Hiring ten minority candidates to improve diversity metrics and appease public pressure is no way to establish strong company culture. The first step to creating a strong organizational culture is to instill a company mission of inclusivity. What does inclusivity mean to you? Do you want to flaunt numbers or do you want your company to thrive on multitude of contributions from its diverse workforce? Inclusion, in this context, means developing a atmosphere in which all employees can find a voice, respect and a means to grow! This is why inclusion must be first!!
Internal alignment is key. Get Executive buy in!
Obviously building a dream team starts at the top. The executive team must see diversity as a priority! If diversity isn’t a real and actionable priority to the top brass then there is no hope for change. All company functions must be aligned toward a common goal of creating an inclusive workplace. To move the needle everyone has to understand that filling the top of the funnel does not create a diverse organization. The top of the funnel is simply the entry point for people into the hiring process… the question that must be asked is are all candidates given an equal chance to advance?
What if diversity is a circle, your company just favors squares.
Engineers at an intake meeting?!
Whenever you open a new position to hire HR, Recruiting, Engineering, and Business must come together for meeting. This is the chance to establish the inclusive tone… If the hiring manager expresses the notion that they have some good options in network, it must use the same structured process. Employee referrals are awesome, and help close quickly with known talent, however in the long run it does not promote diversity. This produces uniformity!
Like breeds like and the only way to foster change is to explore new avenues of success. In this meeting it is critical to come armed with pipeline data. This will allow an organization to see people progress through hiring pipeline and show where new assets and initiatives may aid in creating a diverse workforce. Organizationally it must be recognized that hiring a diversity recruiter or buying access to a diversity database is akin to writing a 20 page research paper on the wrong topic if another aspect of the hiring funnel enforces bias.
It is critical to track diversity percentages at every stage of the pipeline. In order to find the area where diverse candidates are not progressing. From the companies I have worked with data shows that this generally occurs at the resume and phone screen stage often at the behest of a hiring manager.
If the top of the funnel shows a diverse selection of applicants than other areas of the process must be addressed. Some red flags include hiring manager discretion and cultural fit. Any time cultural fit is mentioned it should be noted what aspect of the company ethics the candidate lacks. If the notes seem like social fit, is completely biased should have no bearing on the process.
Tools (Nikos Catchy Line)
Every organization has a tool to help with diversity! The main question is it supporting the function where there is need? If you see gender bias at the top of the pipeline Textio can help. Your job description may be biased and disenfranchising possible hires at the get go.
One of the most innovative tools referenced by Steve was Andela. The idea that “talent is evenly distributed but opportunity is not” had a profound relevance to me. They provide top talent with resources to master their craft in Kenya and Nairobi then offer opportunities for remote work with top companies in the US.
This idea echoes our mission at Buzz, that people should be judged on skills not labels. Once companies delve into the top of the funnel metric it will become apparent that quality candidates are falling out early on in the process. Many companies review less than 10% of inbound resumes!!
The only way to rectify this is fight unconscious bias by letting skills tell a person’s story early on.
So one of the many pleasures of launching a company like Buzz Technologies has been the folks who have mentored us along the way. One of our strongest advocates has been my friend Steve Wells, Head of Talent at Twitter and he was nice enough to be featured on our webinar in conjunction with Greenhouse Software.