Leveraging technology to drive Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

14/4/2021

Jamie Miller - Director, Marketing Recruitment

Image of jumbled cables representing diversity, equity & inclusion.

As organisational DE&I strategies become increasingly high profile and are rightly positioned at the heart of business strategy, many firms are seeking to leverage technology further to identify, attract and retain a vast pool of under-represented talent.

Talent Acquisition teams play a critical and central role in diversity hiring efforts, however, according to a recent survey by IBM, 35% of HR leaders believe their organisation does not have the statistical capability to check whether their recruitment processes are bias-free.

Despite significant investment in DE&I centres of excellence and the roll out of sophisticated employer branding campaigns, the outlook for hiring and promoting diverse talent is not where it should be. Carefully chosen AI and, increasingly, Virtual Reality platforms for screening and assessment, can further enhance organisational inclusivity efforts and ensure all qualified candidates have equal access to opportunities.

I spoke to James Jenkins, Director of UK Recruitment at Accenture, who commented:

“Once candidates enter our recruitment process, we manage our selection process robustly.  We run assessments that do not require any pre-existing knowledge or work experience, removing any potential barriers or blockers for candidates who have been impacted by bias previously.  

Candidates enter an immersive virtual reality-based assessment that mimics a client case study narrative; both simultaneously educating candidates on how we work, whilst also providing an assessment where no previous experience or knowledge of consulting is necessary to be successful. Decision making is centred on structured, strength-based interviews that bring out the genuine interest, motivation and aptitude of interviewees, which is effective in identifying potential, instead of pedigree, and driving diversity in the hiring process.”

The AI recruitment software market is vast and developing rapidly; we looked at three examples of platforms that have the potential to support Talent Acquisition teams further:

DBSquaredhttps://www.dbsquared.com

DBSquared's products focus on supporting more equitable hiring and compensation practices. Its job description software, DBDescriptions, can help companies write unbiased job postings. HR staff can use DBSquared's compensation management software, DBCompensation, to highlight compensation disparity. Using organisational workforce data, such as level of experience, race and gender, the software creates charts that show any pay disparity.

Diversiowww.diversio.com

Diversio's bias corrector tool integrates with a company's communication platform, such as Slack, and flags cultural insensitivity and unconscious bias. The social media barometer tracks company mentions on social media to see if the public is complaining about the company's D&I record. Diversio’s recommendation engine uses algorithms to match a company's problems and recommend the correct course of action.

Appliedwww.beapplied.com

The Applied platform targets removing bias from the hiring process. Some of its strategies include removing job applicant information and randomizing the order in which recruiters see applicant answers. Applied also displays application question responses from all candidates, rather than having recruiters review one full application at a time, to lower the chances that bias creeps in.

If deployed correctly, Artificial Intelligence can play a key support role in organisational DE&I efforts; however, critical to success is building upon an already embedded inclusive organisational culture.

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