Reducing bias in hiring

As a hiring manager on a large design team, it was my responsibility to screen candidates, pull together interview teams, and facilitate decision-making about who to bring on. Having participated in the process before, I knew that teams would provide a wide range of feedback and that some of it could be rooted in personal bias.

On top of that, my organization had never taken the time to design a hiring process from the candidate perspective, and I felt it would be worth digging in to see where we could improve.

How I helped

I took the initiative to lead a group of design managers through a workshop that helped us identify needs.

Design managers collaborated on journey mapping the ideal hiring experience.

Design managers collaborated on journey mapping the ideal hiring experience.

I designed the workshop to identify three main things:

  • The skills and criteria we were looking for in each design candidate

  • A candidate’s ideal journey while interviewing with us

  • The biggest improvement we could make right away to our hiring process

Hiring managers collaborated on a shared vision for the ideal candidate experience. We created a journey map of the process, and began showing it to rest of the team.

The evaluation I created provided resources to interviewing teams.

The evaluation I created provided resources to interviewing teams.

Additionally, we identified our biggest need: a way to evaluate candidates consistently and help interviewing teams have meaningful conversations. As managers, we wanted to foster a diverse, inclusive environment, so my primary goal was to reduce bias by designing it out of our process as much as possible.

I created an evaluation worksheet for interviewing teams, which included guidance from HR on how to reduce bias during hiring, while helping our design team have a shared understanding of the attributes we were looking for. It also included sample questions and guidelines for any team members who may have been new to interviewing candidates.

The results

The teams who implemented the new system reported being able to have more meaningful, objective conversations about the candidates we interviewed. Hiring managers were able to spend less time prepping interview teams, and more time analyzing feedback.