- Rachel Doyle
We want to be inclusive, but we really want the best person for the job
It is disheartening to learn that still in 2022, this is the biggest push back from businesses when they are asked about their approach to recruitment and how they struggle with diversity and inclusion. The most commonly held belief is that they won’t get the best person for the job if they move away from their traditional must have field on the job spec.
A degree is not only discriminatory, it is longer an indication of true ability
Some of the biggest myths surrounding recruiting include the perception that should they look away from a ‘Russell Group” or “Ivy League” university, recruit a talented employee that has no university degree or who has been inhibited by social mobility, that they are somehow going to receive a lower level of talent than they would otherwise. Then there is the understanding that all schooling is not equal. Some applicants will have had a privileged education that has taught them how to conduct themselves in an interview. They may have learnt how to present from an early age - so that their skills are more advanced than a candidate who didn’t have such a privileged start.
Grade inflation deflects from reality
Thanks to grade inflation and the significant breadth of university degrees and college courses it is no longer possible to accurately measure one against the other and identify what a candidate did within their course. Unless you take a look at their work, their projects and their course of study and speak to their tutor to understand how much work they did actually do, you’ll never get a true picture. On top of this social mobility and the significant cost of education, particularly in the US, means that by demanding that a candidate has a degree you are already excluding a wide range of potential candidates who could have the exact talent that your business needs. The sizable sum of student loans to take on in order to complete a degree versus working your way up from an entry level job are understandably challenging and candidates are considering their options. However, by asking for a degree for an entry level position, talented candidates are again being overlooked.
Masters are becoming the norm
Due to the hiring freeze in 2020 and the challenges of covid, some students opted to turn to further study, in the hope that when they graduate, they will have something more to offer an employer. This in turn exacerbates the social mobility challenges to those who are looking to apply for entry level roles.
Complicated application forms that expect candidates to do all the work
However, in some cases they are putting candidates off from applying. The same rule of thumb applies to when you are trying to sell to a customer on a website, if you don’t make it easy for them to do the thing, they won’t bother. The prospect of having to fill out a lengthy application form on a website rather than a business look at their carefully crafted CV is off-putting. Especially when the website form is a direct replica of the information in their CV.
Tech is being used in the wrong places
Businesses have in recent years’ tried to turn to applicant tracking systems (ATS) - which include automated hiring to a varying degree depending on the organisation. Automated systems are beset with bias and are pre-programmed to identify key words. They don’t take into account the nuances of a candidate’s varied experience and are often found to be rejecting talented candidates. They only enable those that cheat the system with carefully placed words. Search in Google and you’ll find countless videos that explain how you can cheat the ATS. Automation has also found its way into initial hiring conversations and screening - but operating a video interview with a bot. That doesn’t take account of a candidate's true ability and potential talent is being overlooked or rejected for the wrong reasons.
CVs fan discrimation but a solid alternative isn’t available
Until businesses have a way to identify how good a candidate is in a role, they continue to rely on applications being supported by a CV. However, with no standardised format to a CV it can be challenging to know how one candidate’s experience might be a better indicator of talent over another. References are no longer anything more than a confirmation that a candidate did a job over the specified time period.
Work with a recruiter
If you are looking for the best talent to support your business, you cannot remove people from the recruitment process - it’s as simple as it sounds. Tech is not advanced enough to replace that human emotional connection. Plus tech cannot identify how a personality will integrate with an existing team dynamic and it is still possible for bias to seep through into the process, as bias can be coded in at the point you tell your screener what you are looking for. An interview in person allows both interviewer and candidate that ability to deep dive. By putting them in front of a tech platform or bot, you are risking your employer brand reputation - as being inconsiderate of their needs and understanding whether an automated interview with a bot could answer the questions they may have. Then there is the challenge of matching a candidate to the cultural fit of a business.
Find out how you can work with our network of specialist recruiters to find and attract the best candidates to your organisation. They will be the best potential talent for your role and the best fit to your culture. Get in touch today here and complete our ‘request for a call back’ form at the bottom of the page.