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Rising Above Bias: Charting a New Course in Candidate Experience.

The recruitment landscape is a reflection of a company’s core values. The candidate experience, from the application to the onboarding process, plays a pivotal role not just in attracting talent, but also in communicating an organisation's commitment to equity and inclusion. This is precisely the ethos that inspired the creation of The Circle Back Initiative & Benchmarcx.

The numbers are disheartening though and serve as an urgent wake-up call for all employers. An astounding 78% of candidates from historically underrepresented groups have experienced ghosting in comparison to 62% of their white counterparts. Here, "historically underrepresented" includes individuals with Arab, Asian, Black, Hispanic, Latino, or multiracial backgrounds.*

But that's not the end of the story. The challenges faced by candidates in the recruitment process continue to be daunting:

  • A significant 43% of candidates have felt the discomfort and alienation of having their names mispronounced during job interviews. This experience can severely impact an individual’s confidence and sense of belonging.

  • Worryingly, almost a third of all candidates have encountered discriminatory questions during interviews, highlighting the biases that continue to plague our hiring processes.

  • Delving deeper into these discriminatory encounters, Black interviewees found themselves at a glaring disadvantage, being 25% more likely than white candidates to face such questions.

Why Equity in Candidate Experience Matters Every interaction during the recruitment process sends a message. When candidates are ghosted or subjected to uncomfortable experiences, it sends a message of exclusion and indifference. This not only dissuades top talent but also tarnishes the employer's brand reputation.

Creating an equitable candidate experience is more than just good PR—it's an ethical and often legal obligation. It’s about ensuring that every candidate, regardless of their background, feels valued, respected, and judged on their abilities and qualifications alone.

Taking Proactive Steps Towards Equity The Circle Back Initiative & Benchmarcx were born out of the dire need to change these statistics. Both are dedicated to promoting transparency, accountability, and equity in the hiring process.

For employers, this means ensuring consistent feedback, measuring candidate experience and how this differs for different people, and undergoing training to eliminate biases from the recruitment process.

For candidates, it offers the promise of a fair, respectful, and inclusive recruitment experience— a journey where they are seen, heard, and valued.

In Conclusion Recruitment is not just about filling a role; it's about shaping the future of an organisation. It’s time for all of us involved in hiring to take a hard look at our practices, acknowledge and fix any disparities, and commit to ensuring that every candidate's experience is one of respect, fairness, and equity. Together, we can and must do better.

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