Working with diversity consultant Paradigm, recruiting platform provider Greenhouse has launched a “holistic” technology solution to help companies integrate inclusive practices throughout the entire recruiting and hiring process.
Though branded as “Greenhouse Inclusion,” Greenhouse said the product was created “in partnership” with Paradigm’s diversity and inclusion experts. It’s meant to help companies “operationalize” behavior change and minimize bias.
Maia Josebachvili, Greenhouse’s vice president of marketing and strategy, said that “many companies have good intentions but are facing challenges when trying to realize their visions” when it comes to diversity, and “struggle to incorporate inclusive behavior across the organization in a holistic and lasting way.” Greenhouse Inclusion’s approach is to “operationalize and measure the behavior change needed to mitigate bias in all aspects of hiring.”
From what we can see, Greenhouse believes that by strengthening—or, in many cases, probably imposing—a structure around the hiring process, HR and managers will be pressed to evaluate all candidates consistently. By standardizing the hiring process and having someone accountable for every stage, the system should limit the impact of irrelevant information or hidden bias, the company said.
Some researchers see merit in the idea. In a press release, Greenhouse quoted Kyle Lagunas, IDC’s research manager for emerging trends and technologies in Talent Acquisition & Staffing Services, as saying, “the concept of structured hiring as a method to reduce bias has demonstrable impact in this area.” He called Greenhouse Inclusion “a smart, straightforward approach to reducing unconscious bias and enabling richer evaluations” and said it will “operationalize more inclusive practices in hiring.”
‘Disrupting Unconscious Bias’
Greenhouse says Inclusion combines human input, automation and analytics to scale inclusive hiring practice. It enables “in the moment interventions,” which highlight relevant information for interviewers, anonymize tests and “nudge” users in a way disrupts unconscious bias.
In addition, it provides candidate data and analytics so HR teams and recruiters can track progress, identify problem areas with the hiring process, and evaluate how well their approach is working.
“Greenhouse Inclusion represents a complete shift in the way organizations operationalize their hiring processes in the pursuit of greater diversity,” said Greenhouse CEO Daniel Chait. The product, he said, delivers “a standardized and accountable process that will unlock” the benefits of diversity.
Making a Subjective Process Inclusive
In announcing the product, Greenhouse and Paradigm emphasized the ideas of scale and “operationalization.” We take that to mean Inclusion’s focus is to meld into—or drive—an employer’s procedures so that its capabilities are actually used. (We emailed Greenhouse for clarification but have yet to hear back.)
Paradigm CEO Joelle Emerson reinforced that notion in comments to TechCrunch. “We considered interventions that would have impact across the hiring funnel, influencing who applies to a role in the first place, how hiring decisions are made, and the inclusivity of the process end-to-end,” she said.
Then, Paradigm and Greenhouse set out to design software that “could make those best practices scalable.” Echoing Lagunas, she said that when candidates are evaluated in a structural way, “assessing only relevant qualifications and considering those same qualifications for all candidates,” hiring decisions are “more objective and equitable.” Greenhouse Inclusion, she said, “includes interventions designed to prompt greater structure and reflection from interviewers.”
Like any system, especially those designed to combat bias, how well Inclusion works will depend upon how seriously its customers take it and how closely users adopt it. We like that it’s approach, from what we can see, isn’t very squishy: If employers mandate its use, Inclusion appears to offer a limited amount of wiggle room when it comes to move candidates down the funnel. Greenhouse’s greatest challenge may be convincing customers that building its structure into their processes is an exceptional approach that will generate exceptional results.
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