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Bias in Hiring: Where Current Solutions Fall Short (Part Three of Four)

Jun 10, 2022

HR practitioners have a lot of balls in the air today. They’re struggling with record low unemployment, an unpredictable economic environment, and the ups and downs of COVID infection rates. Amid all this, they’re working hard to hire fairly and without bias.

HCM technology has developed tremendously in the past decades. Many software vendors claim to have the solution to all HR hiring headaches. But buyer beware. Some programs are “bolt-on,” resulting in a disjointed experience for candidates or a lack of real-time data for hiring teams. Others present as a full hiring platform but peer behind the curtain there as well. Is the technology fully integrated? Is it a seamless experience for candidates and hiring managers? And finally, is the technology backed up by research and tested for validity?

Look out for the potholes

You sit down for a demo with the vendor and go through screen after screen. Maybe it’s a smooth user interface, or a slick app. On the surface, it all looks good.

But the questions to ask have to do with what’s below the surface, embedded in how the technology was built. Here’s what’s at issue with many solutions on the market:

Inefficient. Many hiring programs lack workforce automation to support efficient hiring. For instance, it takes too long to schedule interviews. Manual processes or a lack of integration across software platforms muddies the waters and slows the process. Candidates abandon the process or find a job elsewhere. The result is slower time-to-hire.

Ineffective. Ultimately, any hiring technology’s purpose is to assist you in choosing the right person for the job. Ask for data on how the hiring platform impacts retention and new hire productivity. Scientifically predicting turnover is especially helpful for high volume and hourly roles, where determining turnover risk early in the hiring process saves a lot of time for both the hiring team and candidates.

Unethical. Look out for AI algorithms based on biased data. Verify that the technology isn’t using controversial or illegal practices known to be unreliable, potentially unfair, or invasive, like using AI to evaluate facial features or scrape social media profiles.

Lack of transparency. There’s a growing distrust of AI because the technology is often used in a black box, where users can’t see how decisions are being made. Ask about the science and methodology driving the hiring softwares recommendations. And ensure that candidates are always informed on how their data will be evaluated and used.

Inconvenient. When candidates apply to your organization, they are looking for one thing – a fast, convenient and engaging way to get started. Job seekers today expect to communicate via mobile devices. A comprehensive hiring platform should support texting, email, and phone. But a lot of hiring software is cumbersome and clunky resulting in a poor candidate experience.

In the end, you want hiring software that evaluates candidates against job requirements using effective, fair, and scientifically proven methods. Organizations need to cut through the clutter of slick marketing claims and ask vendors for specific, clear evidence of the effectiveness of their technology.