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Preventing Unconscious Bias with Tribepad

Tags: EDI

Many of us have seen the TV show ‘The Voice’ on ITV where contestants are judged based on their singing voice opposed to appearance and stage presence. During the entire performance the panel of 4 judges have their backs turned to the contestant listening to only what skills they have at singing. Well that’s a very similar feature that Tribepad have implemented for clients during the recruitment process, preventing unconscious bias with anonymised applications.

No company or person wants to believe that they’ve been biased. But we all are, we are only human. With anonymity in the recruitment process, recruiters could gain a better indication of a candidate’s ability based on the skills presented to them on the application, identifying whether they’re a good fit for the role and the company. Further in-depth knowledge of a candidate could be gained with additional psychometric testing and ability tests.

Towards the end of 2015, Prime Minister David Cameron announced that companies including the BBC will carry out “name-blind” applications from 2017. The process will apply for graduate, apprentice-level and various other jobs.

In an article written on the BBC website, research suggests that “Job applicants with white names needed to send about 10 resumes to get one callback; those with African-American names needed to send around 15 resumes to get one callback”.

So how do we go about achieving unbiased recruitment processes within the recruitment process? How can we ensure that recruiters aren’t unconsciously biased?

Anonymised Applications

Liaising with the BBC, Tribepad have worked hard to ensure that every effort has been made to stop “unconscious bias” for candidates applying for vacancies from black and ethnic minority backgrounds.

BBC Recruiters’ with a Super User account now have the ability to anonymise applications when creating a job within the Tribepad Applicant Tracking System. Anonymised applications consist of restricting the view of candidate information. Figure 1.1 describes what information will be anonymised from applications.

Figure 1.1.

  • Candidate Name
  • Candidate Date of Birth
  • Candidate Address
  • Candidate University/ School
  • Candidate Gender
  • Candidate Ethnicity
  • Candidate Email Address
  • Candidates Social Media Links

The candidate remains anonymous until they have reached the interview stage. Once they have reached this stage, all details will be viewable by the entire recruitment team.

Figure 1.2

Interview Stage

All information will still be requested from the candidate at the application stage, however the details listed above will be restricted from view by the recruitment team and a unique ID provided to replace a candidate’s name. Personal CVs that have been uploaded will not be viewable by the recruitment team, however the Tribepad generated CV that honours the anonymity will be available to download.

Anonymised applications will not change how recruiters make use of the ATS and they will still reap the full benefits and features available. Talent will still be located in the same way, only searching for talent based on their skills, competences and cultural fit opposed to which University they went to, or their ethnicity for example.

See below for our step by step guide on how to apply anonymous applications to your vacancies.

Step by step guide

  • At the Job Create stage, under Job Details you will see a tick box at the bottom of the page titled ‘Anonymous Applications’. This is turned off by default. By selecting ‘Enable anonymous CV sending’, the recruiter has the choice to anonymise just the CV or the entire recruitment process. Select your option and complete creating the job. Currently, only Super Users can turn on this feature, this can be changed as requested. Super Users can see all information as normal – non-anonymised and are currently the only user type permitted to enable these options per job
  • When an application has been received for a job which has anonymity enabled, the recruiter would see an ID number replacing the candidate’s name within the ATS for that position. These IDs are also supported in CV Search, recruiters can search for a candidate’s unique reference i.e. ‘Candidate 59978’ as seen in the image below.

Anonymous Applications

  • Clicking to a candidate’s profile page from an anonymised job will direct the recruiter to an anonymised overview of the candidate’s profile and application details.
  • If a recruiter decided to download a CV, the following information (See Figure 1.1) would be removed from their CV.
  • Only when a candidate has progressed through to the interview stage will their application have the anonymity removed (See figure 1.2)

Related resources

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