How to Reduce Unconscious Bias When Hiring Gen Z Talent


It’s easier said than done, but here are a few quick tips to help employers reduce unconscious bias when hiring Gen Z talent:

What is Unconscious Bias?

Simply, unconscious bias is when we make a judgment based on assumptions, prior experience, or opinions, without being aware that we are doing it.

Ironically, many of us tend to believe that we are less prejudiced than the next person but this in itself could be an effect of attribution bias - the tendency to explain a person's behaviour by referring to their character rather than any situational factor.

Common Types of Unconscious Bias

There are many different types of unconscious bias. Here are five of the most common examples displayed in hiring practices.

Common Types of Unconscious Bias.svgThis is just a small sample, although there are many more types of unconscious bias for us to be aware of when hiring.

How to reduce Unconscious Bias in People

Side note: If you are consciously aware of your biases, you need more professional help than what I have time for with this blog.

Everyone has unconscious biases. Although they can have a significant impact on a person’s decision-making, most people are not consciously aware of their biases.

For most of us, who are interested in reducing our biases, it can be tough because we simply aren’t aware of them. The following 4 steps are far easier said than done, but can have a big impact on reducing unconscious bias:

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How to reduce Unconscious Bias in your hiring process

Reducing unconscious bias in hiring processes presents different challenges because processes are often well-established and it can be tough to know where to start. However, with small adjustments, you can dramatically reduce unconscious biases in processes. Here are some examples of what you can do today:

Adjust selection criteria

Let’s look at typical selection criteria to reduce 100 applications down to a more manageable number to interview:

Typical Graduate Selection Criteria.svg

I’m not saying that education or experience doesn’t matter. Of course, it matters. But it’s far less important when hiring entry-level talent.

Many of the world’s best companies (Google, Apple, EY, to name a few) have removed a need for a degree in an aim to promote a more diverse workforce. This allows us to focus on what matters:

Let’s say an applicant is well-aligned with the company's mission and culture. They are incredibly passionate about the work they would be doing. And because of their commitment, it would take half the time to teach them new skills that it would anybody else. Would you really avoid hiring that person because someone else went to a “better” uni and has a 12-week internship under their belt?

The Horns Effect means that we make a negative judgment about someone based on a single negative characteristic, such as a 2.2. But we’ve seen time and time again that many people with a 2.2 weren’t able to devote as much time to their studies because they were working full-time, supporting ill family members, starting a business, etc.

Diversity in Channels and Content


Often, when employers come to GradSmart, we see that they have found a couple of channels that work and have stuck with them… which makes sense. Especially when too many channels can result in even more applications to review.

However, it’s difficult to attract a diverse group of applicants by focusing on a narrow group of channels. By broadening your talent attraction channels, you automatically broaden your talent pool. Here are a few examples of channels you can utilise, some of which you will likely already be using:

Diverse Graduate Talent Acquisition Channels.svgLinks: Indeed, TotalJobs, Reed, GradSmart, GradTouch, Milkround, Gradcracker - STEM, Prime - Sales


As well as utilising a range of channels, it’s crucial to use diverse language and types of content. Here are some things to consider when putting together job-related content:

Structured Selection Process

Now, it’s important to make sure that interviews don’t become too robotic. After all, there’s a reason that we don’t fully automate hiring processes… we need the human element. That being said, a structured and repeatable is imperative to reduce unconscious bias.

There is a range of factors that can determine what selection process you should implement. What level of experience are you looking for? What key competencies are you looking for? Do you receive too many or too few applications? Whilst customising your selection process to suit your unique circumstance, here are a few things to keep in mind:

How to Create a Structure Selection Process.svg

Links: GradSmart, Applied

GradSmart’s commitment to you

We have to accept that it’s difficult to remove all biases in hiring. But, by reducing it, we can continue to strive toward the benefits of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce. We can benefit from the diversity in ideas, mindsets, and perspectives. We can benefit from a company filled with empowered employees working towards a common goal.

GradSmart’s platform allows you to look beyond a standard CV, giving us more criteria to build into our selection process. Our platform and wider service were built with diversity in mind. As well as helping you hire for culture, we are committed to supporting your growth and DEI strategy.

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If you would like to know more about how GradSmart can support your entry-level talent acquisition, then visit our website or email [email protected]

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