Home Community Engineer Your Recruiting Process For Diversity: Insights From the Founder of Hired

Engineer Your Recruiting Process For Diversity: Insights From the Founder of Hired

by Muriel Vega

In the beginning, your startup’s roster may be you and a few friends. But soon enough (hopefully!), it will be time to hire.

According to a recent study, companies with diverse, more inclusive teams are 35 percent more likely to outperform national industry medians. Having a diverse team can help attract a broader variety of customers, push everyone to be more creative, and help your product improve through different perspectives. Enterprise companies are definitely sensing this and making diversity and inclusion a priority.

“In 2012, people weren’t talking about diversity as much, and now it’s very much a hot topic,” says Allan Grant, co-founder of machine-learning recruiting platform Hired. “There’s definitely a lot more awareness.”

Hired matches job seekers’ skills with real-time hiring needs while removing unconscious bias, including performance and likability. They’ve conducted several case studies within their company and across industries through the platform to help others diversify their teams.

We sat down for a quick chat with Atlanta native Grant prior to his talk at Prototype Prime and he gave us three essential insights to add more diversity to your team.

Start early

“It’s really important first of all to start early. It’s really hard to change the culture of a company once it gets a certain size. It’s something that you have to commit to early on or it can be difficult,” says Grant.

Be conscious of who makes up your team — and who doesn’t. “I started with two other co-founders. Both of them are guys. Then we hired our CTO in Ukraine; it just so happened that he was a guy. We got to a certain size, about 10-15 people and we realized that we had no females in the company. We were like, “This is now an issue”. It’s hard to come in as the first,” says Grant.

Hone in on your needs

Once you’ve identified your diversity issue, take a look at your job descriptions for potentially biased language. Something as simple as one word can make a difference. When one company noticed that very few (2 percent) of their job applicants were female, they simply removed the word “hacker” from job descriptions. Other common startup words that may serve as deterrents are “dominant,” “aggressive,” “ninja,” or “rockstar.”

In addition, explore new ways to recruit employees past the usual sites and recruiters. Review your hiring process for bias. Make every effort to be as neutral as possible through every stage of the process.

Cater to the employees you’re looking to hire

“We had to do a lot of work to button everything up and make sure we had maternity leave and other policies in place. Then we made it a priority and now the company’s about 50 people and more than 50 percent female,” says Grant.

Set up your company for the kind of employee you want to attract, starting with policies from within. Company culture plays a big role in attracting talent as well as retaining that talent since they feel comfortable in the position and with their team. Keep the same skill standard across the board so prospective employees don’t feel singled out in the office.

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