Do your Hiring Practices reflect your Corporate Character?

In goBeyondProfit’s recent survey of Georgia employed adults, 76% of respondents elevated equitable and inclusive culture as a high-value dimension of corporate character. For younger employees and employees of color, value in this element increased. Yet, in a simultaneous survey of Georgia senior executives, we found that less than half of the respondents have equity and inclusion initiatives underway.

If equity and inclusion is so highly valued, should your hiring practices reflect your company values and intended corporate character?

At goBeyondProfit, we hear about the challenges of translating best practices to fit the culture of small or medium sized businesses. Given that 97% of the businesses in Georgia have less than ten employees, too often the solutions aren’t right-sized to fit the majority of businesses looking for implementable ideas.  As a management tool and practical resource, goBeyondProfit created a video series of interviews with experts breaking down clear steps any size company can put into action.

Take for instance, the hiring process:

First Round Resuming Screening.

Did you know that a disproportionate number of talented people will not make it through an initial resume screening simply because their name or address feels unfamiliar to the person doing the first review? Subtle and unknown bias around names and addresses often disqualify highly qualified applicants. One solution suggested by experts is to simply make candidates name and address blind for initial screening focusing review on the relevant skills, education and experiences.

Final Stage Interviews.

Experts also recommend practicing what’s called a Diverse Slate Initiative in your hiring practices. Simply decide that among the final pool of candidates you will include one woman and one person of color at the final stage of the interview process. Interestingly, this idea comes from the NFL’s Rooney Rule where they committed to having at least one black person interviewed in the final stage of head coaching jobs thereby dramatically increasing the number of black coaches in just a few years. This practice does not promise to hire any particular person, it is simply the promise that the final stage of interviews will include a diverse slate of candidates to consider.

Finding Diverse Talent.

Often, company executive’s express frustration that sources of diverse talent are difficult to tap into. For some, the major barrier to increasing the diversity of talent in the workplace boils down to not knowing where to look. Experts suggest tapping into known networks for both talent and ideas such as historically black colleges and university as well as minority business associations. These sources hold the promise of diverse talent– highly skilled, highly educated talent.

Talent Referrals.

Experts also share that building a diverse environment has a domino effect when you seek advice from current talent. Once you begin adding diverse people into your organization, internal talent becomes a vital resource for finding additional diverse talent. Getting the first people in the door enables a business to exponentially attract more talent.

For more actionable ideas, take a look at the full video series here at Leading a Thriving Workplace with Race in Mind.