Want to improve DE&I? Stop trusting your gut feeling. Trust data instead.

Anete Vesere (1)

Anete Vesere

Content Marketer

Take a step back, and critically ask yourself the following question: 

why are you hiring for diversity?

You can focus as much as you want on ensuring diversity. However, if you’re doing it for the wrong reasons, you might as well just not focus on diversity at all. Yes, diversity can be of great competitive advantage. However,  your commitment to ensuring DE&I should go in hand in hand with your commitment to diminishing inequalities and giving everyone an equal opportunity.

And if that’s truly the case, building diverse teams should go hand in hand with the question: ‘’How to objectify our hiring practices?’’

The thing is that objectifying hiring goes hand in hand with harnessing the power of data because when making a final hiring decision, your gut feeling is lying to you about whom will make the best hire…

How Data helps you overcome the challenges with ensuring DEI at your company

Problem 1: Resume-based screening is broken.

Resume-based candidate screening has proven to be a flawed selection method, simply because human behaviours aren’t capturable in just a piece of paper. Therefore, hiring decisions are often based on wrongfully made assumptions made  when evaluating someone based on their CV.

Take a look at just how many unconscious biases get triggered in one single CV!


resume bias

Here’s what the statistics say about resume-based screening:

Equivalent resumes with Black-sounding names are 50% less likely to receive a callback for an interview than those with White-sounding names.

In another study, a candidate with a Turkish-sounding name that wore a headscarf had to send 4.5 times as many applications as an identical applicant with a German-sounding name and no headscarf to receive the same number of callbacks for interview.

Psychology faculty from the US were randomly assigned to evaluate one of two identical CVs for a person differentiated only by the gender of the candidate. When asked if the candidate would be competitive, the faculty who evaluated the man’s CV responded affirmatively 72% of the time, compared to just 44% for those evaluating the woman’s CV.

So, there you have the proof that resume-based screening is not only broken, but also in most cases results in extremely discriminatory hiring practices.

Yet, we continuously choose to trust resumes when making hiring decisions. And this ultimately not only leads to mishires, discriminatory hiring practices, but also severely harms the diversity within your teams. 

Problem 2: You rely too heavily on your gut feeling.

Let’s imagine a situation where there are two outstandingly perfect candidates, however, there are two differences between them:

Candidate A, completed the same Masters degree at the same university and, the same as you, is quite extroverted and loves a good chat.

Candidate B, completed a Bachelors degree and, in contrast to you, is extremely introverted. 

We are all human, so it’s quite natural we tend to often rely on our what our gut feeling is telling us. However, if your inner voice is telling you that you “just know” this is the person for the job, you need to take a big step back and take a look at the bigger picture. Like really, take a step back.

Once you begin relying on gut feeling when making hiring decisions, there is a 50% hiring failure rate. That means ONE OUT OF TWO hires you make is a mishire. Ultimately not only costing you time but also money – 130% of that person’s annual salary.

And let’s be honest here- nobody wants that.

While a candidate can be the most charming person you’ve ever met, that doesn’t mean they’re automatically the right & best talent out there. And that most definitely won’t reflect well on your DE&I efforts, you’ll just end up creating extremely homogenous teams.

Solution: Data as a means of objectifying hiring and improving DE&I.

Research shows that approximately 41% if business leaders admit to trusting their gut feeling even if they know that trusting data will ultimately lead to better decisions.

Methods can change overnight. Mindsets won’t. Yet without seeking discomfort, you will not be able to go towards growth.

Diversifying your teams is all about objectifying your hiring decisions.  And that’s all about acting on the right data at the right time

When referring to data-driven recruitment, we are actually talking about is eliminating our initial bias and adjusting our frame of reference when reviewing candidates – because our own biased views on candidates are by definition subjective rather than objective. 

At the core of any candidate evaluation process should be gathering valuable data not only about someone’s track record, but also their skills, potential and behaviour. As a result – creating a first impression of each candidate that is objective, fair and – guess what – allows you actually gather insights that are predictive of someone’s future job success.

Data-driven approach to DE&I: Equalture’s game-based assessments.

Our game-based assessments help companies objectify their hiring practices to build the best possible team. And this won’t be a surprise: we do so by enabling those companies to make hiring decisions based on data rather than gut feeling. 

How that works is that we help companies collect unbiased insights in both their teams and their candidates:

Team insights: We assess your current team in order to reveal its strengths, weaknesses and cultural traits. These insights, together with our Industry Benchmark (which provides us with industry-wide insights into certain job groups), accurately determine what you should be looking for in a next hire. 

Candidate insights: Consequently, we use the same assessment (our neuroscience games) for your candidates to be able to calculate who fits your hiring needs best.

And by doing it this way, we make sure that they act on data throughout the entire hiring process, not only the final step – resulting in much better hiring decisions and ultimately leading to more diversity within teams.

Ready to get started? Why not try a game first yourself, no strings attached! 😉

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Anete Vesere

Content Marketer at Equalture. Dedicated and passionate about educating the world about unconscious bias in hiring.

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