How do implicit biases affect your hiring strategies?

Written by: Cindy Lasala

Have you heard of implicit bias? How does it affect your hiring strategies? According to this Youtube video (2017), Dushaw Hockett described implicit biases as “having a preference for or prejudice against a person or group of people”. Biases can influence how we think about a group or individual through our automatic mental association. For example, some of our colleagues have an affiliation bias towards candidates who went to the same university they attended. They are more likely to take notice of those candidates because they may perceive them as being more intelligent. Having this type of bias can discriminate or exclude other qualified candidates, which can potentially harm the reputation of a company.  As a staffing consultant, one way that we can identify if our employees have implicit biases is to have them take implicit bias assessment like Implicit Association Test (IAT) ( Livermore and Van Dyne, 2015). We can review the result and try to create a development plan for our employees so that we can minimize the implicit bias in our department. Another easy way of preventing ourselves from implicit biases is just being conscious about this behavior and make changes within our own hiring strategies. Every candidate who applies to a job opening deserves an equal attention from hiring managers. Thus, it is important to bring up the topic of implicit biases in the workplace to make sure hiring managers and employers are not limiting the list of their candidate pool.


TedX Talks. (2017, September 18). We all have implicit biases. So what can we do about it? [Video file]. Retrieved from

Livermore, D., & Van Dyne, L. (2015). Cultural intelligence: The essential intelligence for the 21st century. SHRM Foundation’s Effective Practice Guideline Series. Retrieved from

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