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Is Recruitment Bias Stopping Your Chances of Success?

Recruiters can be prone to unconscious bias during the hiring process. This aids discriminatory decisions, with damaging effects for both…

Is Recruitment Bias Stopping Your Chances of Success?

30th June 2021

Woman being interviewed by two other women and two men

Recruiters can be prone to unconscious bias during the hiring process. This aids discriminatory decisions, with damaging effects for both the candidate and employer. But, for businesses, what’s more, is that consistently hiring the wrong personnel is detrimental to financial performance.

David Bernard, CEO of innovative AI recruitment platform AssessFirst, explains how we can eliminate bias in the workplace.


Recruitment shortcuts

We are all hard-wired to take cognitive shortcuts when making decisions. These shortcuts manifest as problem-solving strategies, dictating how we think about people and problematic situations. This is what is known as heuristics, or cognitive bias.

This is a considerable issue for recruiters attempting to find the best candidate since we are unconsciously led to make decisions that are merely sufficient rather than ideal.

Unsurprisingly, this results in inadequate recruitment. Bad hiring decisions are costing companies dearly.
Hiring the wrong person at mid-management level costs a business around £132,000. This includes loses through recruitment, training, re-hiring fees and reduced productivity.

To reduce costs-incurring biases from the workplace, and to employ the best candidates with ethical practices, recruiters should begin to support their own expertise with behavioural science and the power of artificial intelligence.


The future of efficient recruitment

Now, we have access to recruitment platforms that use unique AI predictive technology, based entirely on behavioural science. This technology analyses hundreds of behavioural data points for each individual, revealing the motivators behind their working practices. Crucially, it explains what – and how – a candidate thinks in relevant, job-critical scenarios.

In this digital age, it is inevitable that the CV will soon become less the norm as established recruitment tools, whilst interactive assessment platforms and personality-based hiring will become more accepted and embraced.

While CVs can provide data about a person’s education and job experience, we know that many falsehoods could be found within CVs (you need only look at BBC’s The Apprentice to see how exaggerated some can be). And unless the recruiter does their due diligence in requesting educational certificates for instance, there could be many inaccuracies in both the skills and achievements that a candidate can lead you to believe they possess.

These inconsistencies mean the traditional CV model is in fact a low-accuracy recruitment tool. When we also consider that an overwhelming 85% of people lie on their CVs it is apparent how vast resources can be wasted in insufficient recruitment processes.

Cognitive skills tests, by comparison, are extremely accurate whilst predictive psychometric testing allows each user to find their ideal vocation, based – not upon a gut instinct or the validity of a CV – but through their talents, skills, personality, and motivations.

Some of the world’s biggest companies have already switched to psychometric testing as a method of hiring the right people. An estimated 18% of companies are now using behavioural science at the core of their recruitment process, and the percentage of psychometric testing for recruitment purposes is growing at a rate of between 10-15% per year.

American investor and hedge fund manager, Ray Dalio, regarded as one of the great innovators in finance, has used a variety of different personality tests for recruitment and management purposes. Dalio is such an advocate of the technology that he has encouraged Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Jack Dorsey to take personality tests to witness the team-shaping potential of behavioural science technology.


Benefits to businesses

Harnessing the power of technology to direct and enhance decision making – via tailored algorithms – can help recruiters rid the processes of the inherent biases we all subconsciously possess.

The configuration of company personnel will eventually be driven entirely by behavioural science. The question for businesses is, how long can they avoid the inevitable and how many resources will be wasted while doing so?

The Economist reports the pandemic has advanced work-place technological innovations by around half a decade, meaning some businesses risk practicing outdated recruitment methods. Five years spent adjusting recruitment processes to eliminate the traditional biases will hamper growth and present a considerable competitive disadvantage.

The solution is to adopt AI systems that future-proof recruitment strategies and practices. In a crucial business year, where companies are hoping to capitalise on the loosening of pandemic restrictions, the opportune time to incorporate these systems is now.

Categories: Advice, Articles

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