One of my responsibilities at Codence involves talent acquisition, and over the past years, I learned many lessons along the way. Back in college, I remember taking classes that gave an overview of recruiting and hiring, but diversity and inclusion were not a focus of any of the classes.
After being in the Tech industry for almost ten years, I can tell you that much has changed and that many companies strive to have people with dynamic backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. It is proven that there are measurable benefits of a diverse team, but here at Codence we have struggled to get diverse candidates in the pipeline.
We’ve tried many approaches that have worked out for us, and I’d like to share them with you today.
Call Explicit Attention to Diversity
Highlight diversity on your website and social media channels. Your marketing material should match what you are trying to convey and speak with your audience. Of course, other factors like parental leave and benefits that matter a lot to underrepresented groups won’t hurt the cause. Do you offer them? Make sure you mention it.
Lead with Diversity being a true walk-the-walk goal for your company.
Focus on writing job posts with a specific demographic in mind and speak with your audience with candor.
Research shows that women and persons of color are less likely to apply for a job unless they meet the letter of requirements posted, whereas more privileged individuals tend to apply even if they don’t.
After coming across a LinkedIn post suggesting we acknowledge this manifestation of imposter syndrome, I followed the suggestion and added this blurb to our posts:
Don’t meet every single requirement on this job post? Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. At Codence, we believe diversity in culture, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and backgrounds make us a better team and better consultants – we celebrate it. So if you’re excited about this role, but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyways. You may be just the right candidate for this or other roles.
In just a couple of hours, we got some fantastic candidates to apply. That small blurb had an immediate impact — and we got comments from highly qualified applicants saying they only applied because of that short blurb encouraging minority groups to apply. One small change can go a long way!
Go Beyond Branding
You must widen your talent pool by using other sources for finding diverse talent, like diverse niche job boards. Here are a few examples:
- Diversity Working – largest online diversity job board
- Hire Autism – made for individuals on the autism spectrum
- Hire Purpose – for veterans, service members, and military spouses
- Recruit Disability – job seekers who have disabilities
- 70 Million Jobs – candidates who have a criminal record
Another way we’ve gained some traction is by using the LinkedIn recruiter tool and reaching out directly to possible diverse candidates you discover in a LinkedIn search.
Networking groups like Women Innovating Together and professional organizations focused on serving diverse populations such as JoinTable are great sources for diverse candidates. There are tools like Handshake that connects you with Women’s and Black universities career centers in just a few clicks.
Lastly, we had good outcomes in partnering with schools whose focus is serving underrepresented groups. Often, we partner with non-traditional schools like General Assembly to help draw in a pipeline of candidates that we don’t typically get from Indeed or LinkedIn job posts.
Make Diversity Part of Your Process
We aim to hire the best talent we can at Codence, and as a policy, we make certain to interview non-traditional, diverse candidates in every position we open. While our Tech community is dramatically under-representative of women, of persons of color, and persons from atypical educational backgrounds, we make sure we deliberately open the door for diversity.
The beauty of the Claris platform is that it isn’t aimed at computer science experts: anyone can pick it up and solve problems, almost immediately. Good folks are out there – you just have to work a little harder to connect with them.
Offer Internships & Apprenticeships
Enabling learning on the job is a great way to create a skilled workforce and retain qualified, productive employees.
At Codence, we’ve managed apprenticeships for the past few years and hired or placed nearly a dozen people in new roles. Some have been hired at sponsor client organizations, and some work for Codence. We appreciate being able to grow the greater Claris community, help our clients succeed, and — most importantly — to start new careers.
We engage students from all backgrounds, but often focus on diverse, non-traditional candidates as well. We teach apprentices to learn Claris and other technologies, software development, and consulting practices. It’s an inspiring program that provides matchmaking and support for sponsoring clients and individuals.
if you don’t have time and internal resources to create and develop an apprenticeship, we have an Apprenticeship Program that actively works to create new job opportunities for up-and-coming developers.
We manage a recruiting and training curriculum during what is typically a 12-week program, after which we all intend that the sponsoring client may extend a permanent position to an apprentice should they choose to. Get in touch to learn more about it, and let’s create jobs for more diverse folks together.
Danielle makes things happen, driving opportunities for Codence by facilitating cross-functional marketing, branding, and growth initiatives. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration and Marketing from San Francisco State University. On her time off, she enjoys spending time with her husband, son, and English bulldog. (Danielle is an Independent Contractor working with Codence.)