DIVERSITY

Diversity drives success

Effective DE&I initiatives have a tangible impact on your entire business. Whether it's finding and attracting the best candidates, driving innovation, or building better teams, increasing diversity at your organization leads to powerful outcomes.

Criteria provides you with the tools you need to reduce hiring bias and reach your DE&I goals.

 

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Hire for ability, not pedigree

Diversity initiatives are more popular than ever. One unfortunate result of this new-found (and well-deserved) popularity is that many companies treat their diversity issues as just another box to check.

But championing diversity initiatives is about more than just making your company look good on paper – it’s critical to your business.

Diversity drives success. A wealth of research supports the idea that a diverse workforce is more productive, more creative, and more capable when compared to a corporate monolith. It literally pays to have strong and effective DE&I initiatives in place.

 

Unconscious bias is the largest barrier to creating a diverse workforce

It’s hard to admit, but we all have to contend with the fact that our brains make unfair assumptions about the people we meet. However, it’s critical that we address it, especially in the context of hiring.

That’s because great candidates can get left behind if we let our biases get in the way. Ethnicity, race, gender, age, sexuality – these are just a few of the common biases that interfere with making a great hire. If biases don’t get addressed, it can lead to a stagnant workforce, where everyone thinks alike. The result? A less innovative, less creative, and less adaptive work environment.

Even the most open-minded people are predisposed to bias – it’s just the way our brains are wired. So despite your best efforts to remain objective during the hiring process, it’s not realistic. Science has proven again and again that bias is part of the human condition. How we perceive the world around us – and the people in it – is directly tied to our experiences, cultural backgrounds, and the ideas we are exposed to. Ultimately, hiring is a human-lead activity, and unconscious bias is unavoidable.

That’s why it’s so important that we support and center diverse voices and stay informed on how to best give everyone an equal opportunity to succeed.

 

Accessibility issues also impede diversity

Having trouble getting diverse candidates into your hiring funnel? Simply put, the size of your talent pool is limited by how accessible you’ve made your application. If a candidate can’t complete an assessment or access your application, you’re potentially missing out on strong candidates.

To cast the widest possible net to find the strongest talent out there, you need to make your application as accessible as possible. But accessibility is a multifaceted challenge: different candidates will face different obstacles. There are obvious ones, like language barriers. But some challenges are less surface-level:

  • Neurodiverse candidates may struggle with time-based tasks.
  • Deaf and hard-of-hearing applicants need captions for audio-based parts of your application or interviews.
  • Blind and visually impaired candidates will likely need a modified application process.

It’s an almost never-ending list of things that the average able-bodied, neurotypical recruiter doesn’t think of because they are limited by their lived experience (as we all are). However, it’s still important to find ways to make your hiring process accessible to a full range of candidates. Their perspective and abilities add real and quantifiable value to your business.

 

Since we can’t rely on our brains to be truly objective, trust science instead

Criteria’s line of objective and scientifically-validated products can be extensively modified to accommodate the needs of diverse candidates. Since our assessments prioritize job-relevant candidate capability, you’ll be able to identify people who have the capacity to succeed in the role.

 

Accommodate the needs of every candidate

In order to hire diverse candidates, you need a diverse talent pool to recruit from. Believe it or not, you have more influence over who applies to your openings than you may expect.

There are simple ways to expand accessibility. One place to start is by allowing non-English speaking candidates to apply, unless a job specifically requires strong spoken English skills. Criteria has modified a selection of their most popular cognitive aptitude assessments to be language-independent, like UCognify and Universal Cognitive Aptitude Test (UCAT). These adapted assessments are able to accurately evaluate cognitive ability without relying on language-based skills.

A professional services firm used three Criteria assessments to increase diversity in their talent pool. Their goal was to include more candidates from a variety of backgrounds and different skills than their average employee. After adding these assessments, the firm saw a 20% increase in candidates with a background in STEM. Read the full case study here.

Criteria's Video Interviewing (VI) platform makes accommodating candidates easy, reducing geographical and scheduling limitations. But video interviewing can open the door for so much more. Our VI platform provides additional support – particularly to folks who are disabled or neurodiverse – with accommodations that enable them to present themselves accurately in their interview. For example, candidates who need it can be given extra time to digest questions before answering, rerecord their responses as needed, and talk about their abilities without being clouded by the stress of social interaction.

Criteria’s modified assessments give you a clearer picture of a candidate’s abilities by giving them the opportunity to respond to your questions in an environment that meets a diverse range of needs.

 

Reduce interview bias

Interviews give you the ability to observe your candidates in a way that feels authentic and lets you see how they behave in a professional setting. However, in-person interviews can be fraught with unconscious bias if an interview makes assumptions based on a candidate’s appearance or their interpersonal chemistry.

To reduce the chances of bias muddying the waters of your hiring decision, consider using blind interviews. This style of interviewing removes an extra layer of distraction and bias, allowing the interviewer to focus solely on a candidate’s potential to succeed. Criteria’s VI platform can facilitate blind hiring by removing a candidate’s video recording and altering the pitch of their speech so the race and gender of a candidate is obscured.

Our video interviewing software can also help keep interviews consistent from one candidate to another. Video interviews maintain the structure of each interview, as interviewers aren’t able to alter questions based on assumptions or their rapport with a candidate. This consistency allows every candidate equal opportunity to highlight their abilities.

 

Assess with less bias

Our software is designed to reduce adverse impact on underrepresented populations. Criteria assessments have been rigorously tested to ensure their ability to accurately represent the abilities of any candidate.

And candidates can sense this. When a multinational tech client started using Cognify , minority candidates reports that they felt the test allowed them to better represent their abilities than a traditional assessment.

When you use evidence-based cutting-edge tools, you make it clear that diversity and inclusion are a priority for your organization. This, in turn, reflects positively on your employer brand – and candidates will take notice. When our tech client’s candidates were asked about their experience with the hiring process, 60% of them felt the Cognify assessment had a positive impact on how they perceived the organization. Check out the rest of the case study here.

Our goal is to make hiring more fair and equitable for everyone. That’s why we have developed a range of assessments that can reduce bias across industries. Let’s look at this in practice. A professional services firm wanted to improve both the quality of hire and their organizational fit, but also wanted to reduce unconscious hiring bias while increasing the diversity of the candidates they were bringing in for interviews. They added three different Criteria assessments to their hiring process: Cognify, the Workplace Alignment Assessment, and Emotify.

Shortly after implementing their new assessment strategy, the firm found significant improvement in both the caliber and diversity of candidates that made it to the interview stage. They saw a 27% increase in applicants from outside their target universities, a 20% increase in STEM graduate applicants, and an overall increase in minority candidates who applied. Ultimately, this hiring strategy allowed them to bring on better hires, resulting in an 11% improvement in collaboration, plus improved communication and technical skills. You can read about the rest of their results in the case study here.

 

Your people are your most valuable asset, so it’s critical that you do everything in your power to hire the best talent possible – regardless of their specific background. Add predictive science and objectivity to your hiring process, and don’t let bias blind you to the strongest candidates.

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