Racial Bias and Discrimination in the Hiring Process

By: Gregg Zeff
On: February 28, 2024

Racial Bias and Discrimination in the Hiring Process

What does Racial Bias in the Hiring Process look like?

Unfortunately, racial bias and discrimination does occur during the hiring process. Systematic racism is all too common in several aspects in the process of hiring employees. Firstly, job postings and the wording used to advertise these positions can be subjected to bias. Certain verbiage can deter minorities from applying for these positions. In addition, screening resumes can be tainted by racial bias as ethnic names and post-secondary attendance at historically black universities can diminish the applicant’s chances of being hired. Attempts by employers to objectively select the most qualified candidate when it comes to selecting a nonwhite candidate or hiring an individual that is considered a culture fit are fallacies that perpetuate bias in the hiring process.

Racial Bias In The Hiring Process Is Often Unconscious

Unconscious racial bias, or implicit racial bias, is the social stereotyping of certain groups without being consciously aware of the social categorization that is taking place. In the hiring process, unconscious bias can occur after the first impression. This influence is unassociated with the criteria for employment. An individual’s name, photo, education, or address can influence unconscious beliefs and attitudes.

The Cost of Racial Bias in Today’s Workforce

Racial bias has proved costly for American businesses. According to a report from The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), US businesses lost $172 billion over the last five years due to employee turnover attributed to racial inequities. The report concluded that 33 percent of Black employees face racial bias in the workplace, followed by 26 percent of Asian employees and 21 percent of Hispanics or Latino employees. This type of bias diminishes the productivity of enterprises by limiting gender and ethnic diversity.

Strategies for Mitigating Racial Bias in Recruiting Practices

Racial bias can permeate nearly every aspect of the recruiting process, but a proactive approach is likely the most effective means to remove bias in the hiring process. Building awareness is a critical component to mitigate such bias. Identifying and monitoring each of the company’s recruitment procedures can reveal where racial biases lie. Implementing technology can also aid in alleviating these biases. In some cases, software can help conceal parts of the application, such as photos, that could invite racial biases. Technology and applications of AI can also assist in the development of more objective recruiting and hiring procedures.

Racial Bias and Discrimination in the Hiring Process

How to Protect Your Company from Racial Bias in Hiring

Creating the right company culture is key to avoiding racial bias in the hiring process within your enterprise. Integrating diversity and fostering an inclusive environment will be essential in avoiding biased hiring. Protective strategies from bias in hiring include:

  • Educate and train employees to address racial biases
  • Integrate interrupters to exist business practice
  • Create programs within your business to battle biases

Deploying these tactics within your business procedures can become a significant asset when it comes to ensuring a bias-free work environment. The benefits from avoiding biases in the hiring process will also cultivate a culture throughout your enterprise that values diversity and inclusion.

Documenting Evidence of Discrimination in the Hiring Process

In taking legal action against racial bias in the hiring process, documentation is critical. Providing evidence can be a challenge in these types of discriminatory cases, however careful documentation and evidence is essential to successful litigation. Several methods of documentation include:

  • Keep written records of incidents that include dates, times, locations, witnesses, and perpetrators; record these events similarly to how you would a diary.
  • Keep copies of discriminatory messages, emails, videos, and photos.
  • Keep a copy of employee handbooks and employee policies.
  • Obtain a copy of your personnel file, if possible
  • Obtain contact information of witnesses
  • Navigating a discrimination case can be difficult, however, the better the documentation and evidence, the better the odds will be for a favorable outcome in your case.

Contact Zeff Law Firm If You Suspect Hiring Bias

Racial discrimination that occurs even before an employee is hired is illegal. If you believe you have been the victim of racial bias or discrimination in the hiring process, the experienced team of discrimination lawyers at Zeff Law Firm can advocate for you. Contact us today to consult with the attorneys at Zeff Law Firm about your legal options.


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