Hiring diverse teams and building an inclusive workforce, where everyone feels valued is a growing priority for businesses. New data from Instant Offices has highlighted a global spike in searches for ‘diversity and inclusion manager’ over the last 10 years, with interest in the term growing by 122% since 2010.
Glassdoor also predicts a wave of hiring for leaders and managers that can drive more diversity and inclusion in their workplace. But according to skeeled, a provider of AI predictive talent acquisition software, improving D&I needs to start with the hiring process to ensure it completely fair and bias free.
Nicolas Speeckaert, co-founder and director of skeeled says, “Many companies want to strengthen their diversity. They want their business to benefit from the increased creativity and innovation and diversity of thought and experience a diverse team could deliver, which could give them a competitive edge. However, a stumbling block for companies has been the unconscious bias that creeps into the recruitment process, which sees candidates sadly rejected because of their age or surname on their CV.”
Speeckaert acknowledges that many companies are addressing this issue by practising blind recruitment, where all the candidate details are removed from a CV and many are also training their managers and recruiters in unconscious bias, so they are more aware of the decisions they are making.
However, he says that using AI technology in the early stages of the recruitment process to automate the sifting and selection of candidates could be the biggest game changer for companies seeking to improve D&I as it removes bias from the early stages of the hiring process.
Nicolas says, “Our talent acquisition software skeeled uses a pre-screening tool, powered by machine learning and Natural Language Programme (NLP) which accurately sifts and selects only suitable candidates based on the details of their CV. It ranks and evaluates them against an employer’s job specification, selecting only candidates that meet and match the requirements.
“The system produces an automated binary decision: that either rejects applicants clearly not a fit or puts them forward for further analysis. Candidates can also undertake pre-employment tests that assess their personality, motivation and reasoning capabilities, which gives employers more information and an in-depth holistic view of each applicant and confidence the very best talent has been selected.”
Speeckaert adds, “Obviously having the human touch in the hiring process is still needed, as companies need to ensure people are the right fit for a role. The system supports companies by enabling them to invite candidates to undertake a short video interview interviews which can be reviewed later and shared with colleagues to ensure a collective and fair hiring decision is made.
“Relying on AI technology alone will not ensure a diverse and inclusive workforce, it needs to be part of a wider D&I strategic focus, which includes training for managers, ensuring more diverse candidates are proactively targeted and that it is a key objective for the board – however, technology can ensure that bias is removed from the early stages of the process and support companies to make better and fairer hiring decisions.”