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

Simon Moss, Siva Vemuri, Darren Hedley, Mirko Uljarevic

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2-16
    Number of pages15
    JournalEquality, Diversity and Inclusion
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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