There is so much to say on the issue of inclusivity and diversity but what is increasingly clear is that policies and grand statements have little impact on moving the dial and improving diversity in the hiring process. The first issue to address is how do you improve the mix in building the talent pipeline? This is a real challenge when so often the metrics are time to hire and cost per hire driven. When this is the case then building a quick pipeline to fill roles quickly is unlikely to allow the incremental cost and time of increasing the diversity of applicants.
Putting the pipeline to one side you then get to the really important point of ensuring that there are no obstacles to hiring that diverse talent in the selection process. There is the issue of bias, conscious or unconscious but the measure of success here is often a tick box exercise on training not on outcome. By this I mean that the audit isn't looking at who gets hired it is who has had the training, assuming if that managers have been trained the right outcome will ensue.
The next point to consider is the screening criteria, are those being used 100% about on the job performance rather than a means to reduce the pipeline to a more manageable number? This article explores this and makes some good suggestions to consider.
One final point to reflect on. At TMP we are part of mini task group which is starting to look at whether typical screening processes may actively exclude potential talent that could be high performing? Let's think of autism, some the attributes from this condition could make an individual a strong performer in certain roles and in parts of the selection tools these candidates could score very well but another aspect of the selection process could involve something that their condition struggles to cope with and they score poorly, this would not affect their on the job performance but would result in being rejected for the role.
All food for thought in how diverse pipelines are the right start point but how high quality well considered selection tools are equally critical to move the dial.
The first and the most common category of biases cover legally protected groups. These biases prevent you from hiring otherwise qualified candidates because of conscious or unconscious stereotypes about their gender, race, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability, or religion. The second bias category covers the screening out of applicants who could do the job, but are rejected because you used screening or knockout criteria that do not predict on-the-job performance. These not validated screening criteria can include grades, a degree, academic test scores, firms that candidates have worked at, and the fact that a candidate is unemployed. Now let’s look at how each of these biases can be minimized during each of the six steps in the hiring process.