Join Pat Wadors for an in-depth discussion in this video How do we hire diverse talent?, part of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging.
- The million dollar question, how to hire diverse talent, it's recognizing that diversity is everything that makes us unique and seeking it and celebrating it and sharing those stories so it goes beyond the EEOC numbers or the color of my skin or my gender. No one wants to be a box. No one wants to be a label. I fight that. I don't understand it because I will forever be a mom. I'm sitting here, but I'm a mom. If my kids are trying to call me, I'd be hard pressed not to pick up and text them back.
Like that is who we are as parents, as sisters, as spouses, as lovers. We are everything. And when you look for diversity, you have to slow your brain. So neurologically if you go fast, your biases creep up. And I strive at putting in moments in decision points that slow us down as deciders and say, "Okay, is this net wide enough? "Are we getting the most amazing talent? "Is there a bias creeping in on my promotion rates? "Am I biased in looking at all left-handed people? "Am I looking at x 'cause they look like me?" So, maybe if I opened up my aperture and hired differently, what would I gain from that? What gifts would I have gotten if I had more diversity around my table? What voice is missing in my virtual room? So, when people slow down, the decisions are 10 times better.
And so as a talent leader, as a leader of others, teach them to slow down in those decision points of hiring and recognize what they currently have, look behind, here's what I've got, what could be missing, and how do I make it better? So, having all women in a team is non-diverse. Even if they're all engineers, it's still a non-diverse team so you really, really want diversity at a team level, not at a company level 'cause you can hide a lot, but at a team level that's when magic happens.
So, a hiring manager's responsibility is looking at that and listening to your employees, what's missing, how can I make it more inclusive, how can I make it comfortable, safe for you to be your authentic self, because studies also show that on average, we spend about 25% of our brains trying to fit in. And if you're a minority, if you're in fear, if you have a learning disability or something that you're holding back, that percentage is way higher.
And imagine if I unlocked that cycle in your brain, shed all that and made you just so joyful for today and for what you're working on the power of your brain. And so from a productivity standpoint, I want you to be authentic. I want you to relax and wear your Converse to work or have your hair pink. I want you to be who you are so when we talk about a problem, your brain is all in. When you think about an employee experience, it's from courting a potential candidate all the way through exploring opportunities to making you an offer and saying, "Yay, you got a job, welcome," and then onboarding you and you have your assimilation process, kind of get your feet wet, and then you go off and fly and soar and then do amazing things in our company.
Employees, especially the millennial generation, they are looking at so many signals around the world about your culture. There's Glassdoor, there's blogs, there's a whole bunch of places you can go to get a read on a company's culture and their employee experience and what do I say about LinkedIn versus this company or that company and you take that in as a potential candidate. And then you're looking for those proof points. Again, your glass could be half empty or half full. How many proof points do I need? If I'm an optimist, I've had great experiences, it feels like something I've had in the past, then I will only need maybe three data sets and go, "Yup, this feels right for me.
"This is the company for me." If I've been bruised, if I've had bad experiences or in a corporation or in an industry that does not accept people like me, whatever that is, then it's going to take a longer journey to convince you to come in either into my industry or to my firm. And that job of belonging, that sense of I want you in all your unique glory to join me on our journey and why you, so I have a job description. A job description is maybe 25% of really what I want you to be and do.
It is the leap frogging step because every individual I've ever met in my entire career including my own journey has made the job bigger, better, different because of who you are. Full stop, so you make the job. And so why did I hire you? Because you're a critical thinker or you're a big dreamer and I need dreamer on my team. You're a creative. You are the morale lightning rod in HR. I need someone that just really senses the employees, like walks around and is the virtual coffee mug.