by Ray Bixler
Originally published: March 10, 2017
Diversity in the workplace is a major focal point for employers and a key selling point for many job candidates. Many companies, despite their best intentions to truly commit to diversity, struggle to put this into action. The reality is that to really create a diverse workplace, employers need to go above and beyond the standard resume and interview -- and job applicants need to be ready.
Many studies have found that hiring managers can be swayed by personal preferences leading to a less-than-impartial analysis of an applicant's skills and qualifications. When this occurs during the hiring process, job applicants are missing out on opportunities and employers are missing out on hiring great talent.
There are a number of unconscious biases that permeate a hiring process. We all hold our own subjective world views that are influenced and shaped by our experiences, beliefs and values. An article in Fast Company reported that context during a hiring situation can lead to bias. In one study, applicants were perceived to be more serious when their resumes were attached to heavy clipboards, as opposed to other candidates whose resumes were handed out on flimsy clipboards.