How Hyphen minimises bias in recruitment.


Diversity breeds creativity so incorporating this into recruitment is imperative as we expand our A-team. 

Yet unconscious biases exist in all of us and are just that – unconscious. That makes them hard to tackle overnight. They can, however, be minimised with a bit of self-reflection and effort. This contributes to creating a more equitable and fair recruitment process. 

Hyphen is a remote-first business with members of our team hailing from nations all over the world. We pride ourselves on being open to new ideas and people from a variety of backgrounds. 

By approaching recruitment for our A-team in a mindful way, we are doing what we can to reduce bias in the process and build a culture of fairness, which is one of our company strengths. 

Here is how we approach tackling the effects of bias when looking to find the right individuals to bolster our team: 

  • Be considerate from the very start

Drafting a job description is a key part of any hiring search so we ensure it is as accessible as possible. To do this, we very carefully consider the wording so as not to use too many words loaded with masculine or feminine meanings. 

By doing this at this stage, we are doing what we can to reflect what we as a company stand for: putting people first and being open, which are two of our core values. 

  • Go blind at the application stage

We use Applied for selected roles, with candidates asked to complete an application form that our team has prepared. Applied prevent us from knowing any details about the prospective recruits, giving us their answers to practical questions but not their resumes. 

This enables us to assess candidates on their merits for the job they have, not the background from which they come. 

  • Share interview responsibilities

Cross-functionality is a key part of how we build client teams – and it also applies to how we approach finding new recruits. Candidates will typically speak with members of the Hyphen team from different departments and of varying seniorities to assess their fit. 

This brings in people of different nationalities, genders and mindsets, getting a more comprehensive set of feedback and mitigating the impacts of any one person’s unconscious bias. 

  • Use work-based testing

Case study assessments can be hugely insightful when modelled on real-life situations that applicants might encounter in the advertised role. They can help identify areas of strength and weakness in candidates that interviews alone cannot. 

Assessing the quality of one’s work reduces opportunities for judgement based on other metrics that are not ultimately relevant to the job. It also gives candidates an opportunity to get to know us as well and ensure that we share aligning values. 

  • Broaden horizons

Networking is a valuable tool in business but being mindful of how it could affect recruitment decisions is important. At Hyphen, we just search for the best candidate and do not let past relationships dictate what our team will look like in the future. 

We look to expand our network, surveying as broad a range of candidates as possible and seeing who should be the ideal person to help us on our path to further growth.