While Equity, Diversity and Inclusion efforts have long focussed on eliminating bias on the basis of people’s race, gender or sexual orientation; today’s candidates are just as worried about being discriminated against because of their accents, their age and even their appearance.
That’s the eye-opening conclusion of Tribepad’s Stop The Bias Report, which surveyed 2011 jobseekers to uncover the issues they feel are impacting their employment opportunities.
The results reveal that being discriminated against due to age, personal appearance and disability were candidates’ biggest concerns. Meanwhile issues such as mental health, accents and even being a parent were also common.
Candidate concerns – the 10 biggest biases according to applicants:
1. Age (too old) – 64.4%
2. Personal appearance – 19.6%
3. Disability or learning needs – 17.6%
4. Gender or gender identity – 17.4%
5. Race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, or caste – 15.5%
6. Weight – 14.6%
7. Age (too young) – 13.5%
8. Accent – 13.3%
9. Mental Health – 12.6%
10. Being a parent – 12.6%
“In a perfect world, people would get hired based strictly on their work experience and the skills they bring to the table,” said Tribepad CEO, Dean Sadler. “However, our analysis shows that candidates have real concerns that biases, whether conscious or otherwise, might seriously impact their chances of getting their next role.”
Given the findings, it’s no surprise that candidates are actually mistrustful of the data that is collected on them during the recruitment process with many fearing that it is fuelling bias rather than eliminating it.
Just 23.5% of candidates believe that their diversity data is being used to benefit their applications, while 8 out of 10 respondents felt that processes would be fairer if recruitment remained anonymous.
Despite the massive amounts of ED&I data collected by employers, this new research shows us that the current approach to bias simply isn’t working. Indeed all too often it is seen by candidates as nothing more than a tick box exercise, where vital information is either ignored entirely or used for the company’s benefit.
Tribepad is encouraging recruiters to consider using its Anonymous Applications process through its software. By enabling “blind” job applications the software makes it easy for talent acquisition leaders to eliminate unconscious bias while delivering a positive user experience to candidates.