Expect Increased Focus on Controlling Bias in Hiring This Year

Erin Iafelice

The changing social climate in the U.S., coupled with the clear connection between workplace diversity and financial performance, is likely to increase business drive to improve diversity hiring this year. Although increasing candidate reach with sourcing strategies is one part of the solution, at Modern Hire, we already see a stronger focus by companies on controlling bias in the hiring process. Many of our clients are taking a very close interest in the artificial intelligence (AI) indices within our predictive hiring platform and strategies for improving their organization’s outcomes. More and more, TA leaders understand that hiring processes can either reinforce existing biases or eliminate them.

Minimizing bias in candidate selection with technology

Data-driven hiring technologies can help minimize and even eliminate bias in candidate selection. An all-in-one hiring platform like Modern Hire that is proven to predict candidates’ on-the-job success focuses on the core competencies needed for job and organization-level performance. In other words, scores are only about job performance, regardless of a candidate’s age, race, gender, religion, geography, or other aspects that can lead to bias.

Pre-employment assessments are not a new concept, so what makes Modern Hire effective in eliminating bias? There are a few factors:

  • Modern Hire Virtual Job Tryouts® are grounded in more than two decades of industrial-organizational (I-O) selection science and validated by more than 400 studies. They are proven to collect, measure, and return data relevant to job performance.
  • Virtual Job Tryouts leverage advanced AI to understand data patterns at deeper levels than ever before. As a result, they are more predictive of candidates’ future job performance. 
  • Modern Hire is continually monitoring predictor-criterion relationships and group differences in both ready-to-implement Virtual Job Tryouts as well as those customized for specific organizations. This ongoing scrutiny is essential for combatting adverse impact on protected classes of candidates. 

These are strategies for eliminating bias in the structured data gathered in pre-employment assessments. Also, Modern Hire’s platform has other tools that reduce hiring bias. In LinkedIn’s 2018 Global Recruiting Trends Report, 42% of TA practitioners identified “bias of the interviewer” as one of the largest flaws of traditional interviews. With advances in AI, Modern Hire removes bias from the unstructured data of candidates’ on-demand interview responses. Our platform can process and automatically understand interview responses and other natural behavioral indicators and relate the data to job performance. 

Let’s be clear, though. These technologies do not make hiring decisions. Instead, these tools provide an accurate and objective source of data and insight hiring teams can use to make their candidate selection and hiring decisions. When AI is used to eliminate bias, it becomes a transformative technology that elevates equity and hiring fairness. This doesn’t happen automatically, though – it must be purposefully applied to hiring from scientific and humanistic perspectives. Read Modern Hire’s Standards for the Ethical Application of AI in Hiring. 

Diversity hiring will trend in 2021

Many of the executive orders executed by the new administration in its first 100 days signal mounting attention to public policy that supports social equality and is likely to influence the social climate in the U.S. TA leaders are also expected to see changes on the regulatory front regarding the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) and the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (UGESP). We believe more companies will make predicting, measuring, and programmatically controlling for bias part of their hiring process in 2021.

Keeping your eye on market forces that influence hiring? Be sure to download and share Modern Hire’s 2021 Hiring Trends Report. Find out why adaptability and forward-thinking will be the watchwords for hiring teams in 2021.