When the iconic American power tools company Stanley Black & Decker began looking for ways to improve the pipeline of diverse candidates that the company was reviewing for potential roles, it turned to an Israeli-based startup called Talenya for help.
The company wasn’t alone in looking to startups for support in new hiring initiatives. Last year’s social reckoning that occurred in the wake of nationwide protests against systemic racism triggered by the murder of George Floyd pushed companies around the country to reassess their own role in perpetuating inequality.
As part of that assessment, companies came to the realization that the hiring tools they’d been using to simplify the process of recruiting, cultivating and promoting talent weren’t capturing the broadest and most capable applicants.
“If we want to claim that it’s a pipeline issue, we would first have to claim that we’ve hired what is available in the pipeline,” Uber Chief Diversity Officer Bo Young Lee told TechCrunch. “It’s not a pipeline issue as much as it is a recruiting process challenge.
That’s where tools like Talenya, Textio, and TalVista have come in. All told, these, and other companies have raised more than $200 million in financing over the past few years to increase diversity and inclusion and help solve tech’s diversity problem.
“Part of our diversity, inclusion and belonging strategy focuses on having a diverse pipeline to ensure incoming talent better reflects the markets and communities we serve. To accelerate our progress, we started using Talenya’s AI software in 2020 to help increase the candidate pool of women and people of color,” said Suzan Morno-Wade, EVP and chief human resources officer at Xerox, another company using Talenya’s software, in a statement.
It seems that women and people of color use fewer keywords and are less effusive when they describe themselves in profiles or on job applications, according to a recent study published by Talenya.
That’s why startups like Talenya and Textio try to highlight how to improve the screening process for candidates by using broader language in both the text of the job description (Textio) and in the filters used to select qualified candidates (Talenya).
“Keyword search is highly discriminatory to everyone,” said Talenya chief executive and co-founder Gal Almog. “Minorities and women tend to put 20% to 30% less skills on their profiles. That applies not only to women and to minorities. We added an algorithm that can predict and add missing skills.”
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