Harvard Business School MBA Program Engagement: Implicit Bias in the Hiring Process

Nova taught two 90-minute classes to MBA students at the Harvard Business School, as a part of a broader second-year elective curriculum on Talent Management.  Each of the classes had 60-80 students.

Nova was asked to bring to light the many ways interviewers display bias and the impact this bias can have on hiring – and ultimately on company performance.  In this highly interactive session, Nova facilitated an open dialogue on the drivers and patterns of bias and worked with these professionals to identify strategies to change behavior.

Objectives:  An awareness of bias: what it is and that we all have it; Identification of the four main types of bias and how they show up – individually and organizationally; Tools for managing or “interrupting” bias as an individual.

Outcomes:  Participants shared that they had a new perspective on their own biases and an increased awareness of the unintended consequences of bias in the workplace.  Discussions of the impacts of bias were integrated into subsequent MBA teaching on promotion, compensation and culture modules.

Tina Schweiger