According to Aptitude Research, 58% of us companies are currently dissatisfied with their ATS provider.
One in four are actively looking to replace their tech.
This dissatisfaction comes from a phenomenon known as overstacking.
Put simply, companies over invest in a raft of HR technologies, throwing big dollars into solutions that don’t provide clear benefit or ROI.
The thinking is this: “Everyone has an ATS. If I implement one at my company, I won’t get fired.”
But obviously, as Aptitude’s research shows, most ATSs are not doing what they’re expected to do – they don’t provide enough efficiency, and they don’t solve for things like quality of hire and time to hire; the metrics that CFOs look at very closely.
So what’s the real problem?
The dissatisfaction is due not to an inherent fault in ATS technology, but a fundamental misunderstanding of what an ATS is supposed to do.
Look at it this way: an ATS is like your laptop computer. It has all of the parts that make up a good (or bad) computer: chips, CPUs, keys, a screen, and so on. In this sense, an ATS is more hardware than software. You need it, but you need more, too.
What you add to your ATS – your computer – is what transforms it into a tool that can be used to produce and extract value. If you bought a computer and tried to create documents on it without installing Microsoft Word, for example, you can hardly blame the computer for the missing functionality. It’s not fundamentally designed for word processing – it’s the platform that facilitates it.
Therefore, if your ATS is not helping to improve key performance indicators like quality of hire or time-to-fill, the ATS isn’t the problem. The problem is you don’t have the ATS plug-in designed specifically to satisfy those KPIs.
So, without first considering what a good ATS is, and what a good ATS should do, spending big money to replace it will not solve the problem – only delay it.
First, you need to ask yourself (and your business) the following questions:
By partnering with your existing ATS, Sapia.ai’s smart hiring automation solution can help you achieve 90% completion rates and 90% candidate satisfaction rates – and you can even achieve a time-to-fill of as little as 24 hours.
We’ve even helped one customer, Spark NZ, achieve a near-complete removal of hiring bias.
This isn’t a case of simply throwing good money after bad. It’s about making your ATS into a solution that actually works for you – and in ways that you can prove.
You could replace your tech and call it job done. Maybe you’ll be gone, off to a new business, in the three or four years it will take for the cycle of dissatisfaction to repeat. But that is not a good solution.
To find out how to interpret bias in recruitment, we also have a great eBook on inclusive hiring.
In the late 1970s, as the world was changing around them, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra realised they had a problem. Specifically, a white male problem; the profile of nearly every musician.
In what is largely seen as the genesis of the blind interview, in 1980 the orchestra changed their audition process completely. Musicians were placed behind a screen so the auditioning panel couldn’t know the gender, race or age of the musician they were listening to. It’s said they even put down the carpet so the sound of high heels on the stage could not be heard.
All the panel could hear was the music.
Of course, the result of this blind screening was profound. Hiring decisions were made on the quality of the performance only. In just a few short years, the ‘white male’ orchestra was transformed to more equal gender representation with musicians further diversified by their cultural backgrounds.
Not only has the Toronto Symphony Orchestra continued to use blind screening ever since, but it was also quickly adopted by most major orchestras around the world.
Beyond the concert stage, blind screening and blind recruitment practices are used by government, academic and business organisations globally. Because when it comes to identifying the best qualified or best-fit candidates, all you need to hear is their ‘music’.
Are tall people more likely to get higher paid roles? Do the best looking candidates always get the job? Will Michael or Mohamed be the best fit for your team?
While it’s easy to recognise bias in other people, it’s usually harder to admit that we are biased ourselves. That’s why it’s called unconscious bias. It’s something we all have and something we can all be affected by.
Unconscious bias is about making assumptions, stereotyping or a fear of the unknown in how we assess other people. It can be innate or it can be learned and it’s created and reinforced through our personal experiences, our cultural background and environment.
Think of gender bias, ageism, racism or name bias – these are some common biases that need no explanation. However, psychologists and researchers have identified over 150 types of bias that impact the way we form opinions and make judgements about people, often instantly.
In a two year study titled Whitened Résumés: Race and Self-Presentation in the Labor Market published in the Administrative Science Quarterly in 2016, academics from the University of Toronto and Stanford University looked at racial and gender bias during resume screening.
In one US study, they created and sent out resumes for black and Asian candidates for 1,600 advertised entry-level jobs. While some of the resumes included information such as names, colleges, towns and cities that clearly pointed out the applicants’ race or status, others were ‘whitened’, or scrubbed of racial clues.
Amongst many insights, they found that white-sounding names were 75% more likely to get an interview request than identical resumes with Asian names and 50% more likely than black-sounding names. Males were 40% more likely to get an interview request than women.
Still need convincing?
