23 April 2019

How to improve diversity while raising the bar of your recruitment process.

Diversity. I think this single word is heading for the new buzzword in recruitment and HR. Everyone is talking about diversity. Everyone (slowly) starts recognizing the value of diversity in a company. But unfortunately, too many people also think working on diversity means lowering the bar.

”It’s impossible to increase diversity, reduce your time to hire ánd improve your quality of hire.”


Alright then, challenge accepted. In this article I’m going to tell you how to improve diversity while raising the recruitment bar.

After reading this article you will know:

  • How to determine your recruitment bar;
  • How diversity practices (fair hiring) raise your recruitment bar;
  • Equalture’s features for fair hiring.


How to determine your current bar?

When it comes to your recruitment bar, there are two categories of success:

  • Outcome and process;
  • Candidate Experience.

Outcome and process

We measure the successfulness-rate of our recruitment outcome by focusing on three elements:

  • Quality of Hire;
  • Time to Hire;
  • Cost per Hire.

I think these aren’t new metrics for you, so I won’t explain how to measure these three elements, because the internet is full of blogs that explain this perfectly. Just keep reading and I’m (hopefully) going to tell you something you haven’t read before about these elements.

The Candidate Experience

Maybe even more important is the Candidate Experience, because if you create a bad reputation amongst job seekers, you will never achieve hiring success.

We measure Candidate Experience by focusing on two elements:

  • Dropout rate;
  • Candidate Happiness.

Dropout rate won’t be new for you as well; Candidate Happiness, however, might need some more explanation.

When people apply to one of our job openings, all we want them is to be happy after applying to this job – regardless of whether (s)he is invited for an interview yes or no.

Before I started Equalture a year ago, I ask 347 applicants to share which elements determine the level of happiness after applying to a job. These were the top thee answers:

  1. A smooth, comfortable application flow/form;
  2. Receiving a confirmation and feedback (or at least something, because most companies don’t come back to you ever again);
  3. Feeling like their application is evaluated fairly.

When translating this three answers into hiring terms, it would be (i) comfort, (ii) engagement and (iii) evaluation. So that’s our definition of Candidate Happiness.

Alright, cool. Now we know how to determine the bar of your recruitment process. The second part of this blog will learn you how to increase this bar by focusing on diversity. Sit tight.

Diversity as a means to raise the bar

While more than 50% of all HR/Recruitment Professionals thinks working on diversity means lowering the bar, diversity is actually one of the best tactics to raise your bar.

This is what not to do

Besides the fact that diversity raises your bar, the main motivation to work on diversity should be to guarantee equality in your company. We believe that this means providing every applicant with a fair chance to get hired, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, et cetera.

”Quotas are a short-term move to quickly change the imbalance in your team, at all costs. And lowering the bar is one of those costs.”

The way many organisations now work, however, is something I would never recommend. Diversity quotas. Quotas are a short-term move to quickly change the imbalance in your team, at all costs. And lowering the bar is one of those costs for sure. These are two examples why:

  • Quality of Hire: When deciding that for this position only a woman can be hired, you basically eliminate half of your talent pool. Let’s hope the best applicant was a woman in this case, because otherwise you’ve just settled for less.
  • Evaluation: Research how shown that applying to a position where you know there’s a form of positive discrimination, applicants feel evaluated unfair and not purely based on quality, but just based on demographics. Ouch.


Diversity: This is what a fair hiring process adds to your recruitment bar

Just to avoid any confusion, this is Equalture’s definition of fair hiring:

Fair hiring is a hiring standard that is characterized by the effort to (i) evaluate all applicants equally and (ii) based on the same information.”

I think the easiest way to show you the pros of fair hiring is simply by sharing the impact of fair hiring on the elements that determine your recruitment bar:

Element

Impact

Quality of Hire

By ensuring a fair hiring process and therefore not letting your bias fool you, you won’t wrongly reject a good applicant.

Time to Hire


When making sure all applicants have provided you with the same information it’s easier to quickly compare applicant profiles.

Cost per Hire



Dropout rate



Candidate Happiness

Applicants experience more happiness when applying to a job at a company that ensures a fair evaluation process where all bias are eliminated.


So a fair hiring process impacts 3 out of 5 elements that determine the successfulness of your recruitment practice. Quite a wakeup call, isn’t it?

Last but not least, I want to explain to you how our product has facilitated fair hiring. Not because this blog is a sales pitch, but just to give you some inspiration. We often experience that many companies want to work on diversity and fair hiring, but simply don’t know where to start.

Equalture’s features for fair hiring

I already shared our definition of fair hiring, which is based on two principles:

  1. All applicants should be equally evaluated;
  2. All applicants should be evaluated based on the exact same information.


Feature 1: Blind Hiring

To ensure that all applicants will be evaluated equally we’ve introduced our Blind Hiring Featureand yes, it’s indeed as simple as it sounds. When switching Blind Hiring on, all applicant profiles will be masked, meaning that all personal data (gender, age, etc.) is hided until the moment when you either advance an applicant to the next stage or reject this applicant. This feature simply makes it impossible to have any bias based on demographics while evaluating an applicant.

Feature 2: Applicant Matching Profile

So feature 1 covers principle 1, cool. Feature 2 is covering principle 2, making sure all applicants are evaluated based on the exact some information. We do this by replacing the resume by the Applicant Matching Profile.

By replacing an old-fashioned application form by our application flow, we make sure all applicants provide you with the information you need to properly evaluate them. Education, job experience, skills, personality and everything in between. It’s up to you what you want to know; it’s then our job to make sure all applicants share this information with us. And finally we create an Applicant Matching Profile for all applicants of your specific vacancy – with the same layout and the same information.



The fact that we’ve decided to do it this way doesn’t mean our features work for every company or every job opening. In case you’re keen to learn more about these features and assess whether these features might fit your current needs and practices, just let us know. No strings attached.

Cheers, Charlotte