Recruiting and hiring

Traditional hiring strategies rely heavily on credentials, past experience and other factors that seem totally logical but are also prone to biases. This can limit the potential talent pool, making it hard to fill open positions.

Implementing skills-based hiring practices can help employers reduce bias and increase diversity, identify and articulate the skills needed in a role, fill skill gaps, support career development, reduce turnover rates, and open the door to more skilled employees from various backgrounds and industries.

Leverage the unconscious bias, cultural awareness, and growth mindset training you provide, and the resources below, to strengthen your recruiting and hiring practices.

*Small Business Pro Tip: Examine your current hiring process, are you only hiring friends of existing staff? Do all of your jobs require degrees? Join a local organization’s committees such as sector partnerships and BIPOC serving organizations that have access to diverse talent.

Before reviewing applicants and resumes, mask the names of all applicants in order to reduce bias.

Form an employee task force to review the recruiting and hiring process.




  • Review the Hiring Toolkit (report, 10-60 minutes) from the Avarna Group for an overview of mitigating bias in recruitment and hiring.
  • Hire based on skills, not just on degrees. Evaluate job postings and remove unnecessary requirements.  Learn how to determine exactly what skills and competencies an employee will need to thrive in your position(s)/company. Some resources that can help are:
    • Skillful (a free resource)
    • SkillsEngine (a free resource) – The Profile Builder generates a custom competency profile based on thousands of quality skill statements across more than 850 occupations.
    • Skillful Job Posting Generator (a free resource) – The Skillful Job Posting Generator simplifies one of the first steps to hiring based on skills: identifying an open job’s required skills and competencies and incorporating them into a job posting quickly and easily.
    • Review Skillful’s “Four Steps To Writing Skills-Based Job Postings” (article, < 10 minutes)
  • Reduce bias in the job posting and resume reviews by analyzing the text in job postings for bias. Select a tool to help you to do that, such as one of the following:
  • Reduce bias in the interview process by developing criteria for the skills you are seeking and use them consistently to screen all candidates:
  • Selecting candidates based on their skills requires a process using quantitative measures by which to compare candidates. Once you have defined the competencies for your position and have built an evaluation process to distinguish between skill level of candidates, you should create guidelines and expectations for the selection process in order to reduce the potential for unconscious biases to play a role in final selection and comparison of candidates: