There’s an uncomfortable reality haunting us: we continue to live in a society where people are frequently discriminated against based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. This discrimination as it turns out, often occurs in the workplace.
An effective diversity recruiting strategy isn’t only about which job boards you subscribe to or the candidate discovery/rediscovery tools you use. It’s not necessarily about your applicant database or the presence of a “diversity sourcer” that makes the difference. At the executive level, a diversity-referral program and diverse interview teams can be effective, but only if you have a diverse executive team in place to make these strategies impactful. These strategies look great on paper but have little chance of sustainability without strong fundamentals in place to support success.
How can sociology — the study of social interactions, relationships, and patterns –be the key to helping you create a more diverse organization? Look to what sociologist Michael C. Dawson labeled as “black utility heuristic” (what happens to one person of a race affects the whole race). African Americans, he suggests, are united because of “linked fates.”
Getting to the moon, 50 years ago as of July 20, required an army of scientists, engineers, and technicians, recruited to work on developing technology and systems that did not exist. At its peak in 1967, the Apollo program employed over 400,000 people — almost 2 percent of the American workforce. Most were young with barely any experience. When Neil Armstrong stepped on to the surface of the moon, the average age of engineers at Mission Control was 28. Recruiting this massive workforce was not easy. NASA and its contractors needed every engineer and scientist they could find. One engineer’s experience was typical of how hiring worked at the time.
A very popular rallying cry for diversity and inclusion initiatives that leads the many blog posts on the topic comes from McKinsey, which found that “diverse companies outperform similar companies by 35 percent.”
There has been a lot of ink spilled on hiring processes that use AI for end-to-end recruiting that fall short by magnifying the biases inherent in the data record. With a more fine-grained view of the process, targeted AI applications and tools applied and implemented with an eye toward equity and efficiency could actually help move our hiring practices in a positive direction. Here’s how you can take a fresh look at rebuilding your hiring process with the latest AI tools.
Earlier this year Facebook stopped allowing American advertisers in key categories to show their messages only to people of a certain race, gender, or age group. One of these categories is jobs. This is of course in compliance with discrimination laws that I don’t think anybody will argue with. The problem here is not the law itself, but the solution that is used to obey by this law, that actually leads to exclusion by design.
In most workplaces. It’s still one size fits all in policies, processes, and tools. We no longer live in a data-poor world, but we continue to use technologies that have been designed for one. The notion that people are interchangeable resources was true perhaps for a world that lacked the data to prove otherwise.