Everyone has unconscious bias. Research does indicate that awareness can reduce bias, but despite recognition and cognizance of our own blind spots, they are sometimes quite difficult to eradicate. In order to attract diverse talent, companies must figure out ways to overcome the unconscious bias that often impacts hiring and selection. One woman has created a platform to do just that.
While in business school, Stella Ashaolu noticed that organizations were doing a poor job at the hiring and selection of diverse talent. Ashaolu developed WeSolv with the goal of using performance data and predictive intelligence to reduce bias while helping to match MBA candidates with the best-suited roles at the right companies. WeSolv supports over 30,000 candidates and has successfully matched thousands of job applicants to roles at Discover, Accenture, and Bank of America, among others. Ashaolu sat down to discuss her company’s mission and how WeSolv is helping to transform workplaces and level the playing field for job candidates.
Gassam: How exactly does WeSolv work?
Ashaolu: Our platform has over 30,000 candidates from across the nation. We partner with career centers…with universities…as well as the student-run career and diversity clubs. Through that network, we are able to connect these candidates to each other and then the companies that they might be interested in working for. Companies can come on to our platform and identify either the skills and talents that they are looking to test for or generally the types of candidates that they would like to reach.
You can think of it as a mini-project. Students come on the platform and then they execute a simulation or project and they receive both team data and individual data that we are able to collect on their performance…companies get access to those data reports and they are able to see the candidates that excelled in a number of different skills and competencies that are important to them…and they are able to focus on those candidates. What happens is companies identify candidates that they wouldn’t have given an opportunity to if they were just looking at resume alone or just going to the few core schools that they typically recruit at.
A lot of companies are looking to hire more diverse candidates and they want to hire the best candidates for the role. For the most part, companies are not intentionally creating bias in their process or not hiring diverse candidates…but they are often using criteria that is biased…or [using] channels that don’t have the representation that they are looking for to recruit talent…the platform helps those companies get more access to more candidates and assess them with data…but on the other hand, we are helping the candidate get some of those real experiences that companies are often saying that they want to see candidates have through these projects…we are helping them to build on the skills and competencies that are important to the organizations that they might want to work with.