LinkedIn has a 'nudge' that could make Corporate America less male

LinkedIn’s hiring platform, LinkedIn Recruiter, is rolling out a tool called “Diversity Nudges,” it announced Wednesday, in an effort to even out the gender makeup of an applicant pool.

Should the gender representation of a given talent pool be unbalanced, a notification will pop up to alert recruiters or hiring managers of the male-to-female ratio of a search. Recruiters will then receive skill, location, and company filter recommendations they can add to their search to improve the gender balance.

“For example, if you’re hiring for an electrical engineer, Diversity Nudges might suggest adding skills such as data analysis, analytical skills, and Simulink to increase the number of women electrical engineers in your candidate search,” LinkedIn wrote in its announcement.

In addition, companies can now create a section on their LinkedIn pages just for their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) statistics and commitments, as well as career development opportunities, and work-life balance statistics and commitments.

As it stands, the tool only works for maintaining male-female gender balance because LinkedIn doesn’t yet have enough data to identify nonbinary applicants, or people’s race, age, or sexuality.

Time is of the essence

LinkedIn is rolling out the Diversity Nudge tool at a time when the gender gap has expanded from pay to remote work, in which women are offered fewer options to work remotely than men. C-suites are also putting ample pressure on their hiring managers to interview more diverse candidates.

Recruiters are often on the front lines of helping organizations improve on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), Jennifer Shappley, LinkedIn’s vice president of global talent acquisition, tells Fortune. She says features like Diversity Nudges work towards addressing blind spots in the hiring process, and allows recruiters and hiring managers to be “be a bit smarter” in their candidate search.

Consider that women tend to list often overlooked soft skills on their profile, Shappley points out, while men lean toward technical skills. “An automatic prod might help recruiters be more aware of the inherent biases that can influence the search for talent,” Fortune wrote in its CHRO Daily newsletter on Thursday.

That small prod may not be so small, especially during a talent shortage: 78% of Gen Z job seekers on LinkedIn said they expect commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion to “be front and center” of a company’s mission.

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