Another 2016 study by The Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn, Germany examined how ethnicity and religion influenced a candidate’s chances of landing an interview. 1500 real employers received otherwise identical applications, complete with a photo, from Sandra Bauer, Meryem Ӧztürk, or Meryem Ӧztürk wearing a headscarf.
These are just two of many research studies that suggest bias and discrimination are rife in the hiring process. In a 2017 UK study, only a third of hiring managers felt confident they were not biased or prejudiced when hiring new staff, while nearly half of those surveyed admitted that bias did affect their hiring choice. 20% couldn’t be sure.
When it comes to hiring, we all have our own thoughts about what an ideal candidate is supposed to look like. The problem is that our own bias can get in the way of the right decision.
If you’ve already pre-determined a candidate’s suitability by their age, gender or the school they attended, then you could be missing out on employing the candidate with the best qualifications. Or while you’re thinking about the best ‘cultural fit’ for your team, you’re actually missing the opportunity for the best ‘cultural add’.
But what if you could take bias out of candidate screening and hiring process? Is that even possible?
Just as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra hid the identities of auditioning musicians behind a screen, there are several ways to bring blind hiring to your recruitment process:
Nearly all hiring decisions will involve a human to human interview. But take a step back in the process and blind screenings can ensure that all candidates are competing on a level playing field. With the opportunity to be assessed only on qualifications or skills, the best candidates for a role can be identified.
Blind screening is about making candidates anonymous – removing details from applications or CVs that reveal details that may colour the recruiter or hirer’s assessment. It makes it easier to make objective decisions about a candidate based on skills, experience and suitability without the distraction (and the damage!) of bias.
Unconscious bias can be triggered by someone’s name, their gender, race or age, the town they grew up in or the schools they attended.
Before making a final decision, many employers like to test a candidate’s skills or knowledge by setting a task or challenge. Others undertake personality or other testing to assess a range of relevant qualities such as aptitude, teamwork, communication skills or critical thinking. Candidates can be assigned an identifying number or code to retain their anonymity through blind testing, though this is often best done through a third-party service provider.
With face-to-face, phone or video interviews, it’s clearly impossible to keep candidates anonymous. Blind interviewing is possible, however, using a written QandA format or by using next-generation chatbots or text-driven interview software. Most recruiters and employers would agree, however, that there would be few if any, times it would be appropriate to make hiring decisions based solely on blind interviewing and without an in-person interview.
Read: The Ultimate Guide to Interview Automation
Sapia is a leading innovator and advocate in using technology to enhance the recruitment process. Our AI-enabled, text chat interview platform has been designed to deliver the ultimate in blind testing at the most important stage of the recruitment process: candidate screening.
Firstly, you will never have to read another CV again. Especially in bulk recruiting assignments, Sapia can help recruiters find the best candidates faster and more cost-effectively. CV’s are littered with bias-inducing aggravators. With Sapia, blind interviews are at the top of the recruiting funnel, not CV reviews.
By removing bias from the screening process, we’re helping employers to increase workplace diversity. It also delivers an outstanding candidate experience.
Reviewing and screening CVs is the most time-consuming part of any recruiter’s job and Sapia can put more hours back in your day.
Sapia evaluates candidates with a simple open, transparent interview via a text conversation. Candidates know mobile text and trust text.
Our platform removes all the elements that can bring unconscious bias into play – no CVs, video hook-ups, voice data or visual content. Nor do we extract data from social channels.
What candidates do discover is a non-threatening text interview that respects and recognises them for the individual they are, providing them with the space and time to tell their story in their words.
As candidates complete and submit their interview, the platform uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to test, assess and rank candidates on values, traits, personality, communications skills and more. By bringing this blind interview into the upfront screening, recruiters can gain valuable personality insights and the confidence of a shortlist with the very best matched candidates to proceed to live interviews.
The platform has a 99% satisfaction rate from candidates and they report they are motivated by the personalised feedback, insights and coaching tips that the platform provides, along with the opportunity to provide their feedback on the process.
Free from biases of the candidate’s race, gender, age or education level, Sapia’s platform delivers blind interviewing, testing and screening in one. Helping to build workplace diversity brings benefits for everyone – it can help lift employee satisfaction, boost engagement and productivity and enhance the reputation of your business as a great employer.
We believe there is a formula for trust when it comes to interviewing …
Final human decision supported by objective data. Or more simply:
Trust = (Inclusivity + Transparency + Explainability + Consistency) – Bias
Find out more about our AI-powered blind recruitment tool and how we can support your hiring needs today. You can try out Sapia’s Chat Interview right now – here. Else you can leave us your details to receive a personalised demo
It offers a pathway to fairer hiring. Get diversity and inclusion right whilst hiring on time and on budget.
