How people analytics can help you reduce bias at every stage of your recruitment process

We all know that bias is bad for business, as it can prevent organisations from hiring the best people. So how can you reduce opportunities for potential biases to creep into the recruitment process?

After all, there are many different types of bias that can negatively impact hiring decisions. What’s more, they can occur at any stage of the recruitment funnel, whether that’s:

  • Defining the skills and qualifications necessary for the position
  • Writing the job description
  • Choosing where to post the job ad
  • Structuring the application process
  • Evaluating applications and shortlisting candidates
  • Conducting interviews

To prevent bias infecting your recruitment process, you need to use a HR data-driven approach to ensure you’re always selecting from the widest talent pool.

D is for data … and diversity

To identify potential biases, collect and analyse HR diversity data throughout the recruitment funnel based on factors such as the:

  • Recruiter
  • Hiring manager
  • Department
  • Location

Ask yourself what proportion of each demographic is progressing to each successive stage. That way, you can identify where the real challenges are in hiring diverse talent. You can then take steps to address the problem and cast a wider net.

Let’s imagine, for example, you wanted to improve the gender balance in your organisation, but you’re struggling to hire female employees. HR data analytics can help you figure out where the problem lies, whether that’s:

  • Attracting only a small pool of female candidates
  • Filtering out female candidates in the screening process (even if subconsciously)
  • Having a high female dropout rate during the hiring and onboarding process

Naturally, you’ll then want to better understand these potential barriers and bottlenecks. So combine this quantitative analysis with asking for feedback from candidates. This can give you insights into the reasons why people:

  • Drop out of the recruitment process
  • Reject job offers
  • Leave your organisation after only a short time

Ensuring transparency throughout the process

Many companies track diversity data only when an employee joins their firm. But if that’s the only time you record diversity data, this might affect the success of your recruitment team’s diversity and inclusion efforts.

So, instead, try to capture as much diversity data as possible in the recruitment phase, while still making certain diversity fields optional. Candidates may be suspicious as to why you want this data. So to encourage them to share their personal characteristics, you should clearly explain:

  • Why you need their diversity data (to eliminate bias)
  • How the data will be used (to analyse the recruitment process)
  • What processes are in place to make sure the data is anonymised (i.e. not tied to individual candidates)
Agile HR Analytics (Built on Microsoft Power BI)

People analytics will help you defeat bias

Even the most privileged candidates find the recruitment process stressful, especially at the final interview stage. For candidates from underrepresented groups, the process is even more challenging. So create a culture of inclusion by making sure all your candidates meet with a diverse group of people the minute they walk through the door.

It’s also important you embrace people analytics, because data can give you insights that are impossible for individuals to perceive. HR diversity data will tell you whether you have a bias problem – and, if so, how big it is and where in your organisation it can be found.

For example, with Agile HR Analytics’ solution, there’s a dashboard you can use to compare groups (e.g. men and women) and see their share of representation at the screening, interview, assessment, offer and hiring stages of the recruitment process. You can also drill down into departments within the organisation, to see their results.

Armed with that information, you can then create a plan to solve the problem, and improve the level of diversity and inclusion at your organisation.

Need an HR data analytics solution to reduce bias in your recruitment process? Contact Agile HR Analytics by emailing or fill in this contact form.

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