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How an applicant tracking system can drive diversity, equity, and inclusion

March 15, 2021
iCIMS Staff
3 min read

If I asked you, “Does your applicant tracking system support hiring diverse talent?” you’d like to answer ‘yes.’ But is it true?

Everyone wants to say that their tech enables them to eliminate bias and build a diverse, winning workforce.

Unfortunately, that may not be the case.

An essential part of a diverse and equitable hiring practice is your candidate applicant tracking system. Some applicant tracking systems may act as a simple database for candidate information. However, modern and sophisticated solutions can proactively support your existing DEI initiatives.

Of all the tools in your tech stack, your applicant tracking system is primarily responsible for collecting, reviewing, and surfacing the diverse candidates that make up your diverse workforce. If it’s not designed to handle this process in an unbiased way, then it isn’t adding as much value to your overall DEI efforts as it could.

For companies that review and hire hundreds (or even thousands) of people every year, the right ATS could become a valuable member of your TA team by automatically surfacing top talent, reducing bias, and improving recruiter productivity.

Learn more about how to build a diverse, winning workforce. Download the 2021 Recruiting Strategies Guidebook.

How can your applicant tracking system drive DEI?

It’s important to understand that everyone has implicit bias. This could lead your TA team to unknowingly overlook candidates from specific races, genders, physical abilities, etc.

For example, let’s say Candidate A and Candidate B are both applying for the same position. Candidate A went to an ivy-league university while Candidate B went to community college. Without even realizing it, a recruiter might favor Candidate A because of their prestigious education even though Candidate B has more relevant experience and skills.

However, an applicant tracking system fueled by unbiased artificial intelligence, can help your organization counteract similar showings of implicit bias, treat every candidate equitably, and hire more diverse talent.

3 ways iCIMS’ Applicant Tracking System can drive DEI

iCIMS’ Talent Cloud AI and Machine Learning (natively built into iCIMS’ Applicant Tracking System), can help you to drive diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the entire talent flow.

  1. Remediate bias through AI-led talent matching

With AI-led talent matching, your applicant tracking system automatically matches candidates to the best-fit open position. The more data you have, the more likely the fit. iCIMS’ Talent Cloud AI uses resume data, career site searches, and chatbot interactions to influence its matches.

This helps to reduce the subjectivity that may be present in human reviews (whether conscious or not). Plus, the iCIMS ATS can help you to automate the review of 100% of candidate profiles, meaning every applicant is treated equitably.

  1. Quickly identify best-fit candidates with talent rankings

With hundreds of applications, it’s possible to have multiple candidates that fit the bill. So how will recruiters know where to invest their time?

iCIMS’ Applicant Tracking System ranks candidates based on how well they fit pre-selected criteria. TA teams receive a prioritized list of applicants based on skills and experience match. This can significantly reduce the amount of time required to review resumes. In addition, the ATS provides the logic used to prioritize candidates, which can help TA teams understand the reason behind the rankings and defend their DEI choices.

  1. Take action on your DEI data

iCIMS’ ATS empowers TA leaders to make more inclusive hiring decisions by providing a range of DEI analytics. ATS metrics can help leaders identify areas of improvement by funnel stage. And you can even receive alerts if your metrics drop below a certain threshold. This proactive approach to DEI analytics can help leaders make empowered decisions about their diversity and inclusion practices.


Want to learn more about the strategies and tech needed to build a diverse, winning workforce? Check out the 2021 Recruiting Strategies Guidebook.

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