There is power in a diverse workforce, with international tech leaders affirming ‘diversity’ as an innovation catalyst, according to a report from Boston Consulting Group. It found that companies with more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenues due to innovation.
Yet, whilst the global technology sectors grow, their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) metrics seem to tell a different story, with a troubling disproportion of female and BAME talent in these sectors, particularly being underrepresented at leadership level. According to Tech Nation, women represent just 26% of the workforce in UK tech, with 9% of C-Suite leaders in tech companies being female – only 3% of which are Chief Technology Officers (CTO’s) or Technical Directors.
“Many DE&I programmes fail due to recruiters employing a numbers-focused approach and just collecting as many CVs as possible,” says Tom Bennett, Co-Founder at Parzival Partners. “The problem with this approach is that it doesn’t remove the biases and barriers that get in the way of hiring the most brilliant talent.”
To drive change in the way talent is sourced, Parzival Partners developed its own proprietary augmented AI system – affectionately named Big AL – the engine that powers the ZeroBias Search methodology. Designed to combat traditional talent sourcing challenges, the ZeroBias Search eradicates unintentional biases which frequently influence candidate selection during the hiring process. With access to over 1.2 billion active and passive candidates from multiple sources, the ZeroBias Search is capable of searching both structured and unstructured data – 3 times more data than traditional recruitment.
“This provides a 35% more efficient search process by removing human biases, resulting in a five times faster process from brief to shortlist and interview, compared with traditional search,” remarks Bennett.
ZeroBias Search in action for cybersecurity scale-up BlackDice
After being retained as recruitment partner for rapidly growing cybersecurity firm, BlackDice, Parzival was tasked with recruitment briefs for a range of roles, including Chief Technology Officer, Mobile App and Full Stack Engineers and Agile Delivery Managers – with DEI being the key priority.
Working closely with BlackDice’s leadership team to develop and refine the approach, the ZeroBias Search system processed 2.23 million profiles in 75 minutes’ proximity to the BlackDice Leeds Head Office.
“The innovation lies not just in its speed, but in its efficiency and fairness,” comments Sarah Hague, COO of BlackDice. “By focusing solely on relevant experience, every candidate was included in an annotated long list without revealing their age, gender, ethnicity, or other personal identifiers. This meant we could select our shortlist based purely on merits. Most impressively though, was that the longlist provided by Parzival outperformed national diversity averages for each respective role. As a company that is committed to breaking down bias and promoting DEI as we scale, this was very reassuring.”
Today’s global tech talent pool is expansive, diverse, and brimming with untapped potential, enthuses Bennett. “Our technology helps to broaden talent pools and boost screening efficiency by prioritising candidates’ skills and qualifications, using AI to sift through the data, ensuring personal attributes don’t cloud judgement. With this approach, we ensure that every relevant candidate gets a chance – no matter their age, circumstances of birth, gender or ethnicity – making biases a thing of the past”.
“Diversity is synonymous with innovation and growth, and Parzival Partners’ ZeroBias Search tool represents something unique for the future of tech recruitment. We’re excited to see its capabilities grow as we continue to hire across various disciplines,” added Hague.