DE&I

How To Drive Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion with An Applicant Tracking System

Organizations around the world keep looking for new ways to excel in their industries and outperform the competition. After taking care of internal processes that help them interact with clients, other organizations, and employees, the structure might seem like it’s already at its peak. But it’s anything but. There’s one more thing an organization needs to reach the top, and that’s having the right people who will take its mission to completion.

Unfortunately, today’s hiring methods are deeply flawed. They rely mostly on humans, whose brains thrive on innate biases and other subconscious goals that they can’t control no matter how hard they try. With that, it’s extremely difficult, if not impossible, to excel as an organization relying solely on humans in the recruitment process. To fight those biases, tools such as applicant tracking systems were created. In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about driving diversity in your organization using the latest technology.

How diversity can help your organization excel

Many employers are prone to select candidates based on subconscious criteria they don’t even realize influence the way they hire. Often, they make decisions about potential candidates based on their current team, considering the age, gender, and race of present employees, among other factors. And while building a homogenous team might sound like a good idea at first, it deprives you of unique insights that can be brought in by people with life and work experiences that are completely different from what you’re used to.

By ensuring the diversity of your team, you can get different viewpoints and solutions to the problems your organization encounters on an everyday basis. While those perspectives won’t always lead to better solutions, they’ll at least spark a conversation that will lead your team to explore new possibilities they didn’t even realize existed and collectively come up with a solution that will benefit the organization in the long run. 

The difference between equity and equality

Equality has been at the forefront of hiring for a long time, and it has helped many organizations thrive. It’s defined as providing all people with the same means to succeed, no matter their needs. In hiring, this means giving everybody the same chance to be hired and then, once they join the team, give them the same resources to accomplish the goal at hand. Recently, however, it turned out that equality isn’t fully sufficient and that employers need to go one step further to facilitate the success of their employees.

Today, equity is the way to hire. It’s characterized as considering each team member’s specific needs and providing them with the tools they need to get the job done. Some examples might include making wages transparent - especially in job offers - or providing a different amount of physical space for employees with different needs, especially those who are disabled and in a wheelchair, for example.

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Why inclusive organizations will keep thriving

Many studies have shown that diverse organizations that take all people’s needs into account perform much better. One study conducted by the consulting firm McKinsey showed that companies that practice inclusion in terms of gender and ethnicity consistently outperform financially those that don’t by as much as 36%. The same goes for enabling diversity in leadership positions, with those teams outperforming others by a significant margin, too.

Given those differences between diverse and homogenous organizations, it’s clear that the gap will only get bigger as years go by and as diverse companies keep outperforming the rest every time. At some point, we might even see a decline in homogenous organizations that will be forced to go out of business once the gap grows too big to overcome.

What is an applicant tracking system

An applicant tracking system is a database to store the resumes of all of your candidates and browse them comfortably in the form of a table where you can store information such as the applicant’s education, relevant experience, among others. It also allows you to conveniently contact those candidates you consider fit for a position, automating this important but time-consuming task.

Today, most Fortune 500 companies use an applicant tracking system not only out of pure convenience but also to minimize any human biases that might be present during the recruitment process. That’s because, with an applicant tracking system, organizations are able to assess candidates’ potential for a role solely based on skills to make a truly unbiased decision that will benefit the organization the most.

How do applicant tracking systems work

There are two main functions of applicant tracking systems, depending on how the information is inserted into the database. The most popular one allows you to create custom application forms where candidates can input all the relevant information and attach additional files, such as a resume, cover letter, or portfolio, depending on the type of position they’re applying for. This allows you to pre-screen candidates based on specific filters and further look into those that meet your basic requirements, saving you time and money.

If you don’t want to create a custom form or would like to work with resumes you had already collected in the past, there’s another feature in the applicant tracking system that will extract the information from those files and put them in a table as in the first example. While you might lose some data you could have acquired with custom fields, such as financial expectations, it’s still better than browsing all resumes manually.

The advantages of blind hiring

There are many reasons why you should consider blind hiring with an applicant tracking system. Here are 4 examples:

Remove unconscious bias

No matter how hard you try, it’s almost impossible to eliminate the innate biases imposed on us by the culture and society we grew up in. The only way to be truly objective with the candidates is to use AI-driven technology to focus on skills and experience, thereby placing more importance on a candidate’s ability to perform in a role rather than who they are based on gender, ethnicity, or name. When you focus solely on the person's skills and experience, you’ll be able to make a decision based on what matters the most to your team and organization. Additionally, an applicant tracking system with AI recommendations like Manatal allows you to create and share with hiring managers custom resumes that do not include fields such as name and gender.

Build more diverse teams

One of the reasons you might be biased toward people is your current team. Seeing who builds it might suggest you should hire similar people to minimize the chance of any conflicts arising later on. This, however, could deprive you of new perspectives that might come around when people of different ages, genders, and backgrounds work together. When you don’t see this information about potential candidates, you can’t decide solely based on it and are therefore more likely to drive diversity in your organization.

Hire based on skills and experience

Employers agree that skills and experience are the most important factors when hiring new talents. Unfortunately, a lot of information can get in the way, as we described in the previous examples. By focusing on the factors that matter directly to performance and growth potential,you’ll have many more people to choose from, which alone increases your chances of finding the right one for the job.

