How does an Applicant Tracking System help to Combat Bias?

To gain an unbiased perspective, the recruiters need to follow a data-driven approach with the help of the Applicant Tracking System in order to combat recruitment bias.

Hiring the best talent is one of the biggest challenges faced by companies today. As humans, it is a bit intuitive that some decisions are made spontaneously based on little or some information cues also known as precognitive bias. This is one of the main reasons behind the unconscious bias happening in the hiring industry right now. This post throws light on how this unconscious bias can be eliminated by using a modern-day Applicant Tracking System(ATS) and how the bottom-line of the company can be improved. Here are some ways how the Applicant Tracking System help Combat Bias.

There’s a lot of talk around diversity in the workplace whether it is in regard to the Black Lives Matter movement, Asian or Latinos prejudice. Chances of missing out on quality and talented candidates shoot up when neglectful bias happens while recruiting. Companies continuously try to get rid of any form of discrimination in their hiring process. Some of them are actively looking to attract diverse candidates.

Understanding what is bias in the hiring process.

Even in the early hiring stages, a candidate’s resume picture, their name, or their religion could influence the recruiter’s opinion more than you think. In short, unconscious bias influences the decision of the recruiter whether positively or negatively using criteria that are completely irrelevant to the job profile.

Negative Impact of Bias in the Hiring Process

Unconscious bias can definitely affect workplaces and organizations.

  • It can even introduce unintentional discrimination and result in poor decision-making.
  • Bias can be a huge setback in creating a truly diverse workplace.
  • It has been seen that such biases can have an impact on recruitment, mentoring, and promotions.
  • It also hampers equal opportunities for women in terms of selection and progression to a high-level management and leadership role who are trying to break the glass ceiling.

With recent events around the world regarding the Black Lives Matter (BLM), many companies are coming forth with solutions to completely eliminate the biases associated with the hiring process and make it a clean and transparent process, where the candidate is chosen solely based on his/her experience and merit.

This is where the Application Tracking System comes into play

Using an applicant tracking system (ATS) can help to reduce this bias. The software will filter resumes for the team, so the candidate will not be held back or moved forward based only on bias decisions of the recruiter. It is now more than ever important to address other issues that may lead to hiring biases, and how ATS software can improve fairness in the recruitment process.

Here are some features that an ATS provides:

Anonymous Feedback

Employee feedback regarding a candidate’s interview and overall hiring will be restricted to the employee himself and the HR team only, nobody else outside the loop. In Aviahire’s ATS the feedback will automatically be segregated into positive and negative without the owner of the feedback being known.

Employees higher in the organization will not be able to see the feedbacks of employees who conducted previous interviews. This will eliminate bias as every interviewer will have his unique feedback and not feedback that could have been influenced by previous interviewers’ feedbacks. This helps in having a clear understanding of the candidate’s performance without having a community bias formed.

Collaborative Recruiting

Collaborative Hiring ensures that every hiring decision is a team effort and does not rely on a single individual. This reduces bias and promotes more transparency within the system. An ATS provides a common online platform for the recruiters to share their opinions and feedbacks via comments/ notes for every candidate. Hence it is one of the ways that an Applicant Tracking System help to Combat Bias.

Even the Hiring Manager or the CEO can track all the activities and stages of ongoing recruitment programs within the company and share his opinion at any stage. Such a feature plays a vital role in controlling the unreasonable hiring decisions happening in the organization. Thus, by diversifying the recruitment panel, ATS ensures that every hiring decision is a consensus and tabletop decision.

Generalized Filters

The recruiting software is powered by AI algorithms. The resume screening and filtering are done on large quantities of data. The algorithms are designed in such a way that it uses all these data points to predict the best possible candidates. The best part of an Applicant Tracking System is that the search is free from biases, assumptions, and mental fatigue for the recruiter. An ATS can work anytime and anywhere. The new generations of ATS are optimized to search for the best-matched resumes from the invalid and ineligible ones. Since it is an algorithm, a bias opinion which is present in the recruiter’s mind regarding Gender or Race will automatically be eliminated

Data Hiding

The resume of the candidates can be shortlisted by triggering a search query in an applicant tracking system. This query calls for all the desired information such as experience, skills, etc. This feature allows the recruiters to design the query in such a way that it can hide the information that may result in a bias. For example name, age, caste, ethnicity, culture, demographic location, gender, and everything else can be excluded while making a search.

The AviaHire’s Applicant Tracking System (ATS) provides a user-friendly interface that is easy to operate and manage, which also is GDPR compliant hence helping with keeping the data of the candidate anonymous. The recruiters can easily ignore the socio-economic and demographic details of the candidates, hence, helping the firms generate unbiased and 100% ethical search results.

Conclusion

Hiring top talent is a precondition for every organization to sustain and grow. Unbiased hiring not only offers a great competitive edge to the company but eventually improves the employer brand as well as boosts candidate and employee experience. An Applicant Tracking System helps in diminishing the irrational biases and ensures that hiring decisions are based purely on data-metrics.

AviaHire is one of the most sought-after applicant tracking systems in the recruiting software domain. AviaHire’s ATS has HRIS integration which allows the ATS to smoothly integrate with the existing HRIS software. By working towards the goal of global diversity during the hiring process, the companies can easily mitigate conscious and unconscious bias at the same time. Giving an equal opportunity to all the candidates will ensure that there is no scope for bias in the hiring process.

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Suchismita Panda