New Feature: Help expand diversity in your candidate pool with new tools in your ATS

The average person makes nearly 35,000 decisions a day. We often opt for path of least resistance – relying on our experiences, emotions, and peer recommendations to guide us.  

But, when it comes to recruiting, the stakes are higher, and the consequences can be much greater, than for most daily decisions. It’s important to make a more conscious effort and get off autopilot mode – otherwise, biases can creep in and potentially lead to homogeneous hiring.  

To help solve this challenge and create more equitable hiring processes, we’re excited to release resume redaction within iCIMS Applicant Tracking. Now you can automatically block personal identifiers from a resume review. By removing non-essential information from what they see first, hiring teams can zone in on skills, qualifications, and firsthand experience. 

 

You are likely already familiar with the value of hiding identity to recognize talent with less bias interference from the entertainment world. iCIMS’ Culture Belonging Inclusion and Diversity Director, Chinor Lee, gives an example: 

 “There are multiple popular talent shows that hide the artist from the judges in some way. Perhaps the judges have their backs to the artist or maybe the artist is hidden behind an avatar. Either way, the objective is to find the most talented candidate. In the same way, we can hide identifying information during the hiring process.” 

Use your ATS to focus on person over pedigree 

Resume redaction can help to mitigate biases and build a more diverse candidate slate by anonymizing information that’s not necessarily found to be relevant to performance. Once the settings in your ATS are defined you can feel confident that candidates are being reviewed primarily on their qualifications and skills to get the job done.  

For example, you may want to allow all talent acquisition leaders to have access to all information at ATS login, whereas for hiring managers you might redact their view up until they have approved someone for an interview. 

Why a new resume view in your ATS is important 

Our personal identifiers represent our heritage, family, and history, and unique traits should be embraced by organizations. But the reality is that our subconscious and cognitive shortcuts can still inform our decision making despite training efforts. 

“The goal with resume redaction is to keep the focus on skills and potential to get a wider range of diversity through the first decision point,” says iCIMS Product Manager, Amber Brown. “We have heard  testimonies of candidates and hiring teams that speak to challenges with hiring from distinct universities. With resume redaction, we want to help hiring teams become more open-minded by surfacing candidates using AI in the iCIMS Talent Cloud and adding redaction as to not distract first decisions with datapoints like university.” 

Amber Brown, Product Manager, iCIMS

Resume redaction in the iCIMS ATS is one way you can look to minimize the effect of unconscious biases in the hiring process. As Brown put it, “There are so many examples of where this practice can be impactful, including but not limited to names. For example, by eliminating “university” from initial view you can address elitism that can pop up when you screen profiles from community colleges, boot camps, or non-traditional career paths.”  

Enabling this new feature can help address: 

  • Affinity bias: Unconscious tendency of people to gravitate toward people who are like us.  
  • Perception bias: Stereotypes or assumptions we have about other groups that skew the way we think. 
  • Horn effect: Discovering one trait that is perceived as negative and then judging someone based on that alone. 
  • Confirmation bias: Holding on to information or confirming a belief and filtering out all other information. 
  • Contrast bias: Evaluating someone as better or worse based on how we felt about another candidate. 
  • Anchoring bias: Holding onto the first piece of information we learn to inform our decisions. 

Not sure where to start? Here are the most popular fields you can redact from your team’s view within iCIMS ATS – and some insight into how they can sway decisions: 

  • Name: Judgement can be made at first glance of a person’s name, with research showing “white-sounding names” receive 50% more callbacks for an interview when compared to African American names.  
  • Address: Assumptions can be made on status, salary expectations, or knocking out candidates due to commute based on someone’s location. Research on the “spatial mismatch hypothesis” proved that addresses will impact who receives a call back from an interview.  
  • Education: While education level can be critical for particular roles (like doctors, nurses, or lawyers), revealing the name of a university or college can lead to multiple biases like affinity bias or elitism. 
  • Dates: By displaying employment or education dates, ageism could block hiring teams from welcoming highly qualified candidates. 

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You can learn how to be more intentional with language, focus on skills, and make improvements with technology in a recent on-demand webinar. Click here to watch: How to mitigate bias in the hiring process, hosted by Chinor Lee and Melissa Dobbins, Founder and CEO at Career.Place. 

How to mitigate bias in the hiring process

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