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Unbiased Recruitment – Embracing Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion

Written by: Salim Sheikh, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Diverse teams are not the product of quotas and channels but of an open approach that attracts the RIGHT PERSON for each role through equal access and opportunity, with selection achieved through fair assessments created to eliminate personal biases and preferences.

group of people holding a question mark on their faces

This is why we are offering a new approach that uses social robots (both digital and physical) to make evaluations fair and help eliminate ‘group think’.


In this article, we posit our thoughts on the following question:


Is unconscious bias damaging your recruitment process? How can Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Social Robots help to tackle this and make the overall recruitment experience a better one for everyone involved?


Setting the Scene


Unbiased recruitment refers to the process of eliminating personal biases, preconceptions, and discrimination during the hiring process. This helps create a better experience for candidates and hiring managers as it allows for a more objective and fair evaluation of skills and qualifications.


This type of recruitment promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, as it opens up opportunities for a wider pool of candidates and helps break down barriers to entry. The benefits of unbiased recruitment are numerous, including increased innovation and creativity, enhanced decision-making, improved employee engagement and job satisfaction, and higher levels of trust in the workplace.


By implementing unbiased recruitment practices, companies can create a more inclusive and equitable future of work, leading to increased success and sustainability.

Key Barriers & Challenges


While unbiased recruitment is an important goal, it can be challenging to achieve in practice. There are several key barriers and challenges that organizations may face when trying to implement unbiased recruitment practices:

  • Unconscious bias: Despite best intentions, personal biases can still influence decision-making in the hiring process. Unconscious biases can be based on factors such as race, gender, age, or appearance, and can impact the evaluation of candidates and lead to discrimination.

  • Lack of diversity in the hiring process: If the hiring team is not diverse, they may be more likely to hire candidates who are similar to themselves, leading to a lack of diversity in the workplace.

  • Resistance to change: Some organizations may resist implementing unbiased recruitment practices, as it may require changing established processes and mindsets.

  • Limited data: The lack of data and metrics on diversity, equity, and inclusion can make it difficult for organizations to track progress and assess the effectiveness of their recruitment practices.

  • Limited resources: Implementing unbiased recruitment practices can require additional resources, including training and support for hiring managers, as well as systems and tools to help eliminate personal biases.

  • Legal and regulatory barriers: There may be legal and regulatory barriers to implementing unbiased recruitment practices, such as equal opportunity laws and anti-discrimination regulations.

In conclusion, while unbiased recruitment is important for creating a positive and inclusive workplace, it can be challenging to implement in practice. Organizations must be aware of these barriers and challenges and take steps to overcome them in order to achieve their goal of an equitable and fair hiring process.


A New Hope


AI and social robots have the potential to play a significant role in mitigating and addressing the key barriers and challenges to unbiased recruitment.


Before we continue, let’s clarify what we mean by the term “social robot”.


A social robot is a type of machine that can interact with people in a social way using AI. It's like a computer that can talk and respond to you, and it's designed to be friendly and helpful. You might have seen a robot at a store or a museum that greets you when you walk in, or one that answers questions you have about a certain topic. Social robots are used to help make things easier, more fun, or just more interesting. They can also be used to teach people new things or to help them in some way. Overall, social robots are designed to be friendly and make you feel like you're talking to a real person, even though they're just an AI-powered machine.


Here are some ways in which AI and social robots can be leveraged in the context of unbiased recruitment:

  • Automating recruitment processes: AI can automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks, such as resume screening and interview scheduling, reducing the risk of personal biases influencing the hiring process.

  • Providing objective data and insights: AI-powered recruitment tools can provide data-driven insights into the diversity, equity, and inclusion of the hiring process. This information can be used to identify and eliminate personal biases, and to track progress and assess the effectiveness of unbiased recruitment practices.

  • Reducing human error: AI-powered tools can reduce human error in the recruitment process, such as incorrect resume screening or interview scheduling. This can help ensure that the process is as objective and fair as possible.

