Accenture develops tech to diversify freelancer hiring

21 Jul 2016

Accenture has developed a tech prototype to overcome gender pay gaps found among freelancers, allowing companies to hire based on their talents and CV alone.

Accenture recently took part in a White House demo day called Hack the Pay Gap as part of a US effort to encourage developers, designers and data scientists to build tools and products to close the gender pay gap.

With the ever-changing dynamic of what it means to work in the modern age, analysis from the US indicates that, by 2020, over 40pc of the country’s workforce will be freelance which means many will need to pitch themselves in the hope of securing a contract.

Future Human

Unfortunately, the liquid jobs market finds itself susceptible to the same discrimination found in the established jobs market with companies knowingly or unknowingly engaged in hiring biases.

To that end, Accenture revealed an open-source technology prototype to help increase transparency during the hiring process, identify pay gaps, eliminate bias and enable equal pay negotiations.

Weeding out biases

Looking specifically at the technology, the prototype uses text analytics to help job posters write more gender-neutral descriptions and avoid subtle biases that unintentionally filter out gender-diverse candidates, so that they can gain attract to more qualified applicants.

Agreeing a fee for payment to the freelancer can also be simplified by this new system by providing both the candidate and job poster access to relevant comparable salary and hourly wage data for fairer negotiations.

“While traditional workers may go through the process of applying for jobs and negotiating pay once every few years or even decades, gig workers can go through the process multiple times each week,” said Mary Hamilton, managing director of Accenture Labs.

“By developing the technology to increase visibility of the challenges that exist in the rapid hiring process, our prototype can help reduce bias and increase fairness in this fast-growing segment of the economy.”

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Freelancer image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic