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Supporting a diverse workforce requires a multipronged strategy -- and that includes using the right tools.
Business and HR leaders should keep in mind that the use of a technology on its own will never be enough to execute a diversity and inclusion strategy. Still, diversity and inclusion tools can support strategy in a number of ways, including helping to uncover and avoid bias during the recruitment and interview process, training employees on recognizing bias, and tracking the organization's progress toward its goals.
The diversity and inclusion software market has an abundance of choices. These range from tools many companies already have or can easily acquire to ones that require a full-scale implementation.
Here are a few D&I tools business and HR leaders can consider.
Allie is a chatbot that integrates with Slack. It sends out D&I surveys, asking workers to weigh in on the company's inclusion and culture. Possible areas include whether an employee and their unique perspective was considered in recent company decisions.
Allie can also post news articles about diversity in the company's D&I Slack channel. In addition, employees can make suggestions about how the company can improve at D&I using Allie's feedback feature, with categories including "exclusions" and "stereotypes."
Allie also offers diversity training.
The Applied platform targets removing bias from the hiring process. Some of its strategies include removing job applicant information and randomizing the order in which recruiters see applicant answers.
Applied also displays application question responses from all candidates rather than having recruiters review one full application at a time, to lower the chances that bias creeps in.
Blendoor's software uses government and marketplace data to deliver a score that shows how organizations compare with other companies in their diversity efforts. For example, an organization may have far fewer Black employees than companies of the same size in their industry or has fallen short on recruiting disabled employees. Organizations can use that information to pinpoint specific areas that need improvement.
Blendoor also provides an anonymized list of diverse executives who are looking for work so companies can practice diversity at the very top.
DBSquared's products focus on supporting more equitable hiring and compensation practices.
Its job description software, DBDescriptions, can help companies write unbiased job postings. The software can automatically compose listings that are compliant with organizations like the ADA and FLSA.
HR staff can use DBSquared's compensation management software, DBCompensation, to highlight compensation disparity. Using organizational workforce data such as level of experience, race and gender, the software creates charts that show any pay disparity. For example, the chart might reveal that a Latino supervisor is making only half the salary of a white supervisor with the same level of experience.
Diversio's Bias Corrector tool integrates with a company's communication platform such as Slack and flags cultural insensitivity and unconscious bias. The Social Media Barometer tracks company mentions on social media to see if the public is complaining about the company's D&I record.
Diversio's Recommendation Engine uses algorithms to match a company's problems and recommend the correct course of action.
The company also offers diversity awareness training.
Diversity-focused online job boards
HR and recruiting leaders need to make sure their teams are using job boards that diverse candidates frequent.
If they aren't sure where to start, many large cities have networks of associations, nonprofits and government agencies that are dedicated to helping underrepresented people find employment. These organizations can suggest some boards.
Dyslexia Style Guide
The British Dyslexia Association compiled a guide to dyslexia-friendly fonts, colors and page layouts. Organizations can turn to this guide for help in how they design websites, create content and produce printed materials.
Dyslexie Font was designed specifically for people with dyslexia to make it easier for them to read text. Organizations can integrate the font with Microsoft Office, among other software.
Entelo Diversity is meant to support a more inclusive candidate sourcing. It offers various features, including helping recruiters find candidates from underrepresented groups based on particular parameters such as race or veteran status, and anonymizing sources of bias such as gender and educational background.
Companies can use the GapJumpers platform to hold anonymized job "auditions" to help remove common biases such as those based on gender, race and resume history.
As an early step in the interviewing process, candidates solve skill-based challenge in anonymized auditions to show they can do a particular job. This process is meant to avoid the unconscious biases that block candidates from moving further in the process because they don't "fit" into a particular preconceived notion of an ideal candidate.
Gapsquare's software can help highlight compensation inequities. The software can use workforce data such as job titles and performance along with diversity information such as disability and age to uncover wage equity issues so companies can ensure everyone is paid fairly.
The website Gender Decoder checks job listings for gender-coded language so companies can avoid using common yet male-slanted listing phrases like "fearless," "independent" and "self-sufficient." Gender Decoder calculates how many feminine-coded and how many masculine-coded words are in a particular listing and concludes whether the text is tilted in a particular direction.
HRx Technology conducts inclusion surveys to diagnose possible D&I problems at a company, asking employees to weigh in on areas that need improvement. The company also offers employee censuses, which gather data on workers' gender, ethnicity and age, among other factors.
Once data is gathered, HRx Technology's consulting services and training can help companies address problematic findings.
Microsoft Word readability and level statistics
Many companies already use Microsoft Word Readability and Level Statistics. An HR department can implement the feature to analyze a job posting's text complexity so the company doesn't exclude candidates with lower reading levels.
This functionality is built into Word, and instructions on how to enable and interpret the results are available on Microsoft's website.
Otter is a cloud-based transcription application that can record and transcribe a conversation. One potential way it can support diversity is through assistance for the hard of hearing. Employees who are hard of hearing can record office meetings using Otter, then play back the conversations or read the notes later.
Pluto's unusual employee survey format could encourage workers to share more meaningful personal data. The company's paragraph, fill-in-the-blank setup prompts employees to fill in deeper answers like what percentage of their skills they are currently using and their growth prospects in addition to basic information like experience level and hours worked in a week.
Pluto also offers anonymous communication for employees sharing D&I concerns.
The Readable app evaluates text complexity, analyzing factors like sentence length and word complexity. HR departments could use the app to make sure they aren't unintentionally screening out job candidates with lower reading levels when they compose job postings.
SurveyMonkey is an online survey tool that organizations can use to support D&I efforts. HR can use SurveyMonkey's questionnaires to gather diversity, equity and inclusion data, including demographic data such as workforce genders, ethnicities, education backgrounds and ages. It can also gather experiential data such as answers to questions like "I feel a sense of belonging at my company."
Textio flags problem areas in job descriptions and communications with candidates, such as having a "masculine tone," or overly long sentences and words that appeal to a particular age group. The platform can also compare job listing text to similar organizations' postings.
Textio integrates with products including Outlook, Gmail and LinkedIn Recruiter and has prebuilt integrations with Greenhouse and Workday Recruiting.
Visier focuses on the hiring process and aims to help a company meet its D&I goals. The software examines hiring data such as whether a diverse staff member interviewed a diverse candidate and whether that led to a better interview.