  • Providing personalization: Social robots can provide personalized and engaging experiences for candidates, helping to create a positive candidate experience and improving the perception of the company as a potential employer.

  • Offering diversity and inclusiveness training: AI-powered virtual training and development programs can help educate and train hiring managers and recruiters on diversity, equity, and inclusion, helping to reduce the risk of personal biases influencing the hiring process. Social robots would effectively act as “team mates” working alongside and assisting people.

  • Providing language and cultural understanding: AI and social robots can help bridge language and cultural gaps, providing a more inclusive and equitable experience for candidates and improving the representation of diverse groups in the workplace.

In conclusion, AI and social robots have the potential to significantly mitigate and address the key barriers and challenges to unbiased recruitment. By leveraging these technologies, organizations can create a more equitable and fair hiring process, and a more positive and inclusive workplace.


Recommendations


At ITE, we offer a range of AI and Social Robot solutions that include Digital Avatars and physical robots (like Pepper, Nao, and Delivery robots) which may be used across different industries including hospitality, leisure, retail, and so forth.


Social robots have a wide range of potential applications and can be used in a variety of industries to help improve customer experiences, enhance efficiency, and automate processes.


If you are HR professional or consultant, visit our website (https://ite.ai) to learn more.


Join us to create a better future that is fairer for all people.


Concluding Thoughts


Unbiased recruitment is a crucial aspect of creating a positive and inclusive work environment. It involves eliminating personal biases, preconceptions, and discrimination during the hiring process, allowing for a more objective and fair evaluation of skills and qualifications. This can benefit both candidates and hiring managers, as it ensures a more equitable and transparent hiring process.


The following are the positive benefits of implementing unbiased recruitment practices in the workplace:

  • Improved diversity, equity, and inclusion: By removing personal biases from the hiring process, companies can attract a more diverse pool of candidates, creating a more inclusive and equitable workplace. This leads to increased innovation and creativity, as well as enhanced problem-solving and decision-making.

  • Enhanced employee engagement and job satisfaction: Candidates who feel that they were fairly evaluated and selected for a role are more likely to be engaged and committed to their work. This leads to increased job satisfaction and lower turnover rates.

  • Increased trust in the workplace: Unbiased recruitment practices help build trust among employees, as it demonstrates a commitment to fairness and equity. This can lead to improved collaboration, teamwork, and productivity.

  • Better decision-making: By removing personal biases from the hiring process, companies can make more informed and objective decisions about who to hire. This can lead to improved talent acquisition and retention, as well as increased success and sustainability.

  • Attracting top talent: Companies that implement unbiased recruitment practices are more likely to attract top talent, as it demonstrates a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. This can lead to increased competitiveness and success in the marketplace.

Overall, unbiased recruitment is crucial for creating a positive and inclusive workplace that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion. It benefits both candidates and hiring managers, and leads to increased innovation, engagement, trust, and success in the workplace.


Follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter and visit my website for more info!


 

Salim Sheikh, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Over the past 25 years, Salim has built a career in consulting, working both client ‒ and supplier-side as an interim CIO/CTO and a Business Change / Transformation Consultant. Facilitating digital and technology transformations programmes that have included rescue & recovery ("turnaround"), process optimisation & improvement and organizational change – across diverse industries in the UK, Europe, Nordics, Turkey, UAE, US, and Australia.

Salim is an Oxford University (Said Business School) alumni who also has strong academic roots in Artificial Intelligence (AI). He was previously a mentor in the “Responsible Tech Program” managed by “All Tech Is Human” and an academic scholar on topics relating “AI for Social Good”, “AI for Society” and “Human-Robot Interaction (HRI)”.

Salim authored "Understanding the Role of Artificial Intelligence and Its Future Social Impact" –available on IGI Global (https://bit.ly/34cfJVf) – and a new series on “Societal AI” available on Amazon (https://amzn.eu/d/bmYm9K7).


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