Events during 2020 have sparked a much greater awareness of conscious and unconscious bias in society. Accusations of police brutality that resulted in riots along with a pandemic that has disproportionately impacted people of color have emphasized the importance of eliminating racial and ethnic bias in all aspects of society, including the workplace. As a result, business leaders are looking for ways to tackle unconscious bias in hiring practices and increase fairness and objectivity in their hiring practices.

Research shows that unconscious bias influences employers’ hiring decisions and leads to discriminatory practices. An evidence-based approach to hiring such as using skills tests provides those charged with making hiring decisions with an objective and data-driven way to identify qualified talent.

Until recently, science-based candidate assessment tools mainly existed in large, established organizations that receive high-volumes of job applications. However, eSkill’s user-friendly employment testing solutions give employers of all sizes the tools they need to tackle unconscious bias in their hiring practices.

Racial Equity and Social Justice is Center Stage

Amid a national reckoning on race, many companies moved racial equity to the top of their agenda. Eliminating bias from talent acquisition processes improves organizational decision-making, which results in better business outcomes and increased workplace equality—a win-win for everyone.

When bias is systematically, albeit unintentionally, embedded into hiring processes, it weakens talent management efforts. Hiring biases deal a fatal blow to diversity, equity, and inclusion aspirations resulting in a homogenous workforce.

Subjective methods of talent selection and development create a revolving door of unconscious biases and exclusion. This means addressing long-standing inequities in the hiring process means reinventing evaluation models and prioritizing metric-based decisions.

The Hard Costs of Discrimination

Implicit bias that results in discriminatory hiring practices comes with a hefty price tag. Therefore, tackling unconscious bias in hiring practices is not just important to improve diversity, but also organizations’ profits. Given the social and financial impact of biased hiring practices, business leaders must begin to transform antiquated hiring methods.

During 2019 the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs recovered over $40 million in settlements to resolve alleged employment discrimination lawsuits. And record settlements have continued into 2020, with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission obtaining more than $44 million to resolve workplace and hiring discrimination lawsuits during the first half of the fiscal year.

The hard cost associated with discrimination lawsuits is staggering. And even more dangerous, hiring processes that are not designed to measure candidates objectively creates a lack of team diversity that stunts innovation and limits company success.

Accelerated Push to Adopt New Technologies

The Coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the adoption of new technology in businesses worldwide. as companies look for ways to operate effectively given the “new normal.” If there was ever a time for HR leaders to take proactive steps to create data-driven hiring practices, it is now.

In recent years, the “people analytics” trend has emphasized the importance of using objective methods such as skills tests to collect and analyze data to optimize the hiring process. However, most companies have only focused on having the right funnel metrics in place–such as time-to-hire and cost-to-hire, to determine whether a process is efficient. They have failed to analyze what information they need to collect and measure to determine if a candidate is a good fit for a role.

Completing a job analysis or a breakdown of the required competencies to complete the tasks and responsibilities associated with a job is the first step to move from an outdated way of hiring to a data-driven approach to hiring. Companies that develop a strong understanding of what drives success in a role have the information they need to establish a robust talent selection system.

Viewing employee selection as a data-driven process allows organizations to develop skills tests that eliminate the influence of bias. eSkill’s extensive library of customizable job-based skills tests and subjects enables hiring teams to develop employee evaluations that measure the exact skills and aptitude needed for a position. With reliable data to make hiring decisions, organizations can significantly reduce the impact of unconscious bias and improve business outcomes.

The key to moving hiring forward in 2020 is collecting and analyzing the right information. How do you know if your employee selection process efficiently assesses competencies that drive top performance if you have not explicitly identified those competencies? A lack of reliable data causes companies to suffer from a broken feedback loop between hiring and performance which results in poor business outcomes.

2020 is a year marked by fundamental shifts in how we view the workforce. And as company stakeholders reset business strategies in this time of continual change, now is the perfect time to tackle unconscious bias in hiring practices.

Interested in Tackling Unconscious Bias in Hiring?

Learn more about the benefits of using eSkill’s job-based skills tests and on-demand video interviews to tackle unconscious bias in hiring practices.

Request a demo today.

Adina Miron

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