There are many essential practices for good human resources management, and many of them boil down to providing an effective yet egalitarian work environment for the employee. Achieving this requires strategy by companies and should be administered from the very beginning of the hiring cycle.
According to an article entitled: “To Build a DEI Program That Works, You Need Metrics”, by the Harvard Business Review, hiring is actually composed of five different processes. These procedures include assembling a pool of candidates, resume review, interviews, offers, and compensation packages. If after your company jumps through all of these hoops you are still cropping up a rather homogeneous pool of candidates—one of these processes needs fixing. Gamification is an avenue through which companies can generate real, usable metrics for understanding which of their hiring processes need to be adapted for better diversity and Inclusion (DEI). Let’s take a look at how gamification will help companies connect to people in a more equitable and productive way.
Migrating Bias in The Workplace
When it comes to measuring soft skills, the challenge for companies comes down to two simple facts: one, they are hard to measure, and two, they are even harder to detect and track when one barely knows a person. This makes it nearly impossible in the early stages of hiring to know if a candidate is a good match without meeting them in person—which is when unconscious bias can creep in. Unconscious bias is something that all of us have to a certain degree, and it affects our approach to hiring, including the resumes we choose, the types of questions we ask, and all other decisions we make when comparing candidates. Gamification, because it is a simulation, allows companies to open up a world of measuring skills without implementing bias. Better yet, it can trigger real, powerful emotions in users and has actually been proven to increase user engagement—so makes for an effective way to measure candidates’ skills.
In gamification, employers can create the framework of the most necessary soft skills in the wider reach of their company, factoring in things such as company culture, industry, and future goals. Narrowing the scope, they can hand-select talent elements that help to define the specific departments of their organization and even the particular roles that exist within those departments. When deciding on these aspects, they can even take further steps to mitigate bias by involving a diverse set of employees, allowing them to pick the best qualities in a candidate simply based on skills. This helps to create a level playing field, literally, and leaves out the bias.
Supporting Methods of Self-Identification
Gamification helps to create a new, immersive, and engaging way to make a more equitable hiring process, while still measuring applicants’ KPIs and decision-making skills. One of the most democratic things about testing candidates in the virtual world is that it can reflect a world that is neutral to biases and still gains all of the data that companies need to make the decision on a candidate. At the same time, it also allows candidates to select their own avatar, giving them jurisdiction over the way they choose to self-identify. For example, here at Almas, we spent a lot of time in the process of building out our software so that it showcased a good spectrum of walks of life via the avatars.
We hoped that this would provide participants with more options to accurately identify with the virtual representative that they choose. In turn, the people evaluating the candidate cannot bind them to any one demographic, and so must rank them based on their skills alone. This is just a small step, but an important one, when it comes to sweeping away some of the antiquated biases that exist in business. Equity and Diversity should be a priority for every business, regardless of industry, because research has shown that when a company prioritizes them, increased workplace creativity, performance, and ultimately a business’s bottom line see significant improvement.
The Future of Human Resources
It was found that 35% of HR leaders say diversity, equity, and inclusion are among their top five priorities for 2022. This is a number that will only continue to increase as DEI policies become more than just a factor of success, but a pre-requisite for hiring in the work world. Companies that take steps to eliminate bias and measure essential soft skills within their workforce will glean an edge in the continued choppy waters of hiring. The qualities of a good employee have little to do with visual appearance but everything to do with a myriad of capabilities that can be programmed and assessed within a gaming format.