In this Inclusivity e-Book, you’ll learn:
Do you wish you could harness the very best attributes of your people and just hire more of them, quickly, without bias? Do you spend more time recruiting than you would like? Have you ever gone against your better judgement and hired hastily only to discover the whole process has cost your business greatly?
The fact is, in retail, staff turnover is a whopping 2.5x higher than that of other industries. And if every bad hire costs your business 1.5x their annual salary, the costs mount up. Not to mention the lost sales from not having a full team on the store floor every day … bad hire costs, add up – fast.
You’ll love this. Built on robust psychological and data science, PredictiveHire’s technology compares tens of thousands of data points specifically attained from retail staff based around the world.
Your applicants will be compared to this powerful data to predict their likelihood to stay with you – creating really powerful candidate shortlists. The results speak for themselves.
Simon Amesbury, Superdry’s Resourcing Manager sums it up by saying:
“PredictiveHire ticked all the boxes: Cost savings. Time efficiencies throughout the process – less time on screening, sifting, interviewing, assessing, the list continues. A simpler life for store managers by speeding up shortlisting. And a way to boost the number of long-lasting, productive staff.”
Simon says: “Start now. The savings are there to be taken and the benefits are yours to gain!”
To get started and experience smarter hiring with no upfront costs, contact us for a discussion on how PredictiveHire can help you resolve your retail hiring issues.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) passed in 1990. This year, Australia’s Disability Discrimination Act turned 30. Even after all that time, bias and discrimination against candidates and employees with disabilities continues to be an important topic.
The unemployment rate for those with a disability (10.1%) in 2021 was about twice as high as the rate for those without a disability (5.1%) (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022). Coupled with increased laws and regulations regarding the protection of disabled job applicants and employees (e.g., U.S. EEOC, 2022), it is no surprise that academics, employers, and selection vendors are keen to understand where potential disability bias exists so it can be reduced or, ideally, eliminated.
Traditional face-to-face or video interviews in particular create potential barriers for individuals with disabilities, due to the well-documented stigma and prejudice against those with disabilities (Scior, 2011; Thompson et al., 2011). One study found that fake accountant job applicants that had disclosed a disability were 26% less likely to receive employment interest from the employer than those with no disability. Worse, experienced candidates with disabilities were 34% less likely to receive interest, despite presenting equally high levels of qualifications (Ameri et al., 2015). In addition to the bias held by hiring managers or recruiters, another concern is that certain selection methods create a very poor candidate experience for individuals with disabilities, causing them stress or anxiety and therefore stopping them from putting their best foot forward. For individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in particular, in-person or video interviews can be very stressful, with less than 10% believing they are given the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and abilities in this process (Cooper & Kennady, 2021).
Stuttering is another form of disability where traditional in-person and video interviews where the candidate has to speak may lead to stress and anxiety (Manning and Beck, 2013). One study found that people who stutter find their stuttering to be a “major handicap” in their working lives and over 70% thought that they had a decreased opportunity to be hired and promoted (Klein & Hood, 2004). Other disabilities, such as dyslexia and other learning and language disabilities may cause candidates to struggle with timed online selection assessments, so it is important to identify and remove these barriers (Hyland & Rutigliano, 2013).
Cooper and Mujtaba (2022) recommend alternative approaches that allow candidates with ASD to showcase their skills without having to verbally communicate them or properly interpret nonverbal cues.
The use of an online, untimed, chat-based interview – that is, our Ai Smart Interviewer – can not only help reduce discrimination against those with disabilities but also create a more positive candidate experience for them.
This format is particularly helpful for individuals with disabilities where traditional in-person interviews, video interviews, or timed assessments may cause stress or discomfort, therefore not allowing the candidate to express themselves freely and adequately demonstrate their skills.
Our Sapia Labs data science team has submitted a paper on reducing bias for people with disabilities to SIOP for 2023.
In the study, the data comes directly from our Smart Interviewer, which, as we said above, is an online untimed chat-based interview platform.
Candidates can give feedback after the interview process, and some candidates include self-report disability conditions in their feedback. While a number of different disabilities were mentioned, we had sufficient sample sizes to examine candidates with autism, dyslexia, and stutter. We compared their machine learning-generated final interview scores and yes/maybe/no hiring recommendations to a randomly sampled, demographically similar group of candidates that did not disclose a disability.
Effect sizes, 4/5ths ratios, and Z-tests revealed no adverse impact against candidates with autism, stutter or dyslexia. Additionally, feedback from these groups tended to indicate the experience was positive and allowed them the opportunity to do their best.
True diversity and inclusion starts with the way you hire. Our Ai Smart Interviewer allows people with disabilities and neurodiversity – real people, with real ambitions – to represent themselves fairly.