The year is 2015, and technology has infiltrated our daily lives, seeped into the workplace and revolutionized many industries. One field, however, has not changed much over the past few decades: the staffing industry. But that is now changing.
New technologies have arrived on the HR scene, and the benefits are numerous. In The New York Times
article “Can an Algorithm Hire Better Than a Human?”, Claire Cain Miller explains how software companies are creating algorithms that automate the hiring process, which eliminates the lengthy and costly traditional method of recruiters spending hours searching for the perfect applicant. In an industry that has been technologically stagnant throughout the past few years, the benefits of this burgeoning software is twofold: first of all, it will place higher qualified candidates in the right jobs; and secondly, a more diverse workforce will be created.
How will these seemingly lofty goals be achieved? By relying on data, automated recruiting software is able to select the most qualified person for the position, liberating the hiring process from both conscious and subconscious human bias. This is a groundbreaking concept, as bias has become a natural part of the hiring process. According to Cade Massey, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, similarity of the interviewer and interviewee—which could mean that they went to the same college, have a mutual friend, or even just prefer the same type of soda—is “hugely influential”, even though it does not often correlate to how well the interviewee will perform in the future.
A recent international survey conducted by Cubiks Consultancy confirmed Massey’s theory that similarity of interviewer and interviewee is extremely important to hiring managers. Cubiks reported that 80 percent of respondents said that they strongly valued “cultural fit”—the idea that ideal employees are like-minded—when making a hiring decision. This is a potentially dangerous concept for various reasons. First of all, it could lead to hiring someone who is not actually the best candidate for the job, as rapport can often be mistaken for skill or qualification. Secondly, if hiring managers strictly adhere to the concept of cultural fit, it can result in a lack of diversity in the workforce.
And many industries today do represent a serious lack of diversity. Miller states in another article that “it’s good to be a man, particularly a white or Asian one” in the workplace—specifically within the tech industry. Her statements are true: according to a recent release of data from Google, only 18 percent of the company’s technical workforce is composed of women and less than one percent is black.
Why do we need diversity in the workplace? According to Katherine Phillips, an associate professor of management and organizations at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, diversity actually enhances group work. “The mere presence of diversity in a group creates awkwardness, and the need to diffuse this tension leads to better group problem solving,” Phillips says. Meanwhile, in groups that represent cultural fit—meaning groups full of demographically homogenous and similarly minded people—members are more likely to blindly agree on everything, rather than cause any disturbance in the group dynamic . Overall, diverse groups have been found to complete tasks better than non-diverse groups do.
Automated recruiting technologies focus on data and repeat successful hiring patterns, while removing human bias from the equation. In a demographically lopsided workforce, these technologies are revolutionary.
With the advent of technology in the staffing industry, Leoforce is proud to provide the first and only recruiting robotics software. Visit www.leoforce.com to learn more about how Leoforce is turning recruiting into a science.