Racial bias can be present (knowingly or unknowingly) in every aspect of the hiring process.
We found 10 tools to reduce racial bias from job descriptions to resume screening to interviewing.
Racial bias is often present in job descriptions and there are text analyzer tools that can help remove it. Ongig’s Text Analyzer quickly scans and identifies “exclusionary phrases” based on the reader’s:
- Primary/secondary language
- Immigration status
Below is an example of a job posting that includes hidden bias with the popular phrase “brown bag sessions”. This phrase has been used for years but some find its linked to racism and colorism (people used to measure the darkness of someone’s skin by holding a brown paper bag up against their face…if the skin was darker than the paper bag, the person might get rejected by certain social groups).
The screenshot below shows how Text Analyzer underlines “brown bag” and gives alternate words like “lunch and learn” or “learning session” which are more inclusive, especially when recruiting minorities.
When recruiting groups of candidates such as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) or recruiting BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic), it is critical to remove racially biased words (or hidden bias) from your job descriptions.
Another example of an exclusionary word related to ethnic diversity is “native English speaker” (below):
After all, you want to hire someone who speaks English fluently more than you want to hire a person born in the U.S., right? If your goal is recruiting different ethnic groups or ESL recruiting, removing this type of racial bias is important.
Ongig’s Text Analyzer also helps you with types of hidden bias other than racial bias such as:
- gender bias
- ethnic bias (multicultural bias)
- disability bias
- LGBTQ (sexual preference)
- age bias
Blind Hiring Tools
How can employers avoid racial discrimination when recruiting and hiring? Many companies are incorporating racial bias tools as a part of their recruiting culture. Blind hiring tools like GapJumpers and Toggl Hire help remove bias from the hiring process.
A popular blind hiring tool to help remove hidden bias is called GapJumpers helps employers create an assessment or “challenge” that relates to the skills needed for an open position. This tool helps remove any chance of racial bias because candidates are ranked based on their performance, not on identifying factors (e.g. their name, education, volunteer work, etc.)
Hiring managers can choose who to interview based only on the performance and scorecard of the potential candidates. The GapJumpers plug-in can also be synced with an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
The picture below shows an example of what an assessment would look like from the candidate side. It also gives more detail on how to create a GapJumpers blind hiring challenge.
3. Toggl Hire
Similarly, Toggl Hire allows candidates to apply for a job by taking a quick 5-10 minutes skills-based quiz. These quizzes help hiring managers to not only hire by race. Toggl Hire’s blind skills-based candidate screening software:
“checks all the answers, and provides you a list of the most potential candidates, without ever looking at their subjective factors such as age, gender, education, previous work experience etc.”
The skills-based quizzes are customizable like the one pictured here:
Using skills-based quizzes can remove hidden bias from your hiring and interviewing processes.
4. Greenhouse’s Built-In Inclusion Module
Greenhouse Software has built-in inclusion and diversity tools in their Applicant Tracking Software product. Inclusion tools like this help hiring managers set decision criteria so that all candidates are being held to the same standard. In the tool, built-in popups (e.g. below) remind the hiring team to have an open mind during the hiring process:
We’re hearing that some Greenhouse clients value the Inclusion module’s ability to help them measure:
- % of applications from [name of underrepresented group]
- % of candidates who reach interview stage from [name of underrepresented group]
- % of candidates hired from [name of underrepresented group]
Software tools for racial bias, like this inclusion module, have gained popularity in the last few years. Racial diversity and recruiting multicultural leadership have also become popular diversity goals for top companies. These diversity hiring tools help eliminate hidden bias.
5. Harvard’s “Project Implicit” Tool
Diversity training is extremely important, especially for employees taking part in hiring. Harvard University’s Implicit Association Tests (IATs) are used to identify levels of implicit bias. This can help remove racial biased recruiting and hiring practices. Project Implicit focuses on racial bias and a variety of other biases found in a multicultural workplace:
Using cultural diversity tools like Project Implicit can help identify and address potential racial bias in current employees so that it doesn’t spill over to the hiring process. These IATs could be a useful piece of a diversity training initiative.
6. Blind Resume Tools
Blind resume tools are successful urban recruiting solutions because they remove certain details from a resume that could cause racial bias. For instance:
- Name — a candidate’s name can reveal their race
- Address — a candidate’s address could be linked to a certain race or income bracket
- Volunteer work — where someone volunteers can be related to their race
- Name of college — where a candidate went to college could identify their race (e.g. attending a Historically Black College or University)
Clovers’ job description optimizer is one example of “blind resume software” you might use to review resumés based on skills and experience instead of details related to gender, age, race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status.
You’ll notice in the image below how the blind resume software blocks out these details:
7. Pinpoint Recruitment
Pinpoint Recruitment’s Blind Resume Tool also helps hiring managers solve their racial bias issues by removing items (like the ones above) from candidate resumes. The Pinpoint tool reads applicant data, then presents a redacted resume to the hiring manager using anonymous personal info. The screenshot below shows “Pink Peas” as an applicant and their personal data is hidden for the candidate screening process.
Blendoor’s diversity recruiting tool also hides things like name, age, employment history, criminal background, and photos from resumes. This helps employers focus on the relevant and important data related to job qualifications. Blendoor also helps with sourcing by broadening the search for talented and qualified candidates, racial bias aside.
9. Entelo Diversity
Entelo’s unbiased sourcing tool helps employers find a diverse pool of candidates by anonymizing candidate information related to different forms of bias. Entelo also uses an algorithm to help remove racial bias and find candidates from underrepresented groups by scanning their social platforms and other online data. This helps companies create a more multicultural workplace.
10. AI Chat Bots Remove Bias
Using AI chatbots in the interview process can help promote diversity and remove racial bias. AI chatbots automate the hiring process by taking over the role of candidate screening, interview scheduling, employee onboarding, and answering FAQs. AI chatbots are also blind to color, which helps remove hidden bias and racial bias when recruiting people of color.
John Duarte, founder & CEO of GoHire, said 2019 was the year the chatbot really took off. It’ll be interesting to see if chatbots continue their upward trend and become a POC recruiting technique.
Some top chatbots include:
- Wade & Wendy
A couple of good resources on chatbots include Today’s chatbots are becoming more diverse – and so, too, are their creators, Let’s Talk About Race: Identity, Chatbots, and AI (which notes that Chatbot creators have to be careful not to be biased in their programming).
WHY I WROTE THIS
Ongig’s Text Analyzer software helps eliminate racial bias and any other offensive/exclusionary words. It comes with recommendations to replace exclusionary words. We’d be happy to analyze your jobs to show you examples of unconscious bias. Wouldn’t you prefer to find bias before your candidates do!?