Why Tech Recruiting is Biased and How You Can Circumvent The Obstacles

Tips and tricks to overcome interview bias

August 30, 2022
Table of Contents

The tech recruitment process is all about finding the best person. However, several unconscious biases strike through the interview process. In fact, over 65% of recruiters agree that hiring can be biased. Hiring bias can happen in several ways, through academic backgrounds or cultural and sexual orientations of individuals. This article is based on an interview with Alan Stein, a former executive who worked at several leading tech companies on diversity initiatives and the founder of Kadima Careers, and will explain why recruiting is biased and how we can circumvent the obstacles. 

A 2021 company diversity report shows that as per Global trends only 49.6% of women are employed in the workforce, and in the United States, 13.4% of people of color are employed. This data reflects a high inequality of diversity of the employees.  With a spread of statistics for recruitment trends all over the globe, the recruiters face a few obstacles, which often lead to recruitment biasness. 

Obstacle 1- Recruiters are incentivized by speed and volume

Recruiters have to hire fast and often work on speed and volume. There are three primary ways that candidates are considered in the recruiting funnel. 

  • After a job post, candidates apply through their resumes. These jobs are open to many, so there is an overload of resumes on the recruiter. 
  • The second is sourcers on a talent hunt and reaching out to people through billion searches on LinkedIn. These searches are often impacted by profiles with good academic backgrounds and working in established companies. This creates a bias in opportunity consideration.
  • Third, referrals are incentivized if they refer people, making them a good candidate for extra incentives.

How do you get past this?

The way to practically overcome this obstacle is to reach out and build your network proactively. Your networks are usually reflective of your demographics and backgrounds (an Indian woman working in tech in San Francisco knows more Indian women working in San Francisco); hence, reaching out to diverse people and creating a more robust network is crucial.

Obstacle 2- Interviewers overly index to white and male

Data shows that for most job interviews, the recruiters are predominantly males or white. This could often lead to explicit biases or discomfort when you know you are being interviewed by someone who does not look like you. 

How do you overcome it? 

If you as a candidate do not feel similar to your recruiter in terms of color and gender, you can proactively try to influence the conversation to build a rapport.

Co-founder of Kadima Careers, Alan Stein, helps us understand that if someone looks different, that does not necessarily mean they are racist or sexist. He says that a lot of research and information shows that there are biases that people have; after all, everyone is a human.

He says, “People say yes to people they like, and research shows we like people we are similar to.”

Alan Stein suggests going through books like How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie to help you understand how to build rapport with people. Books like Influence and Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade by Robert Cialdini show that biases exist and discuss why they exist. There are several ways to prepare for case-based interviews with people you have never met. Another recommendation by Alan is Case In Point by Marc P. Cosentino.

Obstacle 3- Underrepresented professionals don’t always know what they are worth

There still exists a considerable wage gap between men and women. Based on color, black people are paid much less than white employees. If there are biases in your compensation, if you are a woman or a person of color, you will most likely think that you deserve less and eventually ask for less and receive less. 

How do you overcome it? 

Receiving an offer is one of the highest points of reflection where you can push your fears and advocate for yourself. There are ways to overcome this bias on anchoring and what you’re worth. Alan Stein shares his organization Kadima’s growth framework to get more leverage than companies.

To sum up the same, he has laid his growth framework as follows -

  • G for Goals - Clearly identify your goals and a target list of 40 companies.
  • R for Reality - Realistically assess and market your strengths
  • O for Outreach - Build relationships authentically and efficiently
  • W for Work the system - Apply at the right places, at the right time, for the right roles
  • T for Training and Tenacity - Prepare to ace every stage and phase of interviews
  • H for High Impact Negotiation - Get paid what you deserve

To help you crack the deal better, Carrus along with Kadima Careers bring to you a special course, The Kadima Acquisition Method (KJAM). It is a proven system to get you more interviews and offers. The course gives you private LinkedIn group access. It brings you real recorded interview conversations from Salesforce, DocuSign, Adobe, and Stripe. It also provides you 50% off negotiation services for three months. To know more about the course, click here.

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