How Your HR Tech Can Help Promote Diversity
Editor’s Note: One of the themes at this year’s HR Tech Conference focused on promoting the business value of diversity and inclusion and HR technology’s role. Christine Cheas, senior partner manager at GoodHire, attended the event and shares her thoughts on how hiring technology can help.
I was honored to participate at HR Tech with GoodHire partner iCIMS last month. More than a dozen GoodHire partners attended this leading HR industry event in Las Vegas, and I was so excited to have the opportunity to connect with them, including our newest partners Breezy HR and BambooHR.
There’s no denying that HR technology is in demand, as evidenced by the nearly $2 billion that was invested in HR tech companies in 2016 alone. I believe we are in an era where personal and enterprise technology options are improving by the day, and the good news is that more and more companies are shifting the focus of their spending on HR tech and cloud-based solutions that are designed to promote a healthier and more diverse workplace, from pre-hiring to employee retention programs. In fact, more than 40 percent of organizations are looking at improving or developing a new enterprise HR systems strategy in the next year.
At HR Tech 2017, major themes at the event spoke to the technology and issues that many organizations are focused on, including AI, employee experience, wellness, and diversity and inclusion programs. Machine learning and cloud-based solutions were also major themes in sessions and on the show floor.
Increased Attention On An Important Issue
Diversity and inclusion continues to be a priority for companies of all sizes, across all industries. Companies following a true diversity and inclusion strategy have a number of direct business benefits, including business growth, higher earnings and return on equity, increased sales revenue growth, and better ability to serve clients.
And while the number of executives who rate diversity and inclusion as an important issue rose from 59% in 2014 to 69% in 2016, according to Deloitte Insights, increasing employee diversity remains a hiring challenge. But forward-thinking companies know they can and should consider ways to address diversity in hiring through technology.
At the conference, a women-led panel held during the “Women in Technology” pre-show event focused on how new talent recruiting technologies are helping employers increase diversity and inclusion by using artificial intelligence and machine learning to mask job candidates’ gender, make language of job ads gender-neutral, and uncover pay gaps, among other techniques.
Diversity in gender and ethnicity in the workplace are both important, but one group that’s often overlooked are applicants with criminal records—which, given the demographics of offenders in the U.S., is most likely to be young black and Hispanic men.
The recent wave of ban-the-box laws across the country, most recently in California, includes some 180+ state and local laws intended to help give candidates with criminal records a fair chance at employment.
More Can Be Done
GoodHire is on a mission to change the way employment screening is used. Many people think of background screening as a ‘commodity’ technology, something that employers check off the to-do list during the hiring process. But if you use the right tools, you can provide a positive candidate experience and develop a good relationship with an expanded pool of potential employees right from the start while following compliance standards.
Rather than eliminating applicants, GoodHire promotes fair chance hiring by enabling candidates to add context to their reports, and start a dialog with the employer about their experiences. Armed with more information about the details of past convictions—perhaps it was a minor offense, unrelated to the job, and happened years ago—the context can be used in your hiring decisions and helps to expand the pool of qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds. Moreover, considering individual circumstances and context around a criminal record is a best practice for avoiding EEOC scrutiny.
The Choice is Yours, Choose Wisely
There are so many HR Tech tools to choose from, make sure the ones you choose are helping, not hurting, your efforts to promote diversity, inclusion, and fair chance hiring; comply with ban-the-box laws, adverse action workflows, and compliance rules; expand your pool of qualified applicants; and most importantly, build great teams.