Take the lead: How recruiters can lead DEI initiatives by reducing bias in hiring

July 1st, 2021
HireVue Team
Diversity & Inclusion,

Forward-thinking hiring leaders understand that diversity, equity and inclusion are business imperative. 

But what happens when you source and attract diverse talent, just to lose them to an interview and evaluation process that’s not inclusive? In order to create sustainable change, inclusion must infiltrate each touchpoint of the hiring process. 

The good news is, today’s recruiters are uniquely positioned to lead organizational transformation by fighting hiring bias from the ground up.

Here’s how to practice inclusive hiring, and land diverse talent: 

1. Use inclusive language in job descriptions

Words matter. And in hiring, it starts with your job descriptions.

According to LinkedIn, men apply to jobs 13% more frequently than their female counterparts. Why? A recent study indicated women are less likely to apply for jobs that include words in the job description typically perceived as “masculine” (i.e. strong, competitive, individual). 

Despite feeling qualified for the position, the women interpreted the language as a sign that male candidates would be favored during the selection process -- and as a result, the hiring organizations lost a significant number of qualified candidates.

What to do? Before posting your next job, run it through a gender decoder like this one to minimize gender bias.

2. Avoid “screening out” diverse candidates

When left unchecked, we humans will never fail to let unconscious biases sneak into our hiring decisions. To combat this, forward-thinking recruiters are pushing for technology that holds hiring teams accountable. 

By using skills-based assessments -- instead of traditional resume reviews or unstructured phone screens -- hiring leaders can feel confident they’re making informed, objective decisions about candidates. 

HireVue assessments are designed to shift the focus away from information that can lead to biased decisions (such as age, gender, ethnicity, and other demographic data), and toward skills that are actually relevant to the job. 

Additionally, assessments empower hiring leaders to assess a higher volume of qualified candidates than they’d ever be able to assess manually. The end result is a more objective screening process with scalable fairness, whether you’re hiring five candidates, or five thousand.


3. Offer interviews on demand

On-demand interviews—video interviews populated with predetermined questions and facilitated by technology—are another way to mitigate bias in your hiring process.

In addition to being inherently structured, on-demand interviews provide flexible interviewing options for the candidate, which helps certain demographics—like parents and students—complete interviews around their busy schedules.

By offering flexible interviews that can be completed anytime, anywhere, hiring leaders not only widen their talent pool - they also create a consistent candidate experience. In fact, in 2020 alone, 60% of the nearly 5 million HireVue interviews were completed outside of “traditional” business hours, indicating that by excluding these windows of time for interviews, recruiting leaders are missing out on a higher number of qualified candidates. 

4. Create diverse interview panels

Representation goes a long way, too. When quality candidates see no one that looks like them on their interview panel, they’re much less likely to accept a job offer.

That’s why, in 2014, Intel began requiring that all interview teams include at least two women and/or members of underrepresented minorities, increasing diversity amongst new hires from 32% to 45% in just two years.

Inclusive hiring practices create an environment where diversity breeds more diversity - where individuals from different backgrounds, and with different perspectives, are championed.

And although it may feel daunting at first, you can become a more inclusive business by implementing some small changes that have a significant, lasting impact. HireVue provides an end-to-end Hiring Experience Platform that makes it possible for you to seamlessly engage, screen, assess, interview, and hire talent.

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