Diversity is a common topic of discussion for HR teams and internal recruiters, and with good reason. Few people question that a diverse team makes a company stronger. But finding the right pool of candidates can be a challenge.
It's surprising where some of those challenges come from. Many people think subconscious bias during resume review could be the cause, and that's one of the issues. But even the way you write your job descriptions can impact the kinds of candidates that apply.
There is good news: Technology is here to help. From skills-primary recommendations to AI resume review, a diverse talent pool is closer than you think.
Removing bias from the hiring process is tough. Corporations have tried to combat unconscious bias through training, but critics and even some studies say that traditional diversity training is the least effective means of removing bias from hiring. Technology has provided several solutions that could help remove bias, at least from the initial application.
Several applications exist that allow companies to find candidates solely based on skills. Software like Hundred5 allows applicants to take a skills-based test, and those that score the lowest are weeded out of the pack of potential hires before anyone can make assumptions about gender or race. Those with better scores are forwarded on to those looking to hire.
Similarly, platforms Pymetrics and Gapjumpers use online surveys and quizzes without demographic information attached. Applicants answer questions on Gapjumpers, what they call "blind auditions", and employers review the answers to decide if the applicant is worth pursuing. According to their website, Gapjumpers sees women making up 60 percent of the top performers in blind auditions.
Pymetrics combines neuroscience games and AI to match people with jobs. After roughly 20 minutes playing behavior-based games, the AI matches the results with the profile of a position. If there is a match, the applicant moves on to the next round.
Reviewing resumes still remains part of the recruitment process. That can be a detriment depending on your name, or even where you live. Some studies have shown that applicants with ethnic-sounding names need to send out 50 percent more resumes than candidates with more traditional Caucasian names.
Blind reviews can remove the temptation to make assumptions about a candidate's demographics, and let their skills shine through as the most important piece of their resume.
One application enabling blind resume review is Talent Sonar. Talent Sonar hides elements from the resume – like name, gender and other identifiers – leaving an applicant's skills and experience for review by the employers.
Blendoor also allows employers to focus on a candidate's skills and background without demographically identifiable information being introduced, including removing dates from job descriptions and highlighting important pieces of an applicant's background. Then, like the dating app Tinder (but without pictures), companies can swipe to indicate interest in a candidate based solely on their qualifications.
Resume review isn't the only place where bias can find its way into the hiring process. Even the way a job description is written can influence who applies. For instance, the use of words that appeal to a more masculine audience – like "challenging" or "aggressive" – can skew your applicant pool.
Thanks to predictive analytics and plenty of examples of successful and unsuccessful postings, it's possible to adjust your descriptions to encourage a more diverse set of candidates to apply. With Textio, for instance, job postings can be reviewed for gender or culture bias. The platform reviews more than 10 million job posts a month, as well as the outcomes of those posts, and uses that data to improve its algorithms. It then makes suggestions on how to change the wording of your post to achieve better results.
There is still a place in corporate culture for diversity training and keeping the entire organization aware of the benefits of an inclusive workforce and strategies to embrace diversity in hiring. With the use of technology, however, companies can expand their pool of candidates based on skills with better job postings and blind skills reviews.