Can HR technology and chatbots remove unconscious bias in recruiting? I’m telling you there’s a chance. Let’s start with this one fact: Most of us really, really like ourselves. A lot. We usually believe the way we do things is pretty spot on. I mean, my mother swears you have to rotate the old ice in your icemaker once a month, or every Coke Zero will have the funk of forty thousand years; me, not so much. It’s a similar situation in the adventure we call hiring. We like to hire people who are like us. All things being equal, given three equally qualified candidates, the “emo-ist-of-emo” manager will likely lean toward hiring the really smart guy whose clothing palette consists of dark grey, charcoal, slate, and outer-space black. In a similar vein, a gruff-but-lovable leader will want to select a team of gruff-but-loveable Wilford Brimleys. There’s nothing wrong with that kind of selection—until we look around and see a sea of… us! We realize we have a workforce devoid of real authenticity, innovation, or new ideas. This hurts our diversity efforts. Want proof? According to the Harvard Business Review, some 4.5 percent of the CEOs of large U.S. companies are named David—surpassing the 4.1 percent of CEOs who are women. Roughly 85 percent of board members and executives are white men, despite the considerable resources devoted to diversity efforts. At the 2018 HR Technology Conference, I attended a session that shared tools that may actually support the two “human elements” that workplaces need help with:
- Bringing focused attention to candidate/employee needs.
- Curbing bias.
- What is the company culture like?
- What will I get if I come to work for Follet?
- Why should I chose Follet over other companies?
- Are 45 percent more likely to grow market share.
- Have a 42 percent increase in applicants.
- 56 percent (of survey-takers) agree diversity drives innovation.
- Show 33 percent higher profitability performance.