NACE conference 2023 recap

June 9th, 2023
The HireVue Team
Artificial Intelligence,
Diversity & Inclusion,

This year, graduate talent leaders headed to Orlando for NACE 2023, for 3 days of discussions around enhancing career services and college recruiting. 

This year conversations circled around two key themes—fair hiring and the state of AI. 

Topics around AI are rampant, with questions around its validity, ROI, and ethics. How does it work? How does it fit in hiring? What’s the future of hiring? 

In addition, conversations around how to make hiring more diverse and fair were increasingly popular. And what’s interesting is that the two topics are more related than maybe they seem at surface-level. 

Below we discuss how ethical AI is the future of hiring—and how the future of hiring is fairness. Here are the top themes we pulled from NACE 2023. 

The future of hiring is ethical AI.

Let’s start by saying this: The best hiring decisions are made when AI and humans work together. AI is not a decision-make but rather a way to support your decision-making with data. 

At HireVue, we believe static AI that is deterministic (meaning it gives the same output every time given the same input), should be the standard of hiring. However, it’s important to remember that while AI in hiring is a new idea, the standard and science behind the technology isn’t. There are vast, legal structures that govern fairness in hiring, and at HireVue, we adhere to the law and follow best practices that even go beyond those standards.

For early talent hiring teams looking to optimize their HR tech stacks, the search can feel overwhelming with all the options on the market. The best place to start is thinking through the explainability piece. Your vendors should be able to:

  • Easily explain how their technology works
  • Explain in it a way that makes sense
  • Share the technology’s validity and ROI

If they can’t, you may want to look elsewhere. If you’re interested in more information about HireVue’s technology, read the industry’s first AI Explainability statement here.

Diverse workplaces come from diverse hiring

This year’s NACE included many conversations around DEI, motivating teams to increasingly prioritize fairness when it comes to hiring.

“Fair hiring” isn’t about meeting “quotas” or making a company “look good.” It’s about doing the right thing, and your early talent expects you to.

According to Intel, diversity “will be a workplace deal-breaker for Gen Z.” Over a third of Gen-Zers say if given two similar offers, they would undoubtedly choose the company they perceived as more diverse and inclusive. Gen Z candidates are seeking companies that align with their values, and they’re 204% more likely to engage with that employer when candidates perceive the hiring process as fair.

Incorporating technology to support your DEI initiates creates an ease of access and accommodation for everyone—supporting marginalized groups and ensuring more fair evaluation. 

Evaluate for skills

Early talent hiring teams are frequently faced with resumes that all look the same, leaving recruiters often just hoping for the best when they hire candidates. 

Turning to  skill-based assessments is one way to not only evaluate consistently but ensure you’re hiring based on factors that actually predict success (hint: resumes don’t). Assessments allow you to quickly identify and assess the skills you need to build a high-performing workforce that lasts through tomorrow’s challenges. HireVue offers a comprehensive library of competencies—each designed and validated to measure a different aspect of job fit. Our solutions allow teams to assess the critical skills, like emotional intelligence and relationship building, that can be crucial in workplaces.

According to the HireVue 2023 Global Trends Report, almost half (48%) of TA leaders have turned to a skills-based approach for talent acquisition, forgoing education and past work experience unless they’re actually relevant to the job at hand. As a result, teams are able to target historically overlooked workers by paying attention to:

  • Internal candidates (44%)
  • Diverse employees (45%)
  • Mature aged workers (41%)
  • Interns and undergrad workers (32%)

Want to learn more about supporting equity in your workplace? Read the 2023 Equity in Hiring Research Report

Hiring marginalized candidates

Skill assessment is one way to ensure you’re supporting your DEI efforts, ensuring all your candidates are evaluated equally. However, it’s important to also think through how your processes affect candidates who are historically marginalized.

At HireVue, we strive to make the candidate experience positive for everyone—including those who are neurodiverse. We’ve partnered with Integrate Autism Employment Advisors to help guide our processes and recommendations we make to employers. Integrate’s mission is to help organizations identify, recruit, and retain professionals on the autism spectrum, and we believe technology can be the bridge between candidates and opportunities. 

At NACE, Amy Stornello, Sr. Employment Advisor/Title IX Deputy Coordinator at the RIT/NTID Co-op and Career Center, led a session titled “Diversity Through the Deaf Lens: Understanding the Deaf Community’s Struggles for Employability.” She emphasized that intersectionality is still a critical part of the deaf experience, even though the community is often overlooked when it comes to DEI initiatives. And if someone didn’t grow up in an area with resources to help prepare them for careers, the process can be extra difficult. 

Unemployment is massively disproportionate for the deaf community with 46.7% of the community unemployed. Many experience their resumes simply tossed with no effort to hire or accommodate.

There are even a number of microaggrressions against the deaf community that aren’t often realized. For example, when someone who is deaf or hard of hearing asks you to repeat something, you may respond saying, “Nevermind,” because you don’t think it’s important enough to repeat. In addition, we can carry huge assumptions about the ability of people to read lips, when it’s actually a more complex and difficult task than assumed. 

Tips for auditing your hiring for fairness.

  • Audit your job descriptions for language that is typically associated with men vs women. Ensure they don’t devalue certain ways of doing things because they’re typically associated with women. For example, empathy and nurturing personalities are great traits to have in workplaces. 
  • Incorporate a chatbot with Natural Language Processing (NLP) that can maintain a conversational cadence. It’s important to communicate with candidates that your chatbot isn’t a real human (a helpful point for many neurodivergent candidates), and it should also be able to keep up with the normal flow of conversations. If your candidate types in a location with a typo or even a common city like Springfield, your conversational chatbot should be able to use machine learning to present the candidate with the likely correction or options to keep the conversation moving. 
  • If your job matching only relies on keyword searches, you’ll limit your pool of talent. With HireVue conversational AI, candidates can simply chat to find the best-fit job using our O*NET job matching. Don’t let candidates miss out on roles, because your chatbot can only handle specific entries. If your candidate searches for “hostess,” a smart chatbot can match those skills, titles, job descriptions, and more to fully search and present all the open roles at your company and present them to the candidate. 
  • In conjunction with our partnership with Integrate Autism Employment Advisors, we encourage employers to provide all candidates with a list of questions they plan to ask them. Autistic and neurodivergent candidates can sometimes experience increased anxiety in new or unfamiliar situations, above and beyond that of their neurotypical peers, so do what you can do to help ease any nerves!
  • Consider removing time constraints from your prep time for candidates preparing for on-demand interviews, so candidates have as much time as they need to prepare and keep the response time the same for everyone. And allow candidates to re-record their answers, so they have multiple attempts. 

Creating workplaces that reflect diversity starts with your hiring, so audit your processes and see what steps you can take to make sure your hiring processes and evaluations are fair for everyone. Ready to take the next steps? Request a demo.