Predictive recruitment, a weapon against employment discrimination

Predictive recruitment, a weapon against employment discrimination


Certain groups of people are statistically less likely to land certain jobs, or are more likely to have a shorter job term. It is possible to say that this outcome is inevitable. Yet, certain solutions allow a more equal recruitment style, thanks to unique list of criteria than those of traditional recruiters. A process that could allow businesses to recruit more efficiently. By David Bernard, founder of AssessFirst.

During his time at CES (Consumer Electronic Show) in Las Vegas last December, Emmanuel Macron saluted the individual entrepreneurial model proposed by Uber. According to him, this model signifies a formidable stepping stone to employment, especially for those – often problems with immigration – who often do not have the chance to make it to the recruitment offices.

It is undeniable that the Uber model can be considered a real vector to more opportunities for these young adults, it should not however overshadow the fact that there is a real issue of employment discrimination in France.

Although to date, legislators have established a list of 20 criteria that are prohibited when it comes to make an interview (age, sex, background, etc…), nothing is specified, however, as to the factors to take into account in selecting these candidates in an objective and effective manner.

Inequality of access to employment

What are the factors of discrimination currently? And how do we fix it?

When a company tends to suffer from less employment, this is potentially due to several factors:

  • Lack of qualifications: For various reasons, some people rarely have access to certain types of training. This could be due to prohibitive costs of certain training procedures and courses or the fact that the affected people perceive that these courses are beyond their own reach.
  • Lack of experience(s): Everyone knows the vicious cycle: without experience, no job. Well, without that first job, no experience. How do you get that first experience if no one has the courage to bet on your application?
  • Representations and Prejudices:  Some population groups also suffer from negative representations: it could be sex, weight, race, or age, many stereotypes – more or less stigmatizing – are associated with certain segments of the population.

What is the impact on recruiting

Therefore, certain categories of people are statistically less likely to land certain jobs. It could be said that this is inevitable or due to destiny. Well, this phenomenon ultimately has disastrous consequences:

  • For those affected by discrimination: The proliferation of denial can destroy the self esteem of people systematically excluded by the selection process. How will the individual keep going if he has the impression that no one will ever give him a chance?
  • On the competitiveness of our companies: This arbitrary way of selecting individuals indeed has significant financial costs. When we select people based on representations rather than their skills and/or real potential, a deficiency in terms of productivity and commitment often follows of those people recruited in respect to business.

A more equal recruitment…

Some solutions allow a fairer census based solely on factors based on factors linked with the subsequent performance (in the position for which they recruit) was established. For candidates, it is the assurance to be (finally) selected on the basis of objective criteria. For recruiters, it is a way to hire more effectively.

And in most cases, these criteria are different from those traditionally used by recruiters, like standard training or the three years of training required the take the first job. In more than 80% of cases, these criteria have a limited impact on the likelihood of success in the job.

Now it is on their actual abilities, their real motivations and their personality of the selected candidates. Personality, more than anything alone accounted for close to 25% of the differences between the most and least efficient candidate in several aspects.
By changing the rules, the new approach enables candidates distant from the “standards” that are used by recruiters to finally access fair employment. Not only can recruiters finally afford to provide objective indicators and specifics about the ability of their candidates to succeed in a position, but in addition, they also have the means to part from the traditional framework and finally expand their range of potential candidates.



David Bernard

CEO & Chief Creative Officer @AssessFirst



Brendan Dougherty

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