Ch 2: Conscious and Unconscious Bias in Hiring: Using the Factorial Survey Approach
From the Book: The Refractive Thinker®: Vol. IX: Effective Business Practices in Leadership and Emerging Technologies


Conscious and unconscious bias in hiring is a phenomenon of significant magnitude that manifests when hiring managers and business leadership do not recognize the influence bias has on their choices and how their decision-making can do more harm than good. Because of the harmful impact, business leadership and hiring managers must be aware of conscious and unconscious bias in hiring and use refractive thinking to seek solutions. The literature review provided evidence that a quantitative factorial survey design could produce more equitable hiring decision outcomes with a quantitative scientific data collection design to determine beliefs and judgments about hiring.
Combining the use of vignettes with elaborated descriptions to prompt responses and measuring responses through factorial analysis could reveal normative beliefs and provide awareness about complicated social phenomena, such as different types of bias. The experimental vignette method with factorial survey measurement is a research design that is somewhat obscure but is gaining in regard, and is convincingly appropriate for assessment of levels of bias in decision-making. The discussion in this chapter provides the reader with an alternative approach to assessing conscious and unconscious bias in hiring practices when the probability of such bias exists in an organization among professionals responsible for hiring decisions. Systematized judgments could reduce potential for error in hiring practices. The authors provided a suggested factorial design study with specific vignettes for consideration as a useful strategy for selecting appropriate candidates. Becoming aware of unconscious bias and subscribing to linear models, such as the use of the factorial survey approach, could deter hiring decisions that do not maximize diversity in the workplace.