10 Types of Bias, the Way They Affect Recruitment and How to Avoid It.

The process of recruiting is complicated and involves a lot of different factors, including unconscious bias, which is a component of the process. It discusses 10 types of unconscious biases and how they may impact the recruitment process. A number of these biases are influenced by nonverbal cues, confirmation biases, conformity biases, anchoring biases, and affinity biases. These biases include beauty biases, affinity biases, gender biases, attribute biases, halo biases, horn effects, and nonverbal cues. Several biases are present in recruitment assessment processes. In order to avoid these biases, Testlify is a platform that can be used to assess candidates with AI that understands biases and does not have them.


Ah, recruitment. It’s the process of finding the perfect person for the job, right? Well, not quite. Recruiting is a complex process involving many different factors, including unconscious bias. Unfortunately, bias is a common problem in recruitment, and it can have serious consequences. In this blog post, I will cover 10 types of bias and how they can affect your recruitment. I will also tell you the perfect solution to avoid them so you can make the best hiring decisions. Ready to dive in? Let’s get started!

1. Beauty bias

It is such a pity that despite knowing how silly and unjust it is, we continually associate people’s external characteristics with their personality traits. Ridiculously enough, research shows us that more attractive individuals tend to experience greater success.

A famous study revealed in the book Blink by Malcolm Gladwell found that over 68% of US CEOs are over six feet tall, as opposed to 15% of Americans as a whole.

You may prefer candidates who dress smartly and style their hair nicely, but don’t be fooled – that doesn’t automatically equate to the organisation in their life outside of appearances!

2. Affinity bias

Hooray for affinity bias! It graces our recruitment process with subtle undertones of racism and ageism, creating an environment where hiring someone from the same town or a person who shares similar interests or hobbies is often favoured. Unrelated to qualifications, this conscious effort to demonstrate camaraderie ends up being quite detrimental in the long run!

The idea that ‘culture fit’ sometimes enables affinity bias when onboarding has been floating around. Essential to note since a lack of diversity within an organisation will likely lead to fewer paths pursued while tackling new issues, consequently creating difficulties for the workforce and employers.

3. Gender bias

As we love to ponder gender roles and stereotypes – since they’re so deeply ingrained in our cultures – it should be no wonder that gender bias is the natural outcome of what we believe about these roles and stereotypes. For instance, childminding is apparently a desired career choice for women, while building work clearly falls under the “manly” category. Unsurprisingly, while interviewing, you may find yourself attempting to fulfil gender roles. On top of that, you may also feel inclined to prefer candidates with similar interests and experiences as yours – in other words, potential applicants of the same gender.

4. Attribute bias

We like to think whenever we excel at something that, it’s due entirely to our own fabulousness, don’t we? This is a prime example of bias in the recruiting process and restricts us from seeing the potential of others. Ironically, it’s convenient for us when we lack success — after all, that just means someone else’s fault. How convenient! When it comes to others, we usually form the opposite opinion. If someone excels in something, we like to think it’s luck – and if they fail, then clearly, it’s because of their terrible character or malicious intentions!

5. Halo bias

The phenomenon known as the halo effect is a cognitive bias that causes people to perceive an individual positively in unrelated areas based on one notable positive trait they possess; for instance, attractiveness may lead to assumptions of intelligence, kindness, or wit. Due to this “halo” effect, individuals are often judged relatively with regard to multiple aspects, although only one quality is immediately perceptible. It is common for recruiters to be fooled by the halo effect. It happens when recruiters hire exceptionally skilled individuals in one area, only to find out that they aren’t the right fit once the halo glow wears off.

6. Horns effect

On the other hand, a delightful horn effect; when we meet someone, all it takes is one ill-conceived thought, and our judgement of them is set in stone. Isn’t it amazing how our brains are so attuned to negative items that we can’t bring ourselves to look at anything else? The recruiter certainly needs to invest a lot of time and effort into taking an in-depth look at the candidates – no matter how aggravating it may be to have someone with cringe-worthy expressions or gestures they make. Honestly, there’s absolutely no way to correctly estimate someone’s worth based on a single mistake or eccentricity.

7. Nonverbal bias

We are all experts in nonverbal bias, aren’t we? Without a doubt, we tend to give far too much importance to body language and other forms of nonverbal communication compared to their weight. In the past, people thought that a strong handshake amounted to success, and a weak handshake was an indication of failure—right? Well, here’s the joke: teaching someone how to have a killer handshake is way easier than teaching them about fitting in with your company’s culture.

8. Confirmation bias

Despite its prestigious status as the king of all misunderstandings, confirmation bias has a nice habit of creeping into our lives every day. It truly deserves this title since it exerts an insidious influence over us daily. This involves looking for information that bolsters a previously-held belief and subconsciously blocks out any information that goes against it. No one wants to be proven wrong. So, of course, this builds up flawed opinions over time – what else do you expect from such a chaotic phenomenon?

9. Conformity bias

Nowadays, people are so eager to conform that they do not even care if it goes against their personal beliefs. Even though we have come a long way in terms of progress, it seems like we’ve taken a step backwards when it comes to individuality; conformity has once again become essential for survival, just like in times of primitive tribes! Interview panels are all too often subject to conformity bias. Although it can be tempting to simply follow the herd and agree with the majority of interviewers when they express an opinion on a candidate, make sure you really take a minute to give them your honest opinion. After all, you might be seeing something that others have missed!

10. Anchoring bias

A tendency to become rigidly attached to the very first piece of information you receive about a candidate or your first impression of them in an interview is sometimes called expectation anchor bias. We can fall into this trap when we are exposed to information that we become rigidly attached to.

For instance, when you’re trying to hire a replacement for Simon, the current engineer for your company. As a result, you become anchored to the expectation that the next engineer you hire will be exactly like Simon because you create an ideal candidate profile based on Simon’s skills, experience, and other qualities. Essentially, you want to find another Simon, not another engineer.

So how to avoid bias in the recruitment process? Well, I have a perfect solution! Testlify is a recruitment assessment platform powered by AI, which doesn’t know bias. You can say goodbye to unconscious bias in hiring for good. Our assessment will help you uncover hidden treasures from underrepresented backgrounds by giving them an equal and unbiased chance to demonstrate their skills. After all, it’s 2023, and we all need to do our part to ensure an equitable and inclusive hiring process is implemented every day.

Many different factors are involved in recruiting, including unconscious bias, which is a part of the recruiting process. In this blog, I discussed 10 types of bias and how they can affect recruitment. In order to avoid these biases, Testlify is the perfect platform powered by bias-free AI and will help ensure that the hiring process is equitable and inclusive.