SAP tech replaces biased words with neutral ones in job ads
- Software-maker SAP will add two anti-bias recruiting software packages to its HR technology suite to aid workplace diversity, says Quartz. The firm will make the software options available to the 6,200 companies using its HR suite for payroll, recruiting and performance reviews.
- One new software feature scans words that might appeal to either female or male applicants in job descriptions and recommends replacement words or phrases, says Quartz. SAP is testing the feature with a small group of companies.
- A second feature warns managers when they're about to make a biased employment decision, says Quartz. For example, employers will be able to set an alert that will signal when an employee receives a lower performance rating than usual after returning from maternity leave or when a high-performer is overlooked for a promotion. Both scenarios suggest that bias might be involved in those decisions.
Technology is already helping employers avoid unconscientious bias in diversity hiring. Artificial intelligence may help companies make recruiting, hiring and promoting decisions that don't discriminate against candidates or employees on the basis of race, gender or other demographics.
SAP last year announced their intent to create tech that reduces bias, and this effort is a continuation of that. Textio has received attention due to its ability to note which words may be gendered or enforce certain gender stereotypes. Other apps omit candidates' names and photos when matching them with jobs so that non-job-related factors that could reveal their race, gender, age and other characteristics aren't part of the hiring decision.
HR will have more options for meeting diversity hiring goals as more software products are introduced into the marketplace. But technology is only as useful as the departments wielding it. Even the best AI on the market is still bound by the biases and worldviews of the people that use or create it. For diversity initiatives to succeed, HR departments have to make concerted, constant effort to train managers in managing their biases, give employees space to talk and generally work toward inclusiveness within the workplace.