As a result of this year’s social unrest, a push to eliminate systematic racial inequities is at the top of many companies’ agendas. Besides being morally and ethically correct, using equitable hiring processes and creating an inclusive workplace can have a positive impact on the “bottom line.”

The Wall Street Journal released rankings last year that revealed S&P 500 companies with the highest levels of diversity and inclusion had a competitive advantage that led to a “growth in sales and profit.” And six years of research conducted by the consulting firm McKinsey & Company has consistently found that companies with diverse workforces perform better financially.

The business case for selecting a diverse set of candidates is strong. But many companies still find it challenging to build a diverse workforce, and even companies with the best of intentions let hiring bias impact talent selection. Why? Because unconscious bias is just that, unconscious. While hiring managers may feel they have judged candidates fairly using the same criteria, research shows that it is unlikely.

Studies have shown that when candidates submit identical resumes, employers select those with “distinctive” Black and Latinx names less frequently than those with traditional White names for interviews. And further research has shown that candidates that list a disability that would not affect their ability to do a job also receive fewer invitations for interviews than those who did not list a disability.

When the hiring process is left unchecked, employers leave room for hiring managers to make decisions based on instinctive feelings rather than objective data. Fortunately, companies can now leverage job-based skills tests to make evidence-based talent decisions rather than relying on subjective and unfair measures.

Clearly Define Position Requirements

Reducing unconscious bias in hiring begins with conducting a job analysis. A job analysis is a process of developing a clear, evidence-based definition of what success markers look like in a role. This benchmark data is then used as the criteria for objectively evaluating candidates.

Employers should take the following steps to complete a job analysis:

1.Collect performance standards
2.Consult with subject matter experts
3.Review the position description
4.List the tasks and responsibilities of the position
5.Identify the competencies required to complete each task and responsibility
6.List the critical competencies that a new-hire must have upon beginning employment.
7.Remove any competencies from the list that employees can learn within reason on the job.

Performing a job analysis is the first step to take to ensure that candidate evaluations measure job-specific skills, knowledge, and aptitude. The goal is to identify competencies that will reliably and accurately predict if candidates will succeed in a role. Doing so prevents hiring managers from relying on “gut feelings” or arbitrary measures of job fit.

Leverage Job-Based Skills Tests

Another reason to complete a job analysis is to construct a reliable and valid employment skills test. eSkill, a leading employment testing provider, provides hiring teams with the tools they need to select or configure job-based skills tests.

With the most extensive library of customizable skills tests in the assessment industry, eSkill makes it easy to create an unbiased evaluation for any position. 

eSkill’s Testing Options:

Job-Specific Skills Tests. eSkill has hundreds of pre-prepared, job-specific skills tests such as Administrative Assistant, Account Representative, Customer Service Rep, Web Developer, and more. Hiring teams can easily edit or modify these tests or select questions from multiple tests to align skills tests with the critical competencies identified in job analyses.

Skill-Specific Tests. eSkill has hundreds of single-subject skills tests, including Basic Digital Literacy, MS Office, Adobe Photoshop, Civil Engineering, Timed Typing, and many more. Hiring teams can combine these tests to configure a unique job-specific skills test.

Job Simulation Tests. eSkill offers simulations that replicate real-world scenarios to make the evaluation of a job’s critical competencies as reliable and valid as possible. Available job simulations include Inbound Call Center, MS Office, and Digital Literacy. 

eSkill enables employers to hide identifying information about candidates so that unconscious bias does not influence hiring decisions. The intuitive platform automates the administration, scoring, and ranking of candidates so that HR professionals can focus on evidence-based information and ensure the process is fair and unbiased.
Combine Skills Tests with Structured Interviews

While traditional, unstructured interviews might feel natural, they can be detrimental to accurate talent selection by creating “noise” that leads to bias in the hiring process. eSkill’s on-demand video interviewing tools provide employers with a way to make the hiring process as objective as possible.

Using eSkill’s structured approach to conducting interviews further reduces unconscious bias in hiring. With eSkill’s on-demand video interviews, hiring teams can:

Pre-record a set of questions that every candidate is required to answer in the same order

Create scoring criteria for each interview response

Assign multiple hiring team members to review responses using the standardized criteria

Choose an “administrator” who reviews and approves the evaluations to establish an average and final score

Job-based skills tests and structured interviews will help your hiring team reduce bias and identify top talent. So, as you begin to develop a more objective approach to hiring, consider leveraging eSkill’s tech-driven hiring solutions.

Interested in Reducing Unconscious Bias in Your Hiring Process?

Learn more about the benefits of using eSkill’s employment skills tests and structured, on-demand video interviews to reduce unconscious bias in your hiring process.

Request a demo today.

Author's Bio: 

Nancy is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content and own a blog. Read her amazing content on