The advent of HR Technology to ease the talent acquisition process is here and has been growing for the last few years. AI, assessments and chat bots have begun to flood the market. HR and Talent Acquisition professionals have so many to choose from, but at what cost?
Many of these new applications claim to remove bias from the hiring process. But do they really? In my opinion, they are just postponing bias. To solve the root cause of bias in the interview process, we have to start with us humans.
One of the more common solutions removes the applicant’s name from their resume. The claim is simple – if we can’t see their name or any other identifying characteristic of who this candidate might be, then we can make a much less biased decision. Removal of bias? For the pre-screen, sure. What happens when you bring them in for a face-to-face interview? The biases that each of us carry will still come into play. You have only postponed bias. Worse, you have let a computer potentially rob your organization of the best candidate.
The other fault with this method of bias removal is that as a company, you are now implying that you don’t appreciate the differences of people. Our names, our identifying characteristics, are what make us unique and diverse. By “closing our eyes” to those differences and without a clear and authentic talent strategy, we risk losing our way because we don’t have a clear direction.
Organizations without a clear talent strategy will not have success when implementing these types of HR technologies. Don’t get me wrong. I love technology. Technology enables us to be better, to do more. However, if we give technology too much power we give up so many things.

You must be prepared to implement such technologies. So how do you get there? Organizations can prepare by taking the time to understand their authentic stories. They need to measure and quantify why people are happy and successful in their roles. They need to speak directly to candidates who share their mindset and create a candidate experience that proves it.

Second, train your employees to be aware of their own biases. Awareness is such a powerful motivator to help people consciously choose to be more curious and less judgmental. Give your people the opportunity to make those choices, to help your organization grow a more inclusive workplace. Taking that choice away by using technology only serves to shortcut that growth of each individual and the company.  

Once you put this type of strategy in place across your organization, you may find that you don’t need technology to do what you’ve already done. You’ve created a positive bias that is true for your company and that helps you attract the right candidates. And you’ve empowered your employees to help you build a more inclusive and involved culture that will naturally attract the right talent.