By now you’ve probably heard that SAP SuccessFactors is investing significantly in helping our customers move their business beyond bias. But what does that mean? How can HCM technology help companies address a challenge they’ve been facing for decades, and can now no longer afford to ignore?
First, let’s look at the big picture: diversity and inclusion. While research suggests that diversity is not only good for the bottom line but also quickly becoming a fact of life for organizations, companies continue to struggle to create diverse, inclusive cultures that last. When our researchers set out to discover why, they found that organizations addressing this problem today tend to have three things in common:
- They invest heavily in diversity programs (bias awareness training, anyone?) that start hot and lose steam over time
- They measure and track the numbers, but get lost on the road to action
- They focus their efforts on one aspect of the talent management life cycle (for instance, diversity recruiting to bring talent in) while failing to consider the others (all the things required to keep talent there)
In order to drive real change, we need to completely rethink how we’re approaching the problem. We need to provide decision-makers with tools that go beyond data and analytics to influencing how they make decisions WHEN they make decisions. We need to embed these tools in the work people do every day rather than requiring them to learn about diversity outside of work and expect that they will apply those lessons. And we need to enable better behaviour and decision-making not just in one talent process, but comprehensively across all of them. We need a revolution. And HCM technology can help.
At SAP SuccessFactors we are applying these learnings toward creating a dynamic platform of solutions that enable our customers to detect, prevent, and eliminate bias in talent decision-making as those decisions occur. We are doing this by developing enhancements and innovations across our full suite of products. Rather than creating a “smoking gun” solution that proposes to solve all of our customers’ diversity woes, we are creating a toolset made up of small features that together have a massive impact on who we bring into our workforces and how we engage them. These are going to range from gender biased language detectors in job descriptions and performance feedback to calibration alerts that encourage managers to revisit potentially questionable talent decisions to anonymous recruiting capabilities that enable recruiters to focus on talent and not on job candidates’ first and last names. Customers can expect to start seeing these kinds of enhancements in each future release and they can expect these to keep on coming—this project has no end date as bias elimination is going to become a standard by which we develop our products from here on out.
While we encourage customers to be on the lookout for these enhancements in 2017, we also want you to know that you don’t have to wait. There are many capabilities within the solution that exist today and, if they are used correctly, they can drive massive impact in reducing bias in your talent decision-making processes.
We know it’s time to start thinking differently about how we approach diversity and inclusion. We believe HCM technology can provide the tools to help you on your journey.