On May 29, US customers had to find an alternative source for their caffeine-based solution at Starbucks, as the company closed 8,000 facilities to help 175,000 employees cope with racial prejudice.
This training was triggered by an incident you’ve probably heard of: In April, a Starbucks official in Philadelphia called police and arrested two African-American men in a shop waiting for a friend.
Training is the first step the company is taking to tackle the problem. And while Starbucks has a lot of heat for the incident, the truth is that everyone has unconscious prejudices. Not only can these distortions influence customer interactions, they can also be part of the hiring process and hinder efforts to build a diverse workforce.
As a result, many companies go beyond simply training employees and implementing strategic changes in their hiring processes to reduce bias and increase fairness. Here are some companies that have done:
Unilever eliminates Predictive Preference games and video interviews
Unilever knows that diversity is a necessity for businesses. With more than 70% of people buying their products as women, the consumer giant believes that different teams will be better able to anticipate the needs of their customers. But until recently, the recruitment process has barely changed in recent decades.
“We were on the same path as we were on campus 20 years ago,” said Mike Clementi, vice president of human resources at Unilever North America. “Inherently, something did not feel good.”
To keep pace with its times, Unilever decided not to recruit from a relatively small number of universities and ask candidates to submit their LinkedIn profile. Then, candidates on the Pymetrics platform play a series of short games that use neuroscientific principles and artificial intelligence to assess candidates’ overall abilities.
The Pymetrics ball game measures the comfort of a risky candidate.
If the results match those of Unilever, the candidate will be invited to conduct a video interview with HireVue. This advanced video platform for AI analyzes the content of candidate responses, language and body language. Unilever then uses this data to better understand the candidates’ general abilities and predict future job performance.
Together, these two technologies help Unilever filter its candidate pool before recruits see or hear information about potential candidates. From there, promising candidates for preliminary rounds are won, giving the recruitment team a better idea of how candidates could play the role.
Before using this technological approach, Unilever hired one of three interview candidates. He then rented two out of three. Candidates who responded to the interview were simply better suited and Unilever recruiters could focus on their proven skills rather than on their resume.
Unilever has significantly diversified its talent pool by creating a larger network. In 2017, the company had selected candidates from 2,600 different schools, more than three times the 840 of the previous year.
The company is making progress in recruiting more women at all levels. At the end of 2017, 47% of executives were women compared to 38% in 2010, while women make up only 33% of Unilever’s global workforce.
Atlassian uses an automatic text tool to delete gender-coded job descriptions.
Each year, Australian software company Atlassian hires technical graduates and places them in their graduate program in Sydney. However, when it became clear that only 10% of these employees were women and very few women wanted to apply, the company knew that their job descriptions might be problematic.
In the end, terms like “aggressive”, “rockstar” and “dominant” compete less for an offer, drastically reducing the pool of candidates from the outset. To avoid a biased language in their job descriptions, Atlassian turned to Hire, an online writing tool from Textio.
Textio Hire analyzes your job descriptions and uses data from more than 10 million job advertisements per month to calculate the impact of your language on your success and attractiveness to the candidates. It also suggests simple ways to improve your publications to create a more diverse pool of candidates.
The tool uses a simple color scheme to highlight words (such as “ambitious” and “motivated”) that appeal to men and words (such as “nourishing” and “collaborative”) that speak more to women, which makes job descriptions more balanced. ,
If you use extravagant expressions such as “ninja,” “world class,” and “best of the best,” the tool will mark them because these terms can prevent women and under-represented minorities (and even some men) from applying. The setting may also remind you to include a gender statement in your message.
In the two years after she was hired, Atlassian increased the number of women enrolled in her graduate program from 10% to 57%. Aubrey Blanche, Global Director of the Society for Diversity and Affiliations, said the tool “fundamentally changed the composition of our workforce”.
L’Oreal and Lloyds Banking Group use virtual reality to measure how candidates deal with “real” situations
Virtual Reality (VR) has become a hot recruitment trend. Companies like Jet.com and Intuit have used virtual reality to showcase their working cultures, and the British Army now offers the virtual reality experience to give potential recruits an idea of what the missions really look like.
Some experts also believe that virtual reality can help reduce unconscious biases in the recruitment process. For example, companies have created virtual reality scenarios that test candidates’ abilities and help recruiters assess their personality without considering irrelevant factors.
The Lloyds Banking Group, a leading UK financial institution, uses VR in the final stages of its hiring process to better understand how a candidate can tackle their work situation. Candidates enter a simulated environment where they need to solve problems and master challenges. Many recruitment agencies believe that this provides candidates with the opportunity to prove themselves in a standard interview.
“This allows examiners to see exactly what you are, and to break any nerves and stiffness that you inevitably feel as you look for a post-graduate position,” said Pav Chakal of the Executive Program. Lloyd’s transformation. then in a RV rating. “Let the tasks you have to do make you think.”
The beauty guide of L’Oreal also uses campers in the UK and Ireland. Candidates will receive a virtual tour of the headquarters and a meeting scenario that will allow recruiters to assess the candidate’s situational judgment and gain insight into their personality.
By focusing on measurable skills and traits, recruits improve their chances of finding the best candidate for the position. This approach can also help to reduce unconscious prejudices. And virtual reality can also be used to make implicit prejudice training more effective and insistent.
This is the goal of the Australian startup Diversifly VR, which aims to reduce the unconscious bias in the workplace by proposing a tailor-made training plan in the workplace. These programs are provided through mobile apps that employees can use with a VR headset such as Google Cardboard or Oculus Gear.
In a routine work scenario, eg. During a meeting with the manager, for example, users see directly what is perceived as distortion when following in the footsteps of another. If they find a bias, they are asked to find an effective answer. At the end of the plot, they are scored with an emoji scale (from a neutral face to a radiant smile) that indicates the number of distorted situations they have marked. You will also get an explanation of how this bias can affect your work.
Lucy Hammond, founder of Diversifly, says that intensive training as it might could increase reluctance and speed up learning. Organizations like the US National Football League are experimenting with virtual reality to reduce racial discrimination and gender discrimination.
The formation of unconscious prejudices is just the beginning: focus on eliminating distortions at every stage of your process.
When you realize that there are unconscious distortions in your recruitment process, this is an important first step to getting rid of them. But the human mind is strongly forced to take shortcuts when making decisions and whether we notice it or not, sometimes sometimes we sometimes prefer a person for reasons other than irrelevant like a smile or a laugh.
Examine each phase of your process carefully and try to identify areas where distortion could influence decisions. Then explore alternative approaches and explore technical tools that can help reduce bias and make your search easier, fairer for your candidates, and generally better for your business.