Written By
Marissa Peretz

02.14.17

Max Brown Quoted in Entrepreneur ‘Reduce Bias’

Entrepreneur contributor Heather R. Huhman recently explored the topic of unconscious bias in the hiring process. Our founder, Max Brown, reflected on the interviews he has observed and provided ways to reduce bias. One in particular stuck out as an example of two candidates who were very similarly qualified but treated differently in the interview process.

“I observed an interview where two people had very similar backgrounds, but one was a woman and one was a man,” Max recalled. “The interviewer asked both the same set of questions, but the depth of conversation before and after the main questions was completely different. One candidate was engaged in a discussion about whether he supported the football team for his alma mater. The other had a very polite, but much shorter and more superficial conversation about how her day was going.”

We see this unconscious bias frequently.  People gravitate towards potential future teammates that are similar to us. Everybody is generally aware they do this, but over the years as recruiting leads we have found that people overestimate their ability to prevent this from influencing their decision.

When you meet somebody new, you are naturally going to look for common ground. We feel a stronger connection with people who have a greater number of common interests. There is nothing wrong with that.

But it does need to be addressed specifically when it comes to hiring. Ask yourself: did I gravitate to that person’s personality? If so, take extra care to evaluate only the quality of their answers in relation to how others answered it. If you’re not sure, bring it up in the interview roundtable and admit that you may be biased. Give the rest of the group the opportunity to analyse answers from both candidates and see what the team thinks. Ultimately, hiring is a team effort so use each other and most importantly: be honest with yourself.

Read the full article, “How to Stop Unconscious Bias Before It Starts, Against the People You Hire,” on Entrepreneur.com by Heather R. Huhman.