Gender diversity in companies is an issue that is not always handled properly. Many times, the problem arises from practices that seem effective and beneficial, but in reality may be just the opposite.
Here we will review 4 practices that could be improved in the recruitment process, when we refer to gender diversity.
Rooney’s rule implies that a company has as a rule to interview at least one candidate or underrepresented minority for executive positions. That is, if only ten men apply, there is always room for one person of another gender.
However, this is precisely one of those deceptive practices. A study by the Harvard Business Review showed that whenever Rooney’s rule is applied, the minority candidate has a zero chance of being hired. This is what the numbers say.
So good intention, but bad result. That same study reveals a possible solution: to have a minimum of two candidates in the final phase. The “2” effect, it seems, exponentially increases their chances of being hired. Up to 194%.
Hiring from employee references
This type of practice can be a difficult bottleneck to increasing diversity. Not so much gender, but ethnic or economic-social. Professionals who recommend other professionals will tend to do so by looking at people of the same demographic group.
Now, knowing this fact, we can focus on references that come precisely from diverse employees. This way, you will be able to hire from references ensuring that you have access to a wider range of people.
Personalize the interview according to the candidate
It is generally believed that by focusing the interview on the employee’s interests and motivations, a better connection can be generated. However, diversity bias can also occur when a predefined set of questions is not asked of candidates.
The solution is to do mixed interviews. Where one part corresponds to a block of clear fixed questions, and where another part corresponds to the most personal and modifiable part of the interview. This first block can be quantified to reduce bias.
The practice of Google “stuck at the airport”
Google usually has a private and original hiring process. These are processes that, precisely because of their originality, do not always work. This is the case of “Trapped at the Airport”.
The test is simple: the candidate is told to imagine being stuck for six hours in an airport. Is he or she capable of spending those six hours having a good conversation?
What was seen in the answers to this test is a similarity bias. They ended up preferring candidates who gave answers that matched the personal opinion and values of the interviewer. And here diversity issues come into play: when a woman or a person belonging to an ethnic minority is faced with this test, her answers usually do not line up well with those of the interviewer.
The solution is simpler: pose a more concrete situation, a problem to be solved, in the interview. And not a general situation in which many beliefs and opinions may be involved. If the question is presented as “what would you do if such a thing happened,” the question is open-ended but focused on a concrete resolution that can be evaluated.
Related: How the interview go?