Overcoming Unconscious Bias

March 3, 2022

As recently as 2017, the term “cultural add” started showing up in the business lexicon. “Cultural fit” assesses how well a candidate or employee fits within the company today. Cultural add is more forward looking, assessing how a candidate or employee can help move the company into the future.

If diversity, equity, and inclusion is a business priority in attracting and retaining talent, firms must resist the temptation to simply swap out terminology. Instead, they should analyze their formal and informal recruitment and hiring practices and look at areas where unconscious bias around culture exists within their processes.

Hiring Bias Disguised as “Cultural Fit”

Employers and hiring managers often list cultural fit as an important factor when selecting a candidate for employment. However, articles and surveys show employers and hiring managers had a hard time confidently defining culture and cultural fit. Case in point, according to John Traphagan, anthropologist and contributing author at Harvard Business Review, “Culture is the values, practices, beliefs, etc. of a group of people. In other words, culture is everything.” That said, how can culture be applied objectively to the hiring process?

 

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This article, written by Maisha Hagan, first appeared in the February 2022 issue of Marketer.