Diversity is a real issue in the tech industry. There is gender and race inequality, just to name a few types of discrimination. And even though many companies have tried to change this, the industry hasn’t seen a huge improvement. If your company is trying to change this and hire more diverse talent, here are some strategies.
When looking for diverse tech talent, one of the main paths you can take is to go to different, less popular sources. If you always look for candidates from the same schools or on the same platforms, you will have the same results. Instead, you can go to lesser-known universities, like in smaller cities or states that aren’t tech hubs. These candidates could be as good as any other but decided to go to those universities for the lack of opportunities.
Another source can be communities for minority groups in tech. For example, there is the Women Who Code platform where companies can hire women with tech skills. There is also POCIT, a community for people of color in tech. Career Karma is another community where tech talent from all around the country network and talk about career opportunities. The thing is, if diverse talent isn’t coming to you, you should go looking for them.
Also, some of these communities offer companies the opportunity to partner with them and hire more diverse talent. So, this is a good point to start if you want to change your recruitment strategy to be more inclusive.
Your recruitment team is the one who will have contact with potential candidates until they are hired and start working. If they aren’t inclusive, then they will be hindering your efforts to hire more diverse talent. They could be doing it on purpose or subconsciously. That’s why you should put some effort into training your recruitment team.
One of the main problems when hiring a diverse team is unconscious biases. Those are prejudices that we don’t know we have against certain groups in society. But, you can train a person to recognize those biases and don’t let them interfere when making decisions. You can also form a team that is itself diverse.
Candidates will feel more at ease if they see their minority represented on the interview panel. For example, a black woman interviewing for a software engineer position where the interview panel is all white men will probably feel like they don’t belong in that company.
Another strategy you can apply is blind hiring. You can sort all the candidates without seeing their name, school, or any other information that could indicate their background or race. You eliminate the possibility of unconscious bias right from the start. The candidates will be selected only for their qualifications and experience.
One way to do this is by using recruitment software. This software not only helps you make blind hiring, but you can also use artificial intelligence to create more inclusive job descriptions. It can also identify candidates that belong to underrepresented groups and put them forward if they have the right qualifications. One of these platforms is Eightfold.ai; they offer different solutions depending on what your goal is.
Finally, you should modify your benefits package to include perks that minority groups look for. Not everyone is the same, and minority groups may be looking for different benefits than the rest. For example, some people may prefer student debt aid instead of more PTO or the opportunity to work remotely instead of 401(k).
For example, women are an underrepresented group in tech, and it gets worst if they are also Asian, Latino, or Black. A way to attract a woman with web design, software development, or any other skill is by offering benefits like post-maternity support, flexible schedule, and other working mothers’ benefits. Overall, the thing minority groups value the most when looking for a job is to see that the company has inclusive practices and policies.
You can start by searching for candidates from diverse sources. Look for the communities where these minorities are. You can also train your recruitment team and use blind hiring to eliminate unconscious biases. Additionally, offer benefits that will attract diverse talent to your doors like remote working, post-maternity support, or flexible schedules.
Maria Elena Gonzalez is a broadcast journalist and has been working as a technology writer for almost three years. During this time, her work has been published by companies like TechAccute, Trip University, and Entrepreneur.
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