Equal start: How HR can leverage tech and company culture to foster inclusive hiring
There is a need for judicious use of tech. It is important to identify and address any bias in the data or algorithms used by these tools.
From being a topic that was discussed once a year, today diversity has become a subject of regular conversation. And the call for establishing a truly diverse workforce, at all organisational levels, is getting louder and louder each year. The capacity of an inclusive workplace to foster innovation, creativity and empathy are being acknowledged and companies are inexorably moving towards making long-term changes.
Aside from the social advantages of diversity at the workplace, there are also substantial material benefits. According to Boston Consulting, companies with above-average diversity on their management teams reported 19 percentage points higher innovation revenue, than that of companies with below-average leadership diversity. In order to unleash the potential of this new order, there is a need for continuous nurturing, and Human Capital Management (HCM) or HR plays a vital role in doing this. A road map that creates a level playing field for all employees, particularly at the recruitment and hiring level, is crucial to unlocking the benefits this shift has to offer.
Expanding the talent pool
To foster gender diversity and inclusion, the first step is to build a dynamic talent sourcing mechanism. This can be achieved by focusing on building a diverse pipeline of candidates by leveraging various sources such as job boards, career portals, employee referrals, and social media. Making a conscious effort to reach out to diverse communities and creating partnerships with organisations that support underrepresented groups like trans people and individuals with disabilities will also open up inclusive sources.
For instance at Kinara Capital, inclusivity is a core value that we uphold by actively working to eliminate any unconscious bias related to age, experience, religion, background, gender, or disability. Instead of relying solely on interview performance, companies can go a step ahead and analyse data to gain insights into factors that can reduce candidate drop out. By prioritising data-driven decision-making, companies can significantly speed up their hiring process and bring on board a diverse and suitable talent pool.
Implementing tech tools
Tools like AI-based automated assessments, digital interviews, and other technologies have made the recruitment and hiring process more efficient. AI can reduce bias by providing objective and standardised assessments of candidates' skills and qualifications, without being influenced by their gender, socio-economic background, or other personal characteristics. These tools can streamline the recruitment and hiring process, enabling HR professionals to review and assess more candidates in less time, and therefore make better hiring decisions. Outsourcing interviews or using AI assessments can also help companies to reach a wider pool of candidates, particularly those in different geographical locations, which can be useful in promoting diversity and inclusion.
However, there is a need for judicious use of tech. It is important to identify and address any bias in the data or algorithms used by these tools. Companies should conduct regular audits and testing to ensure that these tools are not perpetuating historical biases and are promoting diversity and inclusion. Even when using these tools, it is important to maintain human interaction throughout the recruitment and hiring process. This ensures that candidates feel seen and valued, and enables HR professionals to identify any nuances or contextual factors that may not be captured by automated tools.
Creating equal opportunities
Recruitment is the first leg in the journey of achieving a company’s diversity goals. At Kinara, from day one, we have been dedicated to creating an inclusive workplace. We have digitised the company’s HCM operations to enable efficient and unbiased hiring across the board. The HCM team handles the various needs of the expanding workforce, which has gone from 50 to 1600+ in just 7 years. Through extensive training, combined with replicating the company’s data-driven approach, we have been able to speed up and optimise the CV review process, and eliminate gender bias.
In fact, our initiatives extend beyond the recruitment and hiring process, and cover the entire employee life cycle. We are led by a women-majority management team, who are actively involved in mentoring and supporting employees, with a focus on women and members of the LGBTQ+ community. The company culture also encourages women to take on roles across verticals and geographies, including those that were traditionally considered male-dominated, like ones that involve field work.
It is crucial for promotions and accolades, as well as compensation and benefits to be kept competitive and fair for all genders.
We also ensure that benefits such as parental leave, flexible working arrangements, and healthcare are inclusive and meet the needs of all employees. We have been combining the tech-enabled approach with in-person sensitisation and interfacing to create an equal-opportunity workplace where each employee is supported to flourish, irrespective of gender identity.
The purpose of tech tools like AI-enabled assessments and HR analytics is to enable effective and gender-equal recruitment by using data to inform decision-making. Today, by leveraging technology and processes our HR team has become adept at confident recruitment strategies. However, the pillar behind the success is our culture that we have cultivated. Similarly, by re-aligning the culture and leveraging comprehensive tech tools combined with in-person interactions, organisations can create a sustainable equal-opportunity workplace that offers a level playing field for all employees.