Indeed launched an assessment tool designed to automate candidate screening and, it says, “democratize” talent acquisition by reviewing candidates based on their skills and potential to fit with open jobs. Like a number of companies before it, Indeed claims the approach will minimize recruiters’ dependence on resumes, and thus reduce the influence of bias during the hiring process.
The product, Indeed Assessments, results from the company’s 2017 acquisition of developer Interviewed, whose screening tools assess areas such as programming skills, language skills and personality traits.
Assessments gives job seekers “equal opportunity to showcase their qualifications when applying for jobs, so that they are able to find the right opportunities faster and easier,” said Raj Mukherjee, Indeed’s senior vice president of product. All of the assessments can be added to Indeed job postings or sent directly to candidates, he said. More than 50 pre-built assessments are available, or customers can custom-build tests to fit more specific needs.
Essentially, the feature works in three steps:
- Employers choose the assessments that best match a position’s requirements.
- They send assessments to applicants by email or tie a relevant assessment to all applications for the position.
- Results are made available for review on the employer’s dashboard as soon as the candidate completes the assessment. Employers can use assessment reports that compare applicants’ scores to those of other candidates in their pipeline.
‘Unbiased’ Assessment Tools in the Mainstream
As we said, Indeed’s not the first company to position screening tools as a way to eliminate, or at least minimize, bias. Last month recruiting platform provider Greenhouse teamed with diversity consultant Paradigm to launch Greenhouse Inclusion, which is designed to help companies integrate inclusive practices throughout the entire recruiting and hiring process.
Another firm, New York-based Pymetrics, has gained notice for its technology, which identifies the traits that contribute to a person’s success in a role and applies them to incoming job applications.
Big names, too, have been pursuing strategies to reduce bias’s influence on recruiting and hiring. Late last year, for example, SAP SuccessFactors embedded “job analyzer” functionality into its Recruiting Management module. The job analyzer uses algorithms to identify language that could reflects gender bias during the recruitment process.
Such tools are widely viewed as steps in the right direction, many specialists in diversity and inclusion caution they only address a piece of the puzzle. Speaking to SHRM about the D&I challenges faced by Silicon Valley companies, Peggy Hazard, a New York-based associate client partner at Korn Ferry Hay group, observed that a company’s recruiting tactics may not line up with its diversity goals. “Think about technology’s image of the Silicon Valley ‘brogrammer’: young, white and male,” she told SHRM. “The image of that culture is less appealing to, say, women.”
In the end, the news here may simply be that market-leading Indeed is integrating this functionality into its offering. Despite the hype that often goes along with these tools, at some point candidates and hiring managers sit down together and bias, unconscious or not, inevitably comes into play. But the fact Indeed’s taking this notable because Indeed is, well, Indeed.
Assessments is available to U.S. employers for free until the end of 2018. It can also be integrated with a number of applicant tracking systems including Greenhouse, Workable and Taleo. Custom APIs are part of the package, so Assessments can be customized to match an employer’s existing workflow.
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