Fairness in Hiring: How Candidates Feel About the Hiring Process

Due to the human nature of hiring, there’s ample opportunity for unconscious bias to creep in, have unintentional sway over the decision-making process, and reduce fairness in hiring. Biased hiring has far-reaching consequences that negatively impact – both to an organization’s bottom line and, just as importantly, to the well-being of job seekers who deserve a fair shot.

That’s why mitigating bias in the hiring is so important: making the hiring process as fair as possible allows for a world of work that is more fair, equitable, and rewarding for everyone.

With this in mind, many companies go to great lengths to reduce bias and increase the objectivity of their hiring process. There are plenty of popular strategies, from pre-employment assessments to structured interviews, and some that are still being explored, like AI-based bias reduction. For example, in the last 20 years the number of organizations who have used pre-employment testing have increased dramatically in order to make their hiring process more fair.

And these efforts have been critical to reducing hiring bias. But it’s important to note that the perceived fairness of a process is just as significant as the outcomes of the process itself when it comes to engaging candidates and employees. And with the perception of fairness in hiring as important as fairness itself, we wanted to know: do candidates feel that today’s hiring process is fair?

In Criteria’s 2022 Candidate Experience Report, we went right to the source and asked job seekers directly if they felt the hiring process was fair. We found that, in general, 71% of candidates do feel that the modern hiring process is fair.

We also wanted to know how they felt about the perceived fairness of the hiring process today (with it’s objective measures in place) compared to that of the traditional hiring process (that focuses solely on resumes, work history, and conversational interviews). Interestingly, we found that Asian and Black candidates were more likely to feel that today’s hiring process was fair, but that they were also more likely to feel disadvantaged by traditional hiring methods.

Candidates feel the hiring process is fair

Including objective methods like pre-employment assessments can help to increase perceived fairness in hiring. A fair hiring process is a key component to creating a positive candidate experience. When a job seeker feels that a hiring process is giving them a fair shot at demonstrating their potential, they rate their overall candidate experience more positively, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, or age.

It seems that the wide-spread investment in reducing hiring bias is paying off. The fact that the majority of today’s job seekers feel the hiring process is fair implies that it really is becoming a more level playing field. And that’s good news for everyone! Reduced hiring bias increases workplace diversity, which has proven benefits for both businesses and workers. Objective hiring allows candidates to break into industries and careers that have, historically, been unjustly gatekept.

To learn more about the findings in the 2022 Candidate Experience Report, download your copy today.