Tips to Identify and Remove Unintended Bias In the Assessment Process

Tips To Identify And Remove Unintended Bias During The Assessment Process

If you are reading this article, you are probably looking to make your tech recruitment process more equitable and fair.  Over the years, several developers have called out the unintended bias involved in the coding assessment process.  It’s hard to accept the reality of inherent biases because it always exists unconsciously in the form of racism, ageism, and sexism.

Sometimes, recruiters obscure the fact that they are prejudiced in their assessment practices. A lot of the time, these biases stem from a lack of awareness and can be stemmed easily.  Here are a few tips that can help you, and your managers, conduct a bias-free assessment the next time.

How To Avoid Bias In Tech Assessments


Awareness of what’s happening is crucial

The vital step to solve any issue is to know what’s happening in the first place. The same applies to a biased assessment process. Try to analyze the assessment in detail by discussing it with your team. Understand how the assessment is prepared, starting with how it is conducted, and how the test results are evaluated. Look for signs of bias in each of these steps.

Once you identify the root cause, see if you can conduct awareness campaigns in your company to help your staff learn more about unconscious bias in the assessment process. This will go a long way in establishing transparency in your team and motivate them to take corrective steps collectively.

Recommended read: Recruiters Vs Bias – Who’s Winning This War? 

Keep an eye on the job descriptions

Job descriptions play an essential role in any assessment process irrespective of the domain. It is important to keep a close eye on them to nip bias in the bud. The job description should never be inclined towards a particular gender, race, or orientation. It should always be gender-neutral and promote a sense of inclusiveness and inclusivity.

Moreover, if your job description looks like a laundry list of must-haves, then you stand to scare away a big chunk of interested candidates. This too is a manifestation of bias where recruiters think an ideal candidate is someone who checks an exhaustive list of boxes. There needs to be a clear demarcation between must-have skills, and good-to-have skills in the job description so that it allows room for a diverse set of developers to apply for the role.

Recommended read: A Checklist For Writing Job Postings That Actually Work

How To Avoid Bias In Tech Assessments

Conduct mock interviews

While there is no exact structured method to eliminate bias in the assessment process, mock interview ‘drills’ can be helpful. Biases often creep in because of stereotypes and short-sighted perspectives. As a manager, you can conduct mock interviews for your recruiters and take them through the motions of potential employees for a given role. If they are hiring more candidates of the same gender, race, or ethnicity, there could be a high chance that the assessment process at your organization is biased. Understanding how certain stereotypes can influence your team’s decisions can help you find the best measures to weed them out.

Make skill tests a must

Skill tests can be a great way to uncover biased assessment processes. Shortlist potential candidates and direct your team to send a skill test to candidates before hiring them. This helps assess the expertise of the interviewees. Ensure that the questions sent out are spontaneous or digitally generated to avoid potential malpractice.

Pay attention to ‘how’ you ask your questions

Pay attention to what your recruiters ask a candidate during the assessment process as these questions could trigger the candidate. For instance, the interviewer might decide to break the ice with a joke, which they find amusing. The candidate may find it off-color and racial. Comments about a candidate’s caste, sex, race, or color should not feature in any interviews. If a candidate has listed their preferred pronouns, then be considerate enough to address them in their chosen manner.

While it is hard to always be politically correct, there can be directives laid out to ensure boundaries are not crossed.

The first impression can be the best impression, but not always

The first impression is always the best impression but it might not be true when hiring a candidate from an underprivileged background. An interviewer can be too quick to judge an interviewee based on a single interaction, without checking for a skill fit.

As a manager, if you feel a recruiter is too quick to reject a candidate, you can always object and conduct another round of interviews.

Weigh the eligibility criteria

Unconscious bias in assessments makes recruiters choose a candidate based on a single quality while ignoring several other factors. For instance, a recruiter might choose a candidate just because they had a pleasant conversation with them over the phone. In such scenarios, communication skills overshadow other qualifications like the technical skill set that is expected, knowledge of programming languages, diligence, and discipline.

This is where it is hard to notice one’s own bias in the assessment process. The best way to avoid it is to let your recruiters be accountable for a weighted evaluation of the candidates, where equal importance is given to every aspect mentioned in the job description.

Equality is important

Always provide equal hiring opportunities across genders. Never decide the wage based on gender; conduct negotiations based on a candidate’s previous experience and last drawn salary. Remuneration can often be a point of contention in the workforce, so show your employees that you value them by being non-judgemental and fair when talking about money. This encourages them to perform at their best.

Now that you know about the root causes of bias in the assessment process and the countermeasures you can take to eliminate them, let’s get to how HackerEarth can help you conduct unbiased assessments.

Here Is How You Can Conduct Fair Assessment Tests With HackerEarth

HackerEarth is an online platform that offers tools for remote hiring, onboarding, upskilling and engaging developers. With our platform’s help, several companies have built advanced technical teams that empowered them to win accolades and respect in the IT industry.

What makes HackerEarth different?

  • FaceCode platform to conduct real-time technical assessments
  • Comprehensive, convenient, and easy to deploy test framework
  • 24*7 customer care support to answer all your queries
  • Unique assessments for university or remote hiring

Here Is How You Can Conduct Fair Assessment Tests With HackerEarth

With HackerEarth, you can –

Attract potential employees

The platform has an innovative assessment process and conducts various coding tests to attract potential talent and reward them. Many skilled coders and developers enroll in these tests and get rewarded. On HackerEarth, the more rewards a candidate earns from the platform, the higher their coding caliber. This provides companies with an easy way to hire the best talent.

Conduct screening tests and real-time coding interviews

Choose us as your assessment process partner and get instant access to thousands of technical assignments that can help you evaluate developers using advanced coding assessments. We conduct virtual coding interviews for candidates with the help of our unique real-time code editor. This can help you test the candidates’ spontaneity and problem-solving skills.

Upskill your employees

When you choose us as your assessment partner, you will get to conduct timely assessment tests right after an employee joins your company. This can help leverage the technical skills of your employees faster as it speeds up onboarding them to new projects.

Engage with developers

We set the proper engagement path to entice tech talent globally using innovative assessment tests that are based on deep industry knowledge and experience.

For more details on HackerEarth, get in touch with us. We are just a call, text, or mail away. Hope this blog has helped you to learn everything you need to eliminate bias during the assessment process. Stay tuned for our next blog.

Until then, Happy Coding!

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