Facebook’s Unconscious Bias – a lesson for recruitment?

Facebook’s Unconscious Bias – a lesson for recruitment?

Facebook's Unconscious Bias

Facebook has released their Unconscious Bias training programme for the world to see. Facebook is a hugely multi-cultural organisation with clients from every corner of the world, every facet of society and every type of personality. In fact, is there any other organisation with such a global, and personal, reach? Probably not.

When it comes to recruitment Facebook is not as multi-cultured. This is an issue for COO Sheryl Sandberg. How can the company know what their clients want if their employees don’t represent the same cross-section of society?

But Unconscious Bias is more than a diverse workforce. King’s College London defines Unconscious Bias as:

“…the biases we have of which we are not in conscious control. These biases occur automatically, triggered by our brain making quick judgments and assessments of people and situations based on our background, cultural environment and our experiences.”

It permeates all decision making, especially in recruitment. We often talk about the Three Levels of Assessment:

How we assess people

Level 1 is all about first impressions. Princeton University in the USA says that it takes just 100 milliseconds to make judgments about someone’s:

  • attractiveness.
  • likeability.
  • trustworthiness.
  • competence.
  • aggressiveness.

We all have Unconscious Bias. The trick is not to let it rule your decision making. In recruitment, an objective, science-based assessment, like the McQuaig Psychometric System, helps line managers make smarter decisions. It removes some of the Unconscious Bias we all have in us, but may not realise.

Recruiting takes time. Lots of time. So if you get it right first time, you can do something more productive. Like checking your Facebook feed. Or maybe some proper work.

Iain Chalmers, the McQuaig Psychometric SystemAbout the Author: Iain Chalmers is the Managing Director of Holst (distributor of the McQuaig Psychometric System). To contact Iain email him at iainchalmers@holstgroup.co.uk.

To find out more about the McQuaig Psychometric System visit www.mcquaig.co.uk or call 0203 111 9292.

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