Can Software Solve Your Diversity Issues?

By all accounts, HBO’s Silicon Valley—a television show that lampoons the absurdity of California’s infamous tech scene—has been a runaway success for the network, with one exception: the show has been criticized for having a main cast comprised almost entirely of young white guys.

Pictured: Almost entirely young white guys; Source: HBO

 

When asked about this lack of diversity, executive producer Alec Berg had an interesting answer:

“We’re satirizing a real world. The world we’re depicting is every bit as off-kilter as our show is.”

Alec Berg, executive producer of Silicon Valley

Sadly, he’s right. An analysis of employees at leading tech firms in the Silicon Valley area found that 71 percent are male, 60 percent are white and the average age is slightly over 30—numbers that don’t exactly scream “diverse.”

This isn’t just a tech industry problem either. Individual companies and even whole industries are suffering from a lack of diversity in age, gender, ethnicity and other factors.

If you’re part of this group, multiple studies have shown you’re missing out on a variety of benefits by not having a diverse workforce.

 

Three Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace
 

So what’s the solution? You can’t just recruit your way out of a lack of diversity. Hiring solely based on diversity traits is a big no-no in the eyes of the EEOC, without even mentioning how terrible of an idea it is to skip over qualified candidates.

Well, here’s the irony in all of this: The same bleeding edge technology that Silicon Valley is known for can solve its diversity woes, and yours as well.

Below we highlight two types of up-and-coming recruiting platforms that can help diversify your workforce in a legal and sensical way.

(Click on a link below to jump to that section.)

Diversify Your Talent Pool With Candidate Matching 
Use Case: Jopwell
Remove Unintentional Bias With Predictive Analytics 
Use Case: Infor Talent Science
Next Steps

Diversify Your Talent Pool With Candidate Matching

If your standard sources for job applicants aren’t exposing you to a diverse pool of potential employees, there are candidate matching platforms built specifically to help recruiters find more minority candidates.

Using these platforms, you can seek out a specialty matching site catered to a certain type of employee, connect with workers whose skillsets match your needs and inject a more diverse set of applicants into your candidate pool.

Some recruiting platforms also allow users to search and filter through a large database of sourced job seekers for workers of a certain gender, ethnicity or other factors.

These matching options (we give some examples below) help increase the chance that your best fit candidate for a position will also increase the diversity of your staff.

Use Case: Jopwell

Since launching in January 2015, Jopwell (which stands for “Job Opportunities Done Well”) has made considerable waves in the recruiting world.

Jopwell has attracted customers such as Facebook and Goldman Sachs, and high-profile investors such as Magic Johnson and Joe Montana with a simple idea: a speciality matching site designed to connect companies with African American, Hispanic/Latino and Native American professionals.

Instead of hiding their diverse background, candidates who sign up for Jopwell can flaunt it in their personal profile, selecting from a number of gender and ethnicity options. Recruiters can then use the platform to customize a company profile of their own, post job openings and reach out to potential applicants.

Jopwell includes multiple gender identity options for job seekers to choose from
Source: VentureBeat

Forbes reports that Jopwell has attracted more than 40 leading companies to use its platform, and minority candidates are responding in turn: signups have increased 275 percent in six months.

Candidate matching platforms such as Jopwell don’t promise you a diverse workforce, but a more diverse talent pool to draw from increases your odds.

Other Candidate Matching Platforms to Check Out:
• PowerToFly – Matches recruiters with skilled female candidates for tech jobs
• Entelo Diversity – Sourcing platform that allows users to filter for diverse candidates
• Piazza Careers – Find entry-level candidates in minority groups for STEM positions

Remove Unintentional Bias With Predictive Analytics

A significant detriment to workplace diversity is the tendency among recruiters and hiring managers to hire people just like them. A study published by the American Sociological Association found that similarity to the interviewer and the company as a whole “was the most common mechanism used to assess applicants at the job interview stage.”

To combat this, predictive analytics platforms use big data recruiting functionality to eliminate personal bias. These platforms use assessments to gather information on your current high performers to make a predictive model for the ideal candidate.

Using data gathered from resumes, assessments, social media sites and more, these platforms score candidates based on how well they fit the ideal candidate profile for a specific position.

By following these scores, you can learn which candidates are the best ones for a position without letting unintentional bias get in the way. Let’s look at some examples.

Use Case: Infor Talent Science

Infor Talent Science, a predictive hiring platform that uses assessments and weighted behavioral dimensions to score candidates, was intended as a way to use data science to find the best workers within a pool of applicants.

But, as reported in The Atlantic, the platform provides another benefit: increased workplace diversity.

The Infor Talent Science scorecard shows how candidates stack up
against weighted criteria

 

Infor looked into 50,000 hires from a variety of clients and found that African American and Hispanic hires had increased 26 percent across a number of industries and positions. Jason Taylor, Infor’s chief human capital management scientist, attributes this to the platform’s elimination of unintentional bias.

“What a systematic process does is it knows no color, no race, no ethnicity,” Taylor says. “This provides [hiring managers] with an objective piece of information that shows the probability that they’re going to be successful in the role.”

Other Predictive Analytics Platforms to Check Out
• Gild – Automatically scores candidates based on best fit and likely availability
• Cornerstone Selection – Machine learning ensures continuously improving scoring
• HireVue Insights – Uses past user interview ratings to preemptively rank candidates

Next Steps

If you want to avoid remaining in your own homogenous and off-kilter world, invest in diversifying your workforce today—it can have a real impact on recruiting efforts and your bottom line down the road.

But before you invest in a new recruiting solution, recognize that facilitating a diverse workplace requires a human touch and consider taking these steps:

1. Solidify a diversity plan and communicate it. Walk the walk. Come up with organizational goals for diversity and communicate them to internal workers and job seekers alike. Given this transparency, they might be more likely to volunteer personal information to improve your efforts.

2. Find your gaps. Break out of your day-to-day perspective and get a bird’s-eye view of the makeup of your workforce to see where you need to improve diversity. This can be done through a random voluntary survey or a more advanced system like PeopleFluent’s diversity management solution.

3. Read reviews and demo systems. Over on our recruiting software page, you can read reviews and sign up for demos on over 200 different systems to find the one that can best address your specific hiring needs.

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