Got Diversity? There’s An App For That. Can Human Resources Level The Playing Field?

Got Diversity? There’s An App For That. Can Human Resources Level The Playing Field?

Human resource leaders are increasingly focusing on inclusion, equity and fairness. New tools are taking the manual work out of analyzing and making recommendations to business leaders.

A number of HR technology solutions have been created or enhanced to help HR and business leaders attract more diverse candidates, reduce the impact of bias in talent management decision making, and monitor and audit compensation and practices for fairness and equity.

From Human Resource Executive (HREonline), a magazine for vice presidents and directors of human resources. Story by Steve Boese, co-chairman of HRE’s HR Technology Conference® and Exposition and a technology editor for LRP Publications. He also writes an HR blog and hosts the HR Happy Hour Show, a radio program and podcast. He can be emailed at sboese@lrp.com.


Tech firms’ ability to attract, recruit, develop and fairly compensate women and other underrepresented groups is an issue that continues to be top of mind for many HR and business leaders.

When there exists a compelling business or workplace need or opportunity, HR technology solutions and services will be developed or adapted to attempt to meet these needs.

Let’s examine a few new and emerging HR technology solutions.

Talent sourcing

Entelo, a past recipient of the “Awesome New Technology for HR” recognition at HR Tech, has a product called Entelo Diversity that allows organizations to find and identify candidates based on gender, race or ethnicity, and even veteran status. This information and these indicators are layered on top of the candidate’s skills profile to help organizations see a complete picture of the candidate, which will support diversity recruiting efforts. The Entelo algorithm is designed to help identify candidates who may meet these criteria without relying on specific keywords such as “black,” “female,” “veteran,” etc. Using data about a person’s academic history, social affiliations and job titles, the algorithm determines his or her likely gender, ethnicity or race, and whether the person has military experience. Tools such as Entelo Diversity and other advanced candidate-sourcing tools can augment the networks of an organization’s recruiters and hiring managers, which may be otherwise lacking members of many underrepresented groups.

Job Descriptions

Another challenge facing organizations that are making efforts to attract and hire more diverse candidates is in the way that online job advertisements and job descriptions themselves are written. Companies might be unintentionally attracting more males and repelling females for certain roles by the language used in job ads. A quick search on any major job board or corporate jobs page is likely to reveal weighted terms like “rock star” or “ninja” when describing the kinds of applicants that are desired. Terms such as these are very likely to dissuade female applicants, who often don’t associate themselves with those particular attributes.

Textio, a technology provider of tools that can analyze the text of copy like job ads or job descriptions, has found that job ads containing phrases such as “best and brightest,” “top talent,” or “high performer” — attract relatively more male candidates, thus leading to more males being hired.

However, when job-ad copy uses phrases described as “growth mindset” — with language that focuses on how the company helps employees grow (e.g. “loves to learn” and “seeks challenges”), then these roles attract and are filled more frequently by female candidates. While simply altering the copy of job ads is probably not going to fix a company’s diversity challenges, it is important for HR leaders to know that their efforts may be hamstrung from the start by job, website or even email communication copy that repels the very kinds of candidates they are seeking.

The job-search and company-reputation site Glassdoor just released a guide (and some open source code) that companies with more than 200 employees can use to examine their organizations for the presence of a gender-based wage gap. This model factors in variables such as tenure, job role and job category to help companies isolate gender as a potential factor or driver of wage gaps.

Read more at HREonline