How recruitment automation tools contribute to eliminating prejudice during interviews

Oct 01, 2018

Eliminating Prejudice During Interviews With HR Automated Tools

As much as we may not want to admit it, discrimination and bias in the recruitment process is an ongoing issue that may have cost your company a great candidate and gained you an inefficient one. Whether it’s educational background, gender, religion, skin color or looks, discrimination in recruitment exists and can get in the way of allowing companies to acquire a diverse and truly talented workforce.  

While recruiting, something as simple as a name on the resume can cause the interviewer to form a preconceived prejudice against a candidate, therefore not allowing the interviewer to see the true potential or flaw in a candidate. This is what we call ‘unconscious bias’; an automated mental shortcut that processes information fast and stimulates quick decisions and opinions.

Unconscious bias can make you to lose potential candidates without giving them a fair chance to prove their potential. According to a vast source of research, recruitment bias exists in every firm and can take place in two stages, the selection process and the interviewing process.

Let’s look at how prejudice is present in these two processes separately, why is it important to eliminate these and how automating the recruitment process can help.

Prejudice in the screening and selection process

  1. Percentage prejudice: when recruiting, most companies may have a defined percentage cut off. Allowing only those students who meet the defined percentage to apply for the position.This approach may not guarantee a good employee. Most often than not, candidates who do not score a good percentage in their examination prove to be better employees with a greater ability to understand and perform tasks better.
  2. Demographic Prejudice: Sometimes, information such as a person’s name, age, gender, place of birth can also be a reason for receiving or not receiving an invitation to apply for a job. Restricting a vacant position to demographic specifications can hamper a company’s opportunity to obtain a diverse and efficient workforce.
  3. Education prejudice: The college one studied in and also the board of education such as ICSE, CBSE, undertaken can be a major cause for prejudice in the initial screening process.

This is another factor that can cost you a good employee. Opening your job vacancy to non-premium colleges could attract top rankers in those colleges, too; Giving your company a better scope for obtaining the right fit for the job role.

Prejudice in the Interview process:

  1. Prejudice against assessment task duration: When it comes to performing written tasks for the selection process, certain candidates may complete the task faster than the designated time and some may take longer to complete the same. A candidate’s ability to complete a task in a certain amount of time should not be a factor that defines his efficiency. However, we do find this to be a major deciding factor in an interview process.
  2. Language and caste prejudice: Even during the interview process it is possible for interviewers to be biased to candidates belonging to the same caste or those who speak the same language as the interviewer. It is only human to develop a fondness to similarity and this can be a cause for recruiting a wrong candidate into the company and rejecting the one who is fit for the role.
  3. Prejudice against appearance: Most companies may not want to admit it but sometimes the way a person is dressed or looks, plays an important role in their selection. Judging a book by its cover is the perfect example to define this type of prejudice. Forming an opinion of a candidate by their attire and using that opinion to affect the selection decision is something that definitely needs to be eliminated.

When it comes to screening out and shortlisting candidates, it is the very nature of human beings to go with their instinct and intuition. It’s not unusual to allow humanity to interfere with their reasonability, neither is it right.

So how do we overcome this? There are 2 approaches we can take:

  1. One way is to train HR personnel in recognizing and mitigating this prejudice while screening and interviewing candidates. But this could take time and effort.
  2. Another solution which is more favorable and becoming increasingly popular is the incorporation of recruitment automated software.

According to Francesca Gino, a professor at Harvard Business School, including HR software programs that blind the initial screening process is a must-have, if a company is looking to eliminate recruitment bias. Gino says, “a blind, systematic process for reviewing applications and resumes will help improve your chances of including the most relevant candidates in your interview pool, including uncovering some hidden gems.”

HR automated tools contribute to eliminating recruitment bias in 5 major ways.

  1. Screening candidates on the basis of data only(knowingly/unknowingly): Automated recruiting software and tools, source and screen candidates by using past data. The software is designed to learn what the job requirements are along with what qualified candidates look like. Using this data, the HR automated tool will be able to make predictions about which applicant will be the best candidate for the job profile by screening the information present on their resumes. Thereby, sending across candidates who are apt for the role on the bases of relevance only.

2. Standardizing the screening process: An automated recruitment system can also be set to ignore information like percentage achieved and only focusing on the relativity of the skills to the job profile. This will help eliminate percentage prejudice.

3. Ignoring demographic information about candidates: The HR automatic software or tool can not only be designed to ignore demographic information about candidates such as gender, race, and age but also details such as the name of the institution they attended. Thereby eliminating any prejudice that may arise from such information.

4. Live Tracking: Recruitment automation process these days can also be embedded with live tracking systems. Allowing the HR to monitor the interview process in real time. Thus eliminating any prejudice that may occur during the interview process.  

5. Helps expose bias in your past recruiting process:As HR recruitment tools use past data and behavioral patterns to assess and select candidates, there is a possibility that any human bias that may have already existed in your recruiting process can be adapted by the tool too. Thus, exposing any bias that has existed in your recruiting process and giving you an opportunity to remove it.

In conclusion

As a company looking to fill vacant positions, the idea is to hire people from all backgrounds, provided they are qualified and meet the job-specific requirements. If you’re looking to diversify your workforce and eliminate bias in the screening process, exploring HR recruitment tools from is a great place to start.

This software eliminates the need for human evaluation in the screening of potential candidates thereby only allowing candidates who fit the job description to attend the interview irrespective of their age, gender, and more. This will help you recognize and focus on a candidate’s specific qualifications and talents, rather than on their surface demographic characteristics.

If you’re a company looking to eliminate prejudice and bias from your recruitment process, our automated recruitment tool and services may be just what you need. Talk to us by dropping a line at today!

Oct 01, 2018

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