The development of business software and advancement of analytics are playing a big role in shaping the future of the HR function, and diversity and inclusion is no exception to this change. Last year, SAP announced a commitment to building software to enable corporate diversity on its popular SuccessFactors HCM Suite. Updates beginning this month will aim to remove bias from the hiring, performance review, and promotion processes.
One new feature will scan job descriptions for biased terminology geared towards men and recommend words to replace them. By the end of the year, another new feature promises to prevent managers from making biased decisions in staffing, compensation or promotions. Sarah Kessler has the details at Quartz:
Companies will have the option to set rules for their organizations, such as triggering a notification when a woman who has previously been rated highly gets down-rated after they take a leave of absence (which could be indicative of bias against women who take maternity leave) or if someone who has been rated highly consistently for years has been overlooked for promotions.
SAP has also added optional tweaks that aim to reduce bias, such as a photo-less view of employees within a performance review feature and has published instructions for how to use currently available features in a way that promotes diversity and inclusion.
Diversity and inclusion efforts have started to gain acceptance as more than just “the right thing to do.” Since June, hundreds of US companies’ CEOs have signed a pledge committing them to diversity, including those of some of America’s largest employers such as Cisco, IBM, Walmart, and Home Depot. Additionally, a recent PwC’ survey of over 1,300 CEOs found that 85 percent believe their D&I strategy has improved the bottom line.
SAP’s investment in diversity-focused tech solutions shows where they think demand will trend in the HR space, Kessler adds:
Analysts at Gartner predicted in a March 2017 research note that by 2020, more than 75% of large enterprises will include features that promote diversity and inclusion in their selection process for HR software. John Kostoulas, a co-author of the report, told Quartz that companies have historically monitored diversity mainly to avoid breaking anti-discrimination laws, but he believes that they will take a more holistic approach as evidence continues to build for the case that diversity contributes to businesses in other ways.