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Reduce Implicit Bias with an ATS

by | Jan 27, 2022 | Corporate HR, Recruiting Agency

In hiring and recruiting, there has been a great push to achieve greater goals than simply acquiring talent. People work in places that they will want to continue to grow, feel empowered, and continually be inspired. To maintain those types of workers of many backgrounds all starts with great recruiting and hiring practices.

Being able to hire and recruit without bias is something that has become increasingly important. For many companies, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is something that has been top of mind coming into 2022 – and rightfully so. By increasing opportunities for those who may have never had it, to full-informed decision making teams, the benefits are aplenty.

How do you go about reducing that bias?

We’ll share with you some ways you can reduce bias through an applicant tracking system!


Job Posting

Many companies and recruiters take advantage of job boards around the internet in hopes of snatching some great potential candidates for the role. With a hard list of requirements for candidates however, it can be difficult to navigate whether a candidate should still apply without meeting all requirements.

This can be especially detrimental for women and people of color, who historically shy away from opportunities because of certain expectations. However, through job posting modules, apps and services, the human writing the job posting should really make it obvious that the role is open to any candidate. Getting rid of any ambiguous language, and especially gendered language.

Researchers have found that job postings with words defined as ‘masculine-coded’ typically have lower response rates for women. Words such as ‘driven’, ‘active’ and ‘confident’ are some examples of the ‘masculine-coded’ words that have had many women turn away from certain openings. Taking the time to think through what the verbiage states in your job postings could make all the difference in the end!


Screening Questions

For many recruiters using Applicant Tracking Systems, the idea is to get any and every candidate you can into your database. Being able to get the high volume of potential in a certain field can be really helpful when a new job order comes your way. However, sometimes it’s best to rule-out certain talent effectively.

The same thing applies to companies that are hiring new employees. As a hiring manager, you need to make sure that you’re able to effectively hire the right people for the job. These processes can include some unintended bias if you’re not careful.

One way to avoid bias in recruitment is to utilize screening or even pre-screening questionnaires. Setting up smart, thoughtful screening stages allows the questionnaire to do the heavy lifting and negates the possibility of having any human bias involved in the choosing of who makes it through the recruitment process.


Use Data

This one might sound like a given, however it should be said that many candidates might be able to sell themselves better than their counterparts. This does not mean that they make a better fit, it just means that they know how to speak really well in an interview format.

Data can become very important in the recruitment process to help recruiters really base their decisions off of unbiased information. Data to a recruiter can be anything from candidate’s information, experience, skills, etc. Drawing upon this information will continually ensure that your recruiting is based solely on objective information.


Create a Panel Interview Stage

Many stages of the recruiting process can involve more than one person. Though hiring and recruiting practices can vary by company, there are typically group interviews at some point in most processes. This is not by mistake!

In fact, many group interviews or panel interviews could be made more of a best practice to help reduce implicit bias. At the very minimum, you should have a round or different rounds with a few different people. The sheer number of different people being able to talk over candidates should help eliminate the bias that just a single person has.

Another aspect to this solution is to have diversity in your panel interviews. Having representation matters when making decisions at any level in a company, and even more so when trying to make unbiased decisions. In bringing in new employees, it can be especially rewarding to have a diverse panel to help guide your hiring.


Get to know your ATS

Last but not least, it really helps to know your Applicant Tracking Software. Being able to create custom filters, lists or collaborate with others on hiring teams can really make a huge difference in the end. Best of all, most recruiting software programs are designed with recruiters in mind so that most mundane tasks can be made easier.

When it comes down to hiring, being able to jump on top talent as it comes into the candidate market is huge. Being on top of your recruiting game so-to-speak, requires some sort of assistance – and an ATS can provide just that.

As mentioned: job postings, screening questions, using your data correctly and collaboration in panel teams can make an impact when it comes down to hiring and recruiting. The software you use will not only help you reduce that inevitable bias, but it will also boost your recruiting processes by making it easier to complete given tasks.


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