations.

Significant - almost dizzying - advances are being made in talent acquisition technology. Removing a candidate's name from a resume so one cannot guess ethnicity or rewriting job descriptions sans bro-language are rudimentary attempts. Over the horizon, we await increasing perfection thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning. All of it aside, I guarantee bias enters into the equation when a candidate's job experience consists of selling bridal gowns, funding raising for one's sorority or driving a tractor trailer. You simply cannot control everything.

What do you think? Does human judgment add value in recruiting? Should we sit back and rely on AI to separate the wheat from the chaff before it even reaches our desks? Will someone tell hiring managers that the best candidates might be left on the cutting room floor when resumes are overly sanitized thanks to bias scrubbing? Or, are we ultimately making something much worse by using technology designed to "normalize" versus celebrate our uniqueness?

In Yoda speak: "Your workplace value diversity in." It starts at the top and no technology can fix that.

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