Male construction worker looking at an iPad
Male construction worker looking at an iPad

Uncovering Unconscious Bias in Workplace Hiring Practices: Key Statistics and Proven Solutions

Construction Inclusion Week: Working Towards Eliminating Unconscious Bias in Workplace Hiring Practices through Key Corrective Measures

While the concept of unconscious bias in the workplace is far from new, the results of current studies have really brought light to the severity of the issue. Here are some powerful statistics which corroborate this:

Common Biases in the Hiring Process

  • Gender Bias:

    • Applicants with male names have a 40% higher chance to be called in for an interview than their female counterparts

  • Racial Bias:

    • According to an article by Forbes, applicant names that appeared to be Caucasian or “European-sounding” generally have a:

    • 75% higher likelihood to secure an interview than those with “Asian” sounding names

    • 50% higher chance to get called in for an interview than individuals with “African American-sounding” names

    • 25% higher likelihood to get an interview request than their counterparts with “Latino-sounding” names

  • Age Bias:

    • The results of a study by DICE showed that up to 68% of baby boomers were not comfortable applying for tech jobs, based on the presumption that their skills and knowledge are not as advanced, relative to their younger counterparts.

  • Religious Bias:

    • According to a study done by the University of Missouri-St. Louis, applicants that were identified as being Muslim or from an Arab background were less likely to get contacted for an interview.

How Organizations Can Identify and Address Unconscious Bias in Their Hiring Practices

  • Change and Update Key Hiring Practices:

    • When going through the hiring process, ensure that there is no:

      • Affinity bias

      • Age bias

      • Attribution bias

      • Appearance-focused bias

      • Confirmation bias

      • Gender bias

      • Racial bias

      • Religious bias

    • Practice “blind recruitment” processes where any background information about the applicant is not visible to the hiring team

  • Provide Additional Training to Recruiters and Hiring Managers:

    • Offer courses and programs to help recruiters and hiring managers identify potential biases they may have and find ways to ensure they are not applied

  • Enforce Accountability and Apply Corrective Measures:

    • Put corrective measures in place for employees who have applied unconscious bias

  • Ensure the HR Team is Diverse:

    • To ensure various perspectives are incorporated into hiring-related decision-making, build an HR team with different backgrounds (e.g. gender, ethnicity, age, etc.).

  • Establish a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Team and Assign a DEI Leader:

    • Establish a DEI team to help foster and champion a culture of commitment to DEI through education and events and establish quantifiable DEI targets to reach

    • Appoint a DEI leader who will be responsible for getting overall DEI leadership buy-in and for developing strategies, executing tactical plans and measuring outcomes

  • Increase Education and Awareness:

    • It’s critical to educate yourself on the different types of biases by conducting research online and contacting HR representatives or other professionals in the field

Looking Ahead

With greater awareness, training and measures in place, unconscious bias in workplace hiring practices can be reduced dramatically and ultimately become a relic of the past.



Addressing Implicit Bias in the Hiring Process


What is unconscious bias in the workplace, and how can we tackle it?