Here’s How Your Company Can Eliminate Unconscious Bias When Hiring

Patricia Rossi

Laura Mather, Founder of Unitive

Patricia Rossi

Unitive has one very simple but massively important mission: Let the best person win. Founded by Laura Mather in 2014, Unitive helps companies leverage technology to implement best hiring practices and create stronger, more effective teams.
“We want to help companies improve their hiring systems so that the best – not the most familiar or the safest – candidate gets the job,” explains Rachel Chalmers, Unitive’s VP of Marketing . “Too often, great candidates are passed over because of their gender, their race, or their background. With better hiring practices, however, companies are empowered to end that cycle.”
How exactly does Unitive figure in? It structures the entire hiring process from writing the job description and reviewing resumes to conducting interviews and guiding hiring managers away from unreliable gut feelings about candidates. Unitive gives companies tools to make data-driven decisions about who is qualified for the job.
When the company was in its early stages, its mission was to eliminate unconscious bias in the hiring process. What the Unitive team found were major flaws in the entire hiring system. Despite all of the recent innovations in data analytics and people operations, they realized that companies still often didn’t have the tools to make better decisions when they were hiring.
In response, Unitive changed its approach to holistically address and improve the entire system.
While they’ve developed an effective product, the Unitive team is constantly exploring technology to see how they might be able to improve it even further. This past December, they acquired Talent Sonar, which develops blind resume review software. With their team on board, Unitive can start applying the machine learning they use in their resume review section to the rest of their software. They also launched Their first mobile app in January.
The company is very much about practicing what it preaches. Unitive is headed by strong women leaders, including Mather and board member Freada Kapor Klein, who actively work to promote women leadership both within the company and in Silicon Valley more generally.  
They believe promoting women is crucial to businesses’ success. “Even though women are graduating from college at higher rates than men, women are still under-employed in many sectors ranging from technology and venture capital to government and Hollywood,” Chalmers says.
“While female candidates may be well qualified for a job, they often are skipped over because they ‘don’t look the part,’” she adds. “Unitive helps disrupt the systems that allow unconscious bias to steer hiring managers towards the more familiar, i.e. male candidates. We guide hiring managers away from unrelated factors like gender, age, or ethnicity, and towards candidates’ actual ability to do the job.”
There are tons of companies out there that are looking to improve diversity and gender equality in their organizations; Unitive can help them align their hiring practices with their values and give every female candidate the chance she deserves.


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