Screen Applications

Screen Applications
Search and Screen Committee collaborates on assessment to divide the applicant pool into qualified and
not qualified, record job-related screening reasons for each job seeker not advanced to the next level.
End product is a list of candidates to invite to interview.
Potential for Bias
 One person or homogeneous group
 Poorly-defined screening criteria “we all know what this means”
 Unnecessary rigidity – only one way
to meet this qualification
 Inconsistent weighting - failure to
agree on relative importance of
preferred qualifications
 Unstated criteria - using personal
criteria not discussed with others on the
screening team
 Assumptions about merit
 “Similar to me” phenomenon
 Perceptual lens--who receives the
benefit of the doubt--Karen
Miller/Brian Miller study
Remedies to Bias
 Diverse group with multiple perspectives screens
 Well-examined and defined screening criteria Agree what each qualification means, why it matters,
how you’ll recognize it, and whether this definition
could be expanded even further
 Intentional flexibility – many ways to meet
qualifications; openness to transferable skills
 Well-planned weighting –committee consensus about
relative importance of preferred qualifications
 Explicit criteria – all screening criteria and agreed
upon by the screening team
 Broad definitions of merit: “what does it mean to be
excellent, and who may be disadvantaged by our
thinking about this?”
 Difference is valued and embraced
 Speculation--assigning meaning to
information in application without
 Give everyone the benefit of the doubt – screen first
with an intent only to identify and document each
candidate’s strengths, and to fully capture all the
reasons to advance each one to interview…then
evaluate weaknesses.
 Unconscious bias
 Research concerns rather than speculating
Tendency to respond negatively
based on schemas/stereotypes
Latisha/Jamal and Emily/Brendan
 Some candidates known to one or
more members
 Recognize potential for bias
– Accept the reality of unconscious bias in yourself
and others—it’s a human characteristic
– Watch for the thinking and beliefs in yourself or
others than can produce biased results
– Ask the group to help unpack and counteract bias in
– Evaluate demographic effects on the pool of each
round of screening—re-evaluate any stage that
eliminates almost everyone from one identity group;
are there biased assumptions?
 Committee discusses challenge of known
- What information is relevant?
- How credible is the source?
- Recognize bias for/against “known quantities”