Improving diversity and #BreakingTheBias in hiring and HR

Siobhan Savage

Siobhan Savage

Chief Executive Officer, Reejig

The hiring market has faced one of its biggest shifts in past years, with candidates becoming the loudest voice and having more choice of the organizations that align with their values and expectations.

One of the loudest calls from candidates and employees is to break down the bias in hiring and inclusions. 78% of employees say it’s important for the organizations they work with to prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion.

#BreakingTheBias: International Women’s Day 2022

The theme of 2022’s International Women’s Day serves to strengthen the call for a more ethical, inclusive employee experience. #BreakTheBias gives organizations the opportunity to take a step back and examine their hiring practices, HR policies, and understand how they can combat and eliminate bias in the workplace to hire, promote and retain women. Examining the workplace experience for women today highlights the significant steps still needing to be taken to give women a fair playing field. As of now, applicants with male names have a 40% higher chance of being called in for an interview, only 86 women for every 100 men are promoted to manager, women of color account for only 4% of C-suite leaders and female-led businesses have only increased 3% in 20 years. Those numbers alone would give many hiring managers reason to rethink their talent acquisition strategy. So what can the organizations do to make hiring and retaining employees fairer?

Introduce ethical hiring within the workplace

Hiring methods traditionally involve heavy input, and manual work, from HR departments and hiring managers across industries. This ongoing input can lead to organizations unintentionally leaking bias into their hiring decisions, which then has a trickle-down effect on employee experience and retention. Companies who haven’t already should look to implement an evidence-based means of talent discovery, acquisition, and retention — like AI — to make hiring recommendations based on skills and potential, not personal characteristics or job titles. AI has become more commonplace in talent acquisition to manage large talent pools, giving hiring managers the insights they need to make informed decisions as well the tools to proactively engage with potential candidates who historically may not have applied.

THE IMPACT:

In the Harvard Business Review (HBR) article, “Why Women Don’t Apply for Jobs Unless They’re 100% Qualified,” women’s leadership coach Tara Sophia Mohr cited a compelling statistic from a Hewlett Packard internal report:

“Men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them.”

How we #BreakTheBias: Using Ethical AI you can give people, and especially women, access to opportunities based on their skills and potential. Our AI algorithms assess thousands of data points for every candidate and provide explainable insights as to who is best suited to the role. Where this becomes even more impactful is when we proactively nudge the shortlisted candidates to the opportunity, so we aren’t relying on inbound applications (and the bias that comes with that).

Not every AI will ensure bias is removed. Historic data sets that are already gender-skewed, imbalanced, or biased can lead to some AI learning from existing bias and introducing it again.

Instead, companies should explore AI platforms that are independently audited to be “ethical”. Currently, any AI vendor can self-audit their own AI model and call it ethical, without independent examination. Our Ethical AI is independently audited and compliant with global equal opportunity regulations and anti-discrimination laws. This means your organization can feel confident that the talent decisions they make are both free of bias and based on skill and potential.

Eliminate bias but improve diversity visibility

While Ethical AI identifies and eliminates unconscious bias from the talent acquisition process, it’s important that organizations can track their hiring balance, diversity and equity to ensure they’re on the right track to building an inclusive workplace that hires equally and gives all employees opportunities to grow and feel valued within the organization.

Understanding your DE&I performance is crucial to creating a diverse workforce — a key responsibility of leadership teams in 2022.

“It’s been proven over and over again that a diverse team creates a higher-performing company. It is also the right thing to do, leaders in 2022 have a responsibility to create environments that are diverse in DNA but also thinking. I mean, they are also far more fun places to work at… Who wants to work with 10,000 of the same type of people!” – Siobhan Savage, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, Reejig

With Reejig, organizations can understand, track and report on key diversity metrics for hiring and internal promotions. Spotting areas where your diversity can improve is confronting, but it gives organizations the opportunity to create a more equal space for existing and new hires. In a competitive talent market, promoting your commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is attractive for candidates that are eager to see change and transparency.

THE IMPACT:

Reejig’s talent acquisition sets your organization up to source talent ethically, with four key areas of sourcing to ensure your teams can always find the best people, with the best potential for your business:

Balanced Shortlists
Your talent pools and shortlists are built using Reejig’s Ethical AI that creates a diverse and balanced shortlist for every open role.
Skills-first views of talent
Full visibility of all skills and potential help to uncover and re-engage diverse talent to return to the industry.
Personalized nudge campaigns
Nudge campaigns will help you to share the story of being inclusive and equal, attracting diverse talent, and build relationships at scale with your talent ecosystem.
Tracking your success
Talent Intelligence includes DEI reporting for every shortlist on gender, language, age, and ethnic background by department, role, and skill to understand your diversity DNA.

Bias can be broken with ethical hiring and organizational responsibility

International Women’s Day is not the only time to focus on inherent and often unconscious bias that leads to hiring, promotional and financial inequity. Bias can be prevalent in the hiring process, and leadership teams wanting to break that bias should focus on implementing ethical processes and diversity targets now and continue their efforts into the future.

“The benefit of increasing diversity in the workplace is obvious: more productive and creative, less turnover, zero wasted potential, it can be achieved when the bias is in control.” – Shujia Zhang, CDO & Co-Founder

Key hiring practices to implement to #BreakTheBias

  • Establish a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) employee resource group
  • Set and monitor strong DE&I targets
  • Practice what you preach, ensure your leadership team is diverse
  • Set your recruiters and hiring managers up for success with additional DE&I training
  • Hire based on skills and potential, not job titles
  • Equip your team with the tools to action and report on #BreakingTheBias
  • Implement Ethical AI into your hiring to source balanced talent lists from internal and external sources

 

Journey towards zero wasted potential with Reejig's Ethical Talent AI

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