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Hire only the best: de-bias your workplace

Hire only the best: de-bias your workplace

Duration: 60 minutes

Trainer: Philipp Gramlich

Target group: Postdocs and group leaders

Number of participants: No limit

When selecting staff, we want to hire only the best, but we´re hampered by our own biases in this process. How can we de-bias our workplace?

Hiring staff is one of the most crucial processes in scientists´ careers, yet we´re often remarkably 'un-scientific' when it comes to conducting them. Often, first impressions and other superficialities take over our minds as we try to select the best candidates for a position. We end up hiring clones of ourselves.

In this talk, we´ll look at the many pitfalls we´re facing when hiring staff, most of which have to do with confirmation biases: we´re prone to try to confirm our initial snap judgments formed during the superficial first impression. How can we devise a process that will focus our minds on relevant information, how can we look behind facades and how can we critically question our own judgments?

This talk is not only relevant for hiring managers. Biases screw up a whole number of work processes, just think of the interpretation of data ("Oh dear, how I´d love to see a peak here...")! We take the hiring process as a case study, but many of the take-homes can be applied to other work settings as well.


This talk covers one of the topics of our workshop Leadership skills: How to row the boat.

This talk has an inherently strong gender and diversity component as it´s focused on biases during a process that often reinforces stereotypes and inequalities.


Do you want to read more about the exciting topic of biases and how they can be overcome before enjoying this talk?

The best book we know about this topic is What works by Iris Bohnet.

A very well-substantiated (German) book on the topic specifically in an academic setting is Personalauswahl in der Wissenschaft.

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