Recruiting Technology

Tech Solutions Aim to Reduce Bias in Hiring

As employers strive to prevent bias and increase diversity, technology companies are developing solutions to provide assistance.

Two such solutions were recently announced.

Job Analyzer

SAP, a leader in enterprise software, has announced it will release a new job analyzer functionality embedded with the SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting Management solution to help organizations craft effective, competitive job descriptions and eliminate unconscious bias in recruiting. The functionality supports corporate talent objectives by using machine learning algorithms to predict and flag language that reflects gender bias during the recruitment process.

Available in beta in the fourth quarter of 2017, the new functionality utilizes SAP Leonardo Machine Learning capabilities to help managers and recruiters identify and eliminate gender-biased language from job descriptions. This results in an expanded, richer applicant pool, which helps enable business leaders to reach the most qualified candidates for every position. With the power of external data, hiring managers can analyze market competitiveness and salary ranges and scrub bias language from job descriptions for a broader and deeper solution for the global shortage of talent.

“Many businesses continue to have unintended blind spots when it comes to their hiring practices, and this is stopping them from finding the best talent,” said Greg Tomb, president of SAP SuccessFactors. “We are introducing digital innovation with machine learning to help HR teams uncover new insights across the full range of HR processes, in this case to support unbiased decision making in the hiring process. With the job analyzer, leaders are better positioned to attract and engage the best available people, which equates to a stronger business impact.”

SAP is also expanding what it refers to as its “Business Beyond Bias” focus to help companies optimize existing features throughout the SAP SuccessFactors HCM Suite to eliminate inherent biases around age, ethnicity, and differently-abled and LGBT communities.

“The global workforce is increasingly diverse, with more employees of different backgrounds and perspectives joining the labor market each day,” said Lisa Rowan, research vice president, HR, talent and learning strategies at IDC, a provider of market intelligence and advisory services. “At the same time, companies worldwide are facing widening talent shortages that they are struggling to address. With these tools available throughout the SAP SuccessFactors HCM Suite, customers are better placed to remove the blind spots that are hindering them from attracting, selecting, engaging, and advancing the best talent.”

The new capabilities are the latest to be delivered across SAP SuccessFactors solutions to help organizations eliminate unconscious bias across the entire employee lifecycle.

Unbiasify

StackAdapt, a native advertising platform helping brands accelerate customer engagement and acquisition, has launched Unbiasify, an open-source project that removes the name and profile photo of candidates on online recruitment platforms. The free software, available at the Google Chrome store for download in North America, is part of the company’s effort to support diversity in the tech industry.

“Keeping an objective view of every candidate is integral to a successful recruitment process. As a recruiter, I want to evaluate a candidate based on their work experience and skill set, and provide a level playing field for all potential hires,” said Martin Hauck, director of talent acquisition for StackAdapt. “By removing a candidate’s profile photo and name, we eliminate any unconscious bias that can potentially tarnish the recruitment process such as bias towards or against specific age, race, gender or appearance.”

Unbiasify is StackAdapt’s second community-driven initiative of #HackDiversity, a campaign launched in June 2017 raising awareness for diversity in tech. Earlier, the company released an 18-minute documentary, calling for an industry effort to address bias in the tech industry.

“There are a number of apps and platforms that reduce bias in recruitment and we wanted to make something as simple as one-click,” said Hauck. “Unbiasify is not going to rectify the diversity in tech problem on its own but having a free tool that helps recruiters focus on what actually matters will make an impact on the recruiting pipeline. Orchestras introduced ‘blind recruitment’ in their auditioning process in the 1970s and 1980s and increased the number of female musicians hired from 25 percent to 46 percent. Unbiasify is in full function at StackAdapt and we look forward to seeing the long-term effect of this unconscious bias hack.”

Unbiasify will be made available for other social media and recruitment platforms in the coming months.