It starts with your hiring and recruiting process.
Creating a genuinely diverse company culture starts with intention and unbiased recruiting. These are the first steps towards creating a more inclusive company culture and creating a true sense of belonging within your team. This is when the real value of improved diversity becomes evident.
When I first began to build ThisWay Global, I knew that clearly identifying the deeper, root problem was going to be critical to our success.
In truth, I wasn’t aware that bias and a lack of diversity was the problem so many companies are suffering from. All I knew is that companies were struggling to find the talent they wanted and candidates were having a difficult time finding rewarding jobs with companies they desire to work for.
If only one side of the problem existed then you could rationally say it was a supply and demand issue. But when both sides of the market are struggling, it signals that the problem could be solved by math and science. This was very exciting to me because it meant the problem was solvable.
I decided to start addressing the issues on the candidate side of the equation. If we could truly understand the challenge from the candidate perspective then we would have a better roadmap to identifying what was missing within the companies.
The results were shocking!
Our team began gathering real-time data on the process candidates went through to review jobs and the application process. More than thirty researchers with diverse backgrounds watched thousands of applicants from a total of nine countries while they selected which jobs they would apply to and what the process and experience was for them.
This is when we first learned the detrimental effect of bad job descriptions on both the candidates and the companies. With this discovery, ThisWay Global began developing our unbiased job description technology.
Then we watched the candidates decide which companies they would submit applications to. Candidates would make radical and very biased decisions based on a wide range of job details. The value of the brand, in the candidates mind, had a significant impact. We learned that a weaker job description, sponsored by a strong brand, was 71% more likely to get the candidate to apply for that job. Even when the salary, location, and job description was lacking, the candidate applied for positions because they wanted to be associated with a well known brand.
One radical shift in this candidate psyche is worth noting; after Q2-2020 we say that candidates cared more about the company’s culture, diversity and stance on equity, inclusion and belonging than ever before.
The next three most important job attributes were health insurance, the ability to work remotely, and overall compensation.
In a post-COVID world, the general company ‘brand’ matters less than before. Or said another way, a company’s brand is tied directly to their culture, not the amount of money spent on branding. This is a huge shift and one that is currently being overlooked by the majority of companies.
Step 1: Candidates want to see that you are recruiting fairly
A great way to prove that candidates want to see that you are recruiting fairly is to direct a portion of your candidate marketing spend to recruiting and featuring employees that better represent your customer population, which is also more diverse.
Then use some of this same budget to feature these candidates and employees, and share their authentic stories within your company.
We selected a few of our favorite companies and customers so you could see how they share their authentic stories around company culture.
Here are some great examples to refer to:
Step 2: Commit to a blind screening of all candidates at the top of your recruiting funnel
It is critical that you first evaluate candidates without access to the most biasing information like skin color, age, gender, ethnicity, etc.
With blind or redacted data, recruiters and hiring managers have access to the skills and experience data needed to make initial evaluations of candidates’ qualifications without the data that causes bias.
Although ThisWay technology does this for our customers, any recruiter can do some of this manually. Most applicants have their name, location and contact details at the top of their resume. Simply concealing this block of information from all recruiters and having multiple people on your team participate in the screening process can significantly reduce bias and increase the amount of diverse applicants in your hiring funnel.
Step 3: Invest in diversity measures and financial incentives for your team
Removing bias and increasing diversity is the right thing to do, but it also adds to the already full plate of your recruitment team.
Empowering your team to do more with less through the use of improved automation and greater digital transformation around recruitment will make a massive impact.
But if you do nothing else, increase incentives for your recruiters that take steps, with or without technology, to mitigate bias and improve diversity.
These incentives will not just reward a team that is working in your best interest but it’s also a strong signal regarding the core values of your company to future candidates.
Strong, positive core values have the power to transform your team and the energy they put into greater equity, inclusion, and belonging, leading to a more diverse company culture.
That is worth the investment.
Three action items you can take today to foster a genuinely diverse company culture.
1) Identify strong, diverse leaders in your organization and feature them prominently.
2) Be intentional in your goal to make all initial candidate screenings blind.
3) Invest in recruiters that enable you to develop a strong diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging culture.
Investing in technology to assist you can be a force multiplier but it is not required. You and your team can take these steps to create the beginning of a lasting and diverse culture.
Diverse organizations make better decisions and are more profitable. ThisWay Global can help you build a diverse company culture. If you’re ready for change, we can get your organization on track for long-term success starting today.