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How to Ensure Fairness in Your Hiring

Erin Iafelice

Every HR professional is familiar with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulations to promote fairness in hiring and preventing discrimination. While many follow the strict letter of the law, others embrace it, going beyond compliance to make “fairness” in hiring an advantage for their organization.

That’s a strategy with real business value. Talent Board, which surveyed more than 195,000 job seekers for its 2019 research, indicates that “Fairness perceptions have a huge impact on overall candidate attitudes about employers they’re interested in and their eventual decision-making process as it relates to the employers…The perception of fairness is something we see in a greater concentration with CandE (Candidate Experience) Award-winning employers.” In other words, fairness in hiring can help organizations attract talent and hire better.   

Improving hiring objectivity and consistency

Fair hiring practices emphasize the reduction of bias and repeatable methodologies. Neither is easy to accomplish with traditional hiring processes, but advances in artificial intelligence (AI) make it possible to do both better and deliver a personal hiring experience. Modern Hire is one solution that helps ensure fairness in hiring by integrating pre-hire assessments, AI, predictive analytics, and workflow automation in an enterprise hiring platform.

Modern Hire’s AI-driven pre-employment assessments ask candidates to perform a range of simulated job tasks and respond to job-related exercises. The assessments utilize predictive analytics and hiring and performance data from millions of applicants to ensure they reliably predict candidates’ on-the-job performance. TA teams receive relevant, meaningful, scorable data they can use to rank candidates based on their abilities rather than other, more subjective factors, which reduces interviewer bias. Learn more about the power of predictive analytics to improve hiring by driving better decision making in our white paper.

The pre-hire assessments are part of the Modern Hire platform, enabling recruiters to work them into high-volume hiring workflows efficiently. They gain an objective, repeatable methodology they can use consistently with every candidate. However, procedural fairness in hiring that’s supported by AI technologies is only part of the equation. Candidates must feel the process is fair for TA teams to create added value in their hiring. 

What “fair” feels like to candidates

Though the perception of fairness in hiring is going to vary by candidate, TA teams can better understand fairness in their hiring experience by exploring the following questions:  

  • Can candidates clearly understand the job requirements? 
  • Can candidates easily comprehend what is required of them as they progress through the hiring process?
  • Are candidates given multiple opportunities to demonstrate their job-relevant skills and communicate why they believe they are the best person for the job?
  • Do the pre-hire assessments used give candidates a realistic insight into the job, the organization, and the culture?  
  • Is the communication candidates receive consistent with their actual experience?
  • Are candidates provided with feedback on whether or not they receive a job offer?
  • Are candidates who will not receive a job offer notified promptly?

Answers to these questions will help you evaluate your process’s two-way nature and pinpoint areas that could use improvement.

Perception of fairness and your employer brand

As noted by the Talent Board, candidates’ perception of fairness is tightly linked to their satisfaction with your hiring process. Strive for fairness at every step, and you will see the ROI reflected in your employer brand’s external perceptions. Alternatively, employers are likely to see candidates’ negative feelings about an “unfair” process shared on social media and with their circle of family and friends.  

That feeling of fairness may seem like a moving target, but prioritizing candidates’ perceptions of your hiring process is a must-do in the modern hiring environment. Repeatable methodologies, supported by AI-enabled technology, can be the strong foundation for fairness in your hiring experience.