The Carey Group adopts behavioural science hiring tool ‘Applied’ to avoid recruitment bias

The Applied platform’s behavioural algorithms ensure that vacancies are filled by the best talent. One of the ways in which the Carey Group honours our commitment to being #bettereveryday and attracting the very best talent to our organisation is by creating amazing environments for our candidates and hiring managers in the recruitment process.

  • The Carey Group
  • Friday 5th April 2019

Share this:-

The Carey Group currently has over 1,550 permanent employees across the UK and Ireland, and that number continues to expand. As part of our ongoing dedication to becoming more diverse, we continually strive to provide a person-centred hiring experience, based on a deeper understanding of our candidates’ behavioural drivers.

How ‘Applied’ creates a fairer hiring process

Following a successful 15-month trial in the recruitment of graduate roles, we are proud to announce the full adoption of ‘Applied’ – a sophisticated new recruitment platform that uses behavioural algorithms to strip bias out of the hiring process.

To avoid behavioural bias, the Applied platform forgoes the use of CVs in the application process. Instead the system asks candidates to complete, in an online portal, up to five role-specific, behavioural questions, designed specifically to cover the job they’re applying for.

Applications are then anonymised, with all answers to each question being evaluated, in turn, by at least three people from different parts of the organisation. During this process none of the evaluators know which answer comes from which candidate. In addition to removing every candidate’s personal details and workplace history, Applied automatically reshapes and randomises how the responses are viewed by the hiring team.

Answers are assessed and scored on a question-by-question, not applicant-by-applicant, basis. This is done in order to minimise what’s known as the “halo effect”, where one exceptionally good or bad answer influences how the next is perceived. Using this assessment process helps ensure that all candidates are judged on equal merit, with almost no risk of bias creeping into the process. Adding even greater fairness to the process, the hiring team must collaboratively reach a consensus about whether to interview a candidate.

Applied helps us build greater engagement with candidates and identify better matches

Our recruitment approach invites greater candidate and hiring manager engagement. Claire Beattie, head of recruitment, comments:

Applied helps to better inform our selection processes, which brings multiple benefits. Reliance on CV content alone encourages natural human bias. A CV is essentially just a summary of a person’s workplace experiences and educational background. It provides no indication of a candidate’s actual ability to perform in the role.

We recruit within a highly-technical industry, full of complex engineering challenges. This requires that we recruit people with advanced situational judgement and problem-solving capabilities. Yet a critical shortage of candidates with skills in construction means that competition for talent is fiercer than ever before.

Typically, it takes only seconds for a candidate to upload and submit their CV to a job advert online. When they apply in this way, candidates don’t need to devote much thought or attention to the specific behavioural requirements of a job. Traditionally, in our industry, the importance of role-specific behaviour is not communicated this early in the process. By requiring candidates to answer behavioural and role-specific questions early on, encouraging them to engage with the company and the position – Applied is helping to differentiate us from the competition.

We encourage a recruitment philosophy that mirrors our own values – one that enables our candidates to be as informed as possible, as early as possible, about the specific behaviours and capabilities that will be expected of them.

Claire explains,

Recruitment is a two-way process. For the candidate, there should be transparency on how the role connects to the bigger picture, how it fits in with the vision and strategy. Applied is helping us to create an environment where candidates don’t just evaluate the technical specifics of the job – but more crucially, explore whether our culture and values are well-matched with their own.

We'd love to hear from you, so please get in touch