Diversity and inclusivity are becoming the number one priority for organizations as their benefits become more and more apparent. Research from Deloitte has found that over two-thirds of organizations are looking into tech solutions that can increase workplace diversity.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at how technology in general, and AI in particular, can help drive inclusivity and diversity with both new hires and existing employees.
The Case for Inclusivity
These days, many companies operate on a global market, and so have the option of making hiring decisions with candidates from a wide range of places and cultures. Smart businesses embrace this potential for diversity in order to strengthen their teams and improve their results.
The numbers bear this out: a McKinsey study shows that companies leading the charge on gender equality report 21% higher profitability, while the Harvard Business Review states that companies with more diversity are 45% more likely to grow their market share.
There is a logical link between more diversity and better business performance. More inclusive teams tend to consist of people with various backgrounds, skills, and experiences. This brings a multitude of perspectives to every project and improves innovation and creative problem-solving.
The Potential of AI
Faced with the challenge of increasing diversity in the workplace, many companies have turned to AI looking for solutions. This makes sense, considering that in an ideal case, AI would be impartial, unbiased, and would choose the objectively best candidates, no matter their gender, race, or ethnicity.
Catalyte, a US-based IT company, s a good example of using AI for more diverse hiring. Seeing the underserved urban population as an untapped part of the talent pool, Catalyte founders decide to forego the need for a college degree when applying for the position of a software developer.
In addition to this, they use an AI with their proprietary algorithm to screen new applications by giving them online assignments. This makes sure candidates get a chance to show their skills and prove they are the right fit for the job.
AI Can Help Create a Diverse Workplace
There are a number of ways AI can help drive diversity and inclusion in the workplace, the chief one being through AI recruiting.
Human bias, whether intentional or not, can have severe consequences on the inclusivity of the hiring process. AI represents an alternative that offers fair and consistent sourcing and screening of candidates based on their skills and experiences.
Even before the screening stage, AI can help recruiters form job postings that will attract a more diverse range of candidates. This widens the talent pool and helps attract the most qualified candidates.
When it comes to traditional hiring methods, recruiters and HR professionals had a critical role to play in every step of the process. This meant that the unconscious biases they brought with them would inevitably influence their hiring decisions.
Ai can help reduce these biases by screening candidates based on custom filters you set up for it. These filters form an algorithm that can be designed to choose candidates based on their skills and qualifications while ignoring unimportant factors like gender, race, and nationality.
This can even be taken a step further by setting up AI to deliver the most promising resumes to recruiters while omitting the factors mentioned above. This should ensure that the recruiters move to the interview phase without any existing impressions that could influence their judgment.
It’s worth noting that AI screening isn’t infallible. The quality of the data fed to the AI determines how well the screening algorithms will perform. If the data already contains certain unintentional biases (for instance, examples of good resumes are mostly from men), the AI could end up making biased judgments.
Integrating AI into the hiring process is a good first step towards building more workplace diversity. However, you need to build on that with a workplace culture that values equality and transparency in communication.
If we consider that transparency and collaboration are key to good communication, problems can crop up if the company has a hard time clearly communicating with its employees. AI can be used to analyze the communication between employees and look for patterns that might point to problems.
Also, it can go through employee performance data and calculate pay grades, retention levels and the likelihood of promotion. Making these results transparent will give employees a greater sense of ownership and help root promotion decisions in a sense of objective achievement.
Chatbots are finding more and more uses in recruiting, primarily as a way to screen or pre-interview candidates before they interact with hiring managers for the first time. This is also an often-overlooked area when it comes to inclusion.
Most of these chatbots communicate in English only, even though companies could greatly benefit from sourcing non-English-speaking candidates. This also extends to chatbots used in customer service, where adding additional languages can provide a great deal of value to customers.
Only a Tool
It’s important to remember that, no matter how powerful it can be, AI is still a tool. Just like any other tool, it requires a skilled hand to achieve its potential.
AI is best used to help augment recruiters’ productivity by taking on time-consuming and process-heavy tasks. This leaves recruiters with more time and energy to focus on what they do best - using their expertise to make great hiring decisions.
As diversity becomes a more and more important predictor of success, technology is stepping up and offering us tools to make inclusivity in the workplace a reality. AI is showing to be especially promising, helping us remove bias and make better hiring decisions. This tool, if properly designed and used, will help companies reach new levels of innovation, productivity, and profit.