October 28, 2020

Poor Career Websites Are Actually a Diversity Issue

There was a lot of talk this week at the HR Technology Conference about the “candidate experience.” This has centered around things like improving corporate career websites, giving feedback to job candidates not hired, and speeding up the hiring process.

With all the candidate-experience conversation, the appearance of some career sites has improved. But application rates remain low. This is an area where AI can make a marked improvement.

What is happening at these career sites is a drop-off at the time candidates search for a job. The prospects often cannot find a job that matches their skills, don’t feel they will be selected for an interview, or don’t even know precisely where on the site to search. As an example, some career sites ask candidates to choose a department within the company to begin a search. Many times, the candidate doesn’t know which to choose because companies are using different words to describe the same function.

Poor career websites, particularly the drop-off between viewing a career site and applying, are a diversity issue. A well-publicized study at Hewlett-Packard, written up in Harvard Business Review and elsewhere, found that women are more likely than men to opt out of applying for a job if they don’t meet all the qualifications.

This is where artificial intelligence comes in. Companies can have job candidates upload a resume, CV, or bio to their websites. The AI technology can be used to compare the capabilities of a job prospect with the skills in each of the company’s roles. This shows the candidate that they are indeed a fit, and has boosted application rates dramatically among companies adopting it, such as with a leading discount airline that increased qualified applications four times, providing a foundation for greater diversity hiring.

This airline used AI in a new career site, asking candidates to upload a resume to be matched to open jobs. It found that 89 percent of those who upload a resume apply for a position, four times the industry average. A company called Dexcom has also moved to an AI career site like this and said: “From a candidate experience perspective, the personalized career site is mind-blowing. Literally, it’s a couple of clicks and you have not only a set of jobs that look like they fit your background, but also descriptions why, down to the skill level.”

This is one of the many ways AI can be used for good. Read more in the white paper AI for Good: A Better, More Inclusive Future of Work. It covers how artificial intelligence can improve internal mobility, reduce layoffs, help in placing non-traditional candidates, and more.