How I Try to Hire Without Bias

When I was building my sales team, we were in the middle of a hiring boom.

I really wanted to hire without bias, and this was a big challenge for me. Finally, I could put my beliefs into practice.

Over time, I’ve learned a lot about what works and doesn’t work when hiring salespeople. Here are some things about hiring without bisas that have helped me build a diverse team.


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Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀

Why hiring without bias is essential to your business’ success

When you are not adhering with unbiased hiring practices, the manager makes an impression about somebody even before they’ve had a chance to get to know them. Hiring with bias is common in many organizations and cultures.

There are a number of biases that can affect decision-makers when interviewing candidates for jobs, and these biases need to be eliminated. Let’s explore some of the most common hiring without bias examples.

First impressions still count

The first impression is important. It’s easier for some people to give a strong personal introduction in person or virtually than on paper. This was the case when I started applying for sales positions years ago.

I quickly learned that my name was the first impression I gave, and it made an automatic disadvantage for me. It was difficult to get in the door at first, but once I did meet with managers who were initially skeptical of hiring me because of my namebackground they became more open-minded.

It was not until I got a job that my new colleagues confirmed what I suspected. Back then, it seemed like the company would prefer French or Anglo candidates and people they had an instant connection with on a personal level.

In spite of how natural it may seem, this action also has big implications.

The likeability factor

Research has shown that hiring someone you would enjoy spending time with, is a good predictor of success. It’s not weird to want to hire someone who shares your interests and values, but it can be very biased.

Even in a sales environment, where being personable and charming is often an asset to the job, it’s important not to let those traits override other qualities that might be more necessary for success. Finding candidates who fit into company culture can sometimes be difficult when trying to overcome this bias.

Culture fit

The company culture can be what holds the business together. A strong company culture has many benefits, including reduced employee churn and happier employees.

Companies are looking for candidates that will fit in with the company culture, but they also need to be able to innovate and grow. When companies use “culture fit” as an excuse not to hire people of different backgrounds or races, it creates a groupthink environment where no one is learning from each other’s perspectives.

Company culture redefined

When I want to do things without bias and build a diverse team, it takes more work than you would expect. Here are some things that have worked for me when hiring without bias.

Culture-add mindset

As a hiring manager, you need to think about the qualities and traits that would be beneficial for your team. For example: What skills will they have? How much responsibility should they have in their position? etc.

During the hiring process, look for candidates who can add something new to your team. Ask specific questions related to their role in a project and search for clues that tell you how they contribute based on their skills.

A culture-add mindset requires a way to measure your team’s alignment in relation to company values. The tricky part is figuring out the best method for measuring these things.

The first step is to create a culture-add questionnaire that centers around three parameters: values, behaviors and activities. This will allow you to identify the current dynamics of your team as well as help guide interviews with candidates.

The culture-add questionnaire should be included in the interview process. For example, asking about their decision-making processes and how they might have changed over time.

Teams can use this questionnaire to help them build cognitive diversity.

Value-based recruitment

Value-based recruiting is a great way to protect and enhance any team’s diversity, as well as do withiout bias. It’s important for companies looking out for their employees.

When we value-map, we identify and prioritize the top qualities that you look for in candidates. We work to break them down into more tangible and practical characteristics so they can be tested out during interviews.

One way to help diversify is by being resourceful. A person who can go the extra mile and be efficient when doing so might have these qualities: proactive, creative, open-minded, and optimistic. You can test for these through situational interview questions.

It boils down to being more organized and proactive in the hiring process. When you’re interviewing, find out what they want from a candidate rather than relying on gut feelings.

Coachability should be your North Star

One of the most important qualities you should look for when hiring someone is that they are coachable. This will be a top metric in your value map.

Coachability is the most important factor in my hiring decision because it’s an indication of whether someone will be successful as a salesperson at Livestorm. It also says something about their personality, like that they are hungry to learn and open to feedback.

One way to tell if a person is coachable is by looking for qualities such as: *openness and receptiveness, willingness to learn from others, eagerness to take on new responsibilities.

  • Have they made progress?
  • A good way to evaluate this is if they are open about past challenges or failures.
  • Do they ask for feedback from the interviewers?

Opening up to remote hiring

I was worried that hiring remotely would be hard, but it actually has been easier. When you hire someone who is coachable, they are more likely to succeed in the remote-first environment.

One of the benefits we’ve found at Livestrom is that our remote-first culture has allowed us to find top talent from a wider pool than if we were in an office. We’re also able to do without bias during hiring, which will help as we grow and need more employees.

A great way to attract diverse talent is by putting diversity in the forefront of job descriptions. Showing that your company values it and highlighting benefits like healthcare are ways to show this.

Tying it all together

To make the hiring process without, it has to be a conscious effort.

In order to find the right candidate, it starts by taking a step back and understanding what the team needs. It requires identifying that something is missing in their current dynamics.

To achieve this, companies should shift to a culture-add mindset and focus more on value-based recruiting. This will challenge the status quo, prioritize diversity in hiring decisions, and allow for company cultures to grow better.


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀
Editors Note:

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Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
Justin McGill is the Founder of LeadFuze - a lead generation platform that discovers new leads for you automatically. Get 25 leads free.