First and foremost, the goal of nearly every recruiting technology and recruiting process is to reduce every candidate to as binary a set of data points as possible:
- Degree? Yes/No
- 5 Years Experience? Yes/No
- Previous Industry Experience? Yes/No
- Experience with Xx software? Yes/No
- Submitted resume? Yes/No
In a world where cloud computing and machine learning exist … but if you’re reading this you likely already get the point. People are complex. We are unique. There isn’t anyone like us. No two graduates of the same program are the same. No two army infantry (11B) veterans are the same. Accounting for subtle differences and human uniqueness is hard, and until now it has been really slow. Let me put that another way: INCLUSION is hard and until now it has been really slow.
But without leadership at every level of the recruiting process … nothing will change. It will take someone with real strength to decide that you don’t need that college degree … or you don’t need to submit your information in a resume format … or you don’t need to have performed this exact job before to qualify for what would obviously only be a horizontal move.
So why not hire with binary measures? because that artistic hobby that one candidate has on the side might be a game changer for your organization and team. The fact that someone with a physical or mental limitation has learned to utilize assistive technology to achieve the outcomes you want in an entirely different manner just might be a game changer for your organization and team. Feel free to add your own statement in the comments below =)
I’m not sure that we’ll ever get around bias fully. I certainly welcome you to convince me otherwise. But I do believe that competency based hiring is a step in the right direction. What does a person need to know … what outcomes do they need to be able to achieve in order to function well in a given role? Fundamentally, those are the questions that matter.
Bias, unfortunately comes in millions of forms … and inherently we just have preferences which at the end of the day are really bias.
So if Bias is always going to exist in some form do we just give up? No. There are big rocks in the world of bias that we can address: race, gender, economic status, disability, age … We all know what the big rocks are, but we’d rather not be the ones to take the step to move those big rocks. One of the most amazingly brave leaders I’ve met was former Navy Chief of Chaplains Margaret Kibbens. Just let that sink in for a bit. Even at the time when she was championing so many powerful changes I’m can’t say that I was one of those that would stand fully with her. But looking back … well … we owe people like her a huge debt of gratitude for making the tough calls to drive change. And yes … the USWNT should most certainly be paid the same or more than the USMNT (for those soccer fans out there).
Let’s be realistic for a moment:
Resumes are BS …. Job Descriptions are also BS …. Our LinkedIn profiles are BS … our recruitment marketing is BS. My apologies for this sort of vernacular which is not my norm … but you get tired after awhile in this business.
We use binary hiring processes because it’s easier to stay compliant with federal or state regulations … and frankly, it’s easier to make a decision, or to sell a candidate to a hiring manager … and it speeds things up.
We hire people that we like and that our team “likes” because it’s easier to make a decision … it’s easier to sell the candidate to the hiring manager … it speeds things up.
So where do we go from here?
First. Will someone please stop asking for idiotic pieces of paper as evidence of interest in employment …. please. We don’t even use the paper (or pdf) … we put it through a scraper or algorithm to extract salient data points to see if the individual fits the binary mold we’ve created. There’s a basic set of data we want from everyone … how hard is it to establish a basic universal data set for employment as a starting point?
Second. Will someone please quit using “unicorn” templates as “job descriptions” … I know .. you have to pass the job description through an entire legal team because every non-hire is a risk to the company. And if your job description is too generic (and in most cases yes … your job requires pretty generic skills) you risk getting way too many applicants which increases risk and slows things down. But surely we can start asking the question … What does a person need to know … what outcomes do they need to be able to achieve in order to function well in a given role?
Third. Computing technology today makes it possible to factor in the infinite complexity and uniqueness of people and still come to a sound, responsible and compliant decision for hire … quickly. Let’s try to do that. Start with embracing some of this new technology … join a beta like the one we’re running at Candidit — it doesn’t even have to be us, but take part in helping to build and create the unbiased … non binary … non bs technology that will hopefully power a better workforce for generations to come.
And yes, if you are interested in taking part in our beta program or learning more about what we’re building at Candidit, please message me or leave a note. I’d love to chat.