Unconscious bias isn’t something you can ever completely remove from the hiring process.
However, there are many ways you can look to heavily reduce the opportunity for human bias to enter recruitment processes. This has been made more possible with the advent of AI technologies in HR.
As a hiring manager, your ultimate goals are to hire the best and most diverse talent to give your organization a broad range of perspectives and skills. The problem is that your team’s biases, or your own personal biases, could be standing in the way of getting those candidates.
There are many strategic and practical ways that you can start to address this. This including reworking your job descriptions to remove gendered or non-inclusive language and defining diversity goals.
However, new AI hiring solutions go even further and have really changed the game in objective recruitment to help eliminate bias from hiring. This is especially true as more employers look to hire virtually.
Forbes notes to reduce unconscious hiring bias, you must be disciplined about asking all applicants the same questions. This allows “hiring decision makers to base decisions on informed comparisons about applicants’ capabilities rather than their first impressions”.
Using a one-way interview platform like X0PA ROOM, interviewers can create consistent interviews that focus on the candidates’ answers to the same questions. Through this format, these questions can be via video, text or multiple-choice format questions (or a combination). AI analytics then step in following the interview to assess candidates objectively before providing the results to the hiring team to evaluate.
Using AI to evaluate candidates means you can really level the playing field. Rather than focusing purely on what someone claims on their CV, employers can get a sense of real job skills by using skills assessments. This is also a much fairer method for candidates who may face exclusion due to assumptions.
While this isn’t a new concept, AI hiring tools have made the process even more insightful and objective. Multiple mediums can be used for skills assessments and then scored by the AI based on standard metrics. This means future interviews can be offered based purely on scores from tests. All of this happens before any character information is available about the candidate.
Some organizations like the BBC and The Guardian have gone as far as ditching CVs altogether from the application process, and instead create bespoke digital tests that mimic the challenges of the job itself.
You’ve probably heard of blind hiring. Traditionally this meant covering up information like names, ages and gender on paper CVs so that hiring managers wouldn’t involve their own personal biases. However, with the advances in technology that AI offers, this can now go several steps further.
There are many clues about a candidate’s age, race, gender and background that any human will miss from job applications and CVs. By using machine learning and advanced keyword trackers, AI solutions can dramatically cut down the information in a candidate’s profile that could be revealing.
Even more incredible, is that virtual one-way video interviews can now be masked completely at the click of a button using X0PA ROOM. Masking occurs through blacking of video screens and voice masking for anonymity. This means a candidate’s appearance and voice will never be the subject of human bias in early interview stages.
All candidate responses receive evaluation behind the scenes by fair video analytics and speech-to-text capabilities. This produces ranking/scoring, predictive analysis and transcripts for the hiring manager before any human assessment.
This truly equitable and inclusive approach means more diverse candidates get a better chance to progress to in-person interviews.
Heard the saying… it takes a village?
This one may seem obvious, but it is so critical to diverse outcomes in hiring. Whether in-person or virtual, it is always more equitable to have a panel of interviewers, ideally from diverse backgrounds themselves.
The power that AI brings to this equation is that collaboration and group assessment can be instant with continuous discussion. Through the use of virtual interviews, all interviewers get a chance to score and rank candidates together at the same time. This is even more powerful through the integration of Microsoft Teams and X0PA ROOM. Multiple interviewers from across the business can view the candidates’ interviews and join the conversation all in one channel. This can then lead to multiple perspectives and analyses from a range of current employees.
This is the main goal of AI hiring solutions. Objective and equitable recruitment starts by trying to take some of the human factors and bias out of the equation. This means that hiring managers can simply rely on facts and intelligent insights.
Today there are so many insights that AI solutions are able to draw via interviews, skills assessments and candidate profiles. This is a great way to benchmark objectively and highlight critical skills needed for roles. All of this happens without human involvement at early stages to avoid bias creeping in too soon.
AI can even help with locating your ideal candidates and adding them to your talent pool. Intelligent solutions can create a mock profile of your perfect candidate and scan job boards like LinkedIn to find matches. This is possible by linking your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to job boards to give employers access to millions of profiles.
Frida Polli, an expert cognitive neuroscientist, notes that AI ‘can assess the entire pipeline of candidates, rather than forcing time-constrained humans to implement biased processes to shrink the pipeline from the start’. A recruiter manually searching for candidates will often look in the same places with the same assumptions. This will therefore often amount to homogenous outcomes in terms of candidates.
By letting AI do the work, wide-ranging candidate profiles (including passive candidates) are scanned purely for their skills, likely performance and corporate fit. Once added to an employer’s talent pool, the pool becomes more diverse naturally. These candidates can then be evaluated against each other, as well as being suggested for future roles.
These are just a few of the ways employers can use AI to help fight against unconscious bias in recruitment.
It is impossible to remove all human bias, but it is possible to identify and take steps to reduce or remove the opportunity for bias to enter hiring processes.
AI solutions are therefore a critical enabler in the important battle to create more diverse workplaces through objective and equitable recruitment.
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