Countless studies show that diversity – whether it is based on race, age, sex or socio-economic status – is good for business . It adds more perspectives, opinions, knowledge and skills to the table. But we know that businesses, large and small, still face problems in hiring diverse workforce.
In reality, we are intrinsically biased. We can not help but automatically like people who look like us. That 's why it might be time to admit that technology could do a better job than we do at hiring.
In recent years, we have seen the arrival of a number of startups aimed at combating unconscious bias in the hiring of software. The Paris-based Goshaba society, for example, allows candidates to play cognitive games to make the recruitment process more efficient and inclusive.
The company was co-founded by Camille Morvan, who taught cognitive science and organizational psychology at Harvard. In 2014, she switched to entrepreneurship as a result of a simple observation: recruiters tend to focus solely on resumes and cover letters, while ignoring the general skills of the candidate. But things change, says Morvan:
We are witnessing a real change as large corporations become increasingly convinced of the benefits of objective, data-driven and fair recruitment. In particular, they observed the danger of unconscious bias in recruitment. Diversity is not only a key ethical issue for businesses, but it helps them attract and retain top talent.
For example, we will soon be working with EDF Energy to target candidates who start their careers at school or at university. Diversity and inclusion is a huge strategic agenda for the energy business, in a sector that has been rather white and dominated by men. They want to change that.
Headstart based in London has a similar mission but uses machine learning to determine which candidates are the best technical and cultural adjustments.
The recruitment process was designed to help companies move away from hiring based on qualification and to take into account personality, interests and motivations. According to algorithms to match candidates with the best adjustment roles, unconscious bias can be significantly reduced.
Drawing around a bias
Siri Uotila is a researcher in the women's public policy program at Harvard Kennedy School . She has done a lot of research on how bias affects our decision-making and how we can design environments that give less room for biased decisions.
According to Uotila, there are many ways to improve decision making when it comes to hiring – and to make the hiring process more efficient in general from an HR perspective.
What we always recommend is to never do unstructured interviews. If you want to do interviews as a first step in hiring, make sure that they are structured and equal for all applicants. What we encourage even more than interviewing is blind recruitment and requiring a test sample work.
Blind recruitment is the act of removing personal information from an application, which includes your name and anything that involves something on your demographics. This allows the essential parts of your application – your skills and qualifications – to stand out.
This is a proven method. One of the most notable examples is that of classical musicians in orchestras. For decades, they were heavily dominated by male players, and the number of players was sometimes as low as five percent. This problem was noticed in the 70s and 80s, and players had to play behind a curtain when they auditioned for spots. This has significantly increased the number of female musicians.
The other way to make hiring processes more efficient and fair is to require samples of work. Instead of letting a potential employee explain what he or she is good at, why not try a test? Let them show their skills instead of explaining them.
Let AI do the hiring
It's here that intervenes Priyanka Jain, head of growth at Pymetrics. Pymetrics . Pymetrics offers a hiring platform to large companies, excluding personal information about the applicant. This makes the process as impartial as possible.
The goal of pymetry is to give all candidates equal opportunity to be considered for a job. Regardless of gender, ethnicity or socio-economic background.
Pymetrics makes you play neuroscience games that allow you to solve different tasks. For example, how inclined are you to take risks or are you impulsive? These tasks assess your cognitive and emotional traits, and the data they gather, Jain explains, are far more dense than a resume would ever be.
So, how does it work? You connect to a platform. You do not send your resume. You resolve these tasks and, depending on how you measure them, you will be or will not be invited to a second round interview.
Example of a task that you have to solve via the platform of Pymetrics hiring. For each balloon pump, you collect money. The more you pump, the more you collect. But beware, the balloon will burst at some point. Is it better to pump less and collect small amounts of money for many balloons or a lot of money for less balloons?
This method works very similar to the blind-screening method that Uotila recommends to avoid bias. And according to Jain, the results already speak for themselves.
Pymetry generally has very large companies (such as Unilever Tesla and LinkedIn ) as clients. This is because they need companies with many employees to develop accurate algorithms that understand the skills that this company needs.
According to Pymetrics client impact statistics, 18 percent more women were hired and 16 percent more people from minorities. In addition, more people with community experience have been hired than ever before.
Can AI completely eliminate prejudices?
It is clear that technical solutions such as Pymetrics can help people from more diverse backgrounds take their first steps, but what happens when they really find the job? Can we ensure that more equitable employment policies will also result in promotions for more diverse employees?
Uotila admits that this is another challenge that companies will face. At some point, the scope of the algorithms stops and people – colleagues, managers and employees – have to interact. And the bias will always happen. But Uotila thinks if more and more big companies are starting to set up blind screening and solutions like the Pymetrics hiring platform, it's a step in the right direction. good direction.
It is very difficult to say if this will help more women and minorities to be promoted to higher levels after being in a business for a while. However, if diversity figures in general improve, this will at some point become the new norm.
It seems that there are definitely concrete solutions to ensure impartial hiring and increase diversity. And as the results of Pymetrics already show, technology can play a vital role in this solution. The question now is whether it can also have a "run-off" effect and ensure more diversity in the upper layers.
Many leading brands now recognize the significant business benefits flowing from the constitution of a diverse workforce. EDF Energy is passionate about recruiting diverse backgrounds, which is why the next edition of the EDF Energy Pulse Awards includes this theme.
" It has been proven that you get better results in terms of innovation, performance and business from various groups of people" [19459005 says Fiona Jackson, Chief of Diversity, Inclusion and Corporate Branding at EDF Energy.
This message is brought to you by EDF Energy .