How can an applicant tracking system improve your talent acquisition?

Now that you know the advantages of blind hiring, let’s discuss the ways dedicated software can help you achieve this goal. After all, you can practice blind hiring in many ways, and using an applicant tracking system is just one of the solutions available to you. But why exactly is it the best?

Diversity

When you don’t know certain information about a given candidate, such as their gender or ethnicity, you won’t get influenced by those factors. By making decisions based on merit, you’ll choose candidates that are the most suitable for the job, increasing the chances of them being different from your current team, driving diversity in your organization.

Once that decision is made, new employees will bring unique insights into your decision-making, giving you a unique perspective that you couldn’t have gotten had the team been full of the same kinds of people.

Equity

When you enable skills or merit-based selection criteria with an applicant tracking system, you’ll end up with candidates that are likely to be different from your current team and therefore have different needs. This pool of candidates can include disabled people, mothers, and other individuals, who might need you to adjust the workplace slightly (such as providing them with wheelchair access) to perform the best they can.

You might reject those candidates right away, thinking that the costs associated with adjusting the workplace won’t even out the advantages you’ll get from equity, but in the long run, it’ll only benefit your organization. 

Inclusion

Inclusion at work refers to accepting people from a variety of backgrounds, no matter their age, gender, or disability, as long as they meet the criteria of a given position. When you consider the previous two arguments, you’ll see that AI recommendations in anan applicant tracking system becomes incredibly helpful to i eliminate the innate human biases that will always be present in our minds, no matter how hard we try to act against them.

Other benefits of using an applicant tracking system

The benefits of using an applicant hiring system aren’t only related to making your organization more diversity-friendly. It also includes many benefits that will help you scale and keep thriving. Those include:

Easy application process: The more convenient you make the process of applying to your organization, the higher the number of potential candidates who will show interest in the job. With an applicant tracking system, you can create an application form and use it across many different platforms without changing anything, automating your recruitment process.

Database of candidates: When somebody applies for a job at your organization but doesn’t quite meet the requirements, their name will remain in the database for you to access later on, giving you a chance to revisit the same applications in the future to find better-suited candidates.

Automate routine tasks: Once you find an applicant who meets your requirements, you can contact them directly through the applicant tracking system and monitor the application's progress, such as interviews and further meetings with every piece of information stored in one place.

Save time and money: Last but not least, using an applicant tracking system is a great way to get immediate answers to pre-screening questions and get a list of candidates that already meet those criteria without having to screen them one by one.

Transform the way you recruit with Manatal

Manatal is an applicant tracking system created to help you streamline your hiring efforts. We provide a competitive solution with features similar to some of the best products available on the market, such as AI recommendations, job portal integrations, and other tools that will help you find the right candidates faster than ever before. Some of the features we offer include:

Channel integration: There are many ways you can look for potential candidates on the internet, and Manatal gives you direct access to thousands of job platforms, both free and paid, which you can access directly from the dashboard. Those platforms include major social media platforms and job boards such as LinkedIn or Indeed and smaller and more local websites that are just as popular among job seekers.

Recommendations: Even with an easy-to-access database of candidates, finding the right person would be extremely difficult. That’s why Manatal offers AI-driven recommendations based on your requirements, helping you find the right people without wasting time scrolling.

Analytics: Track your hiring efforts in real-time and monitor relevant KPIs directly from the dashboard that you can customize to display the information you’re most interested in. With instant and accurate information on hand, you can direct your hiring efforts in the right direction to maximize those metrics.

Career page: Create a custom page for your company to communicate your vision and let people know why they should work with you. You can even integrate the website with your domain, display it on job-searching websites or use it as a stand-alone domain for acquiring the best talents in the industry. Learn how to build your custom career page here.

Consequences of neglecting diversity, equity, and inclusion

Now that you’re aware of the advantages of inclusive organizations, let’s talk about what you’re losing when you decide to knowingly neglect diversity, equity, and inclusion. Keep in mind that you might not see any of those problems right away and that they’re intended to be treated as warnings in the long run.

Lack of different viewpoints: When all of your employees come from a similar background, they’re more likely to share the same opinions on many different subjects. Because of that, they think the same way and will present similar solutions to given problems, which might not always be the best ones, but because they can’t see it any other way, you’ll never learn about the alternatives.

Hiring subpar candidates: When you subconsciously reject candidates based on criteria irrelevant to the job they’re applying for, you’re depriving yourself of new talents that could potentially take your organization to a whole new level. What’s more, you now have fewer candidates to choose from, further lowering the chances of finding the best person for the job.

Stagnation of employees: When your employees are working around people just like them, they can never fully get out of their comfort zone and consider solutions they hadn’t seen before. This means that they won’t grow and if they won’t grow, neither will your organization.

Human errors and biases: Biases and errors are a part of our DNA, and being aware of them doesn’t mean that you won’t fall victim to those fallacies. In fact, knowing the biases might make you try to avoid them consciously, but this only means that your decisions will be swayed in the other direction, which is still highly biased.  

Start hiring with Manatal today

If you’d like to give your organization a boost and start recruiting candidates with an applicant tracking system, Manatal is here to help your company excel. We offer a wide range of features just like the leading products on the market, giving you all the power you need to save time and money.

Click here to start your free 14-days trial today and explore the full potential of our software without spending a cent.

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