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Initiatives that diminish the biases of recruiters against people who disclose or demonstrate a diagnosed mental disorder

Simon Moss (School of Psychological and Clinical Sciences, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Australia)
S. Ram Vemuri (School of Business, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Australia)
Darren Hedley (Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia)
Mirko Uljarevic (Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

ISSN: 2040-7149

Article publication date: 13 February 2017

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the possibility that several workplace initiatives could stem the biases of recruiters against people who disclose or demonstrate diagnosed mental disorders. Specifically, in many nations, the level of unemployment in people who experience mental disorders is rife. Arguably, employers exhibit various biases that disadvantage people who disclose or demonstrate mental disorders; for example, recruiters tend to orient attention to the limitations, instead of the strengths, of job candidates. Because of these various biases, employers may reject applicants who acknowledge or manifest a mental disorder, even if these candidates would have been suitable.

Design/methodology/approach

To substantiate these premises, the authors analyzed established taxonomies of cognitive biases to identify which of these biases are likely to deter the employment of people with mental disorders. In addition, the authors applied several theories, such as the future self-continuity hypothesis, to uncover a variety of initiatives that could redress these biases in the future.

Findings

The authors uncovered five constellations of biases in recruiters that could disadvantage individuals who disclose or demonstrate mental disorders. Fortunately, consistent with the meaning maintenance model and cognate theories, when the vision and strategy of organizations is stable and enduring, these biases diminish, and people who report mental disorders are more likely to be employed.

Originality/value

This paper shows that initiatives that promote equality and stability in organizations could diminish stigma against individuals who experience mental disorders.

Keywords

Citation

Moss, S., Vemuri, S.R., Hedley, D. and Uljarevic, M. (2017), "Initiatives that diminish the biases of recruiters against people who disclose or demonstrate a diagnosed mental disorder", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 36 No. 1, pp. 2-16. https://doi.org/10.1108/EDI-05-2016-0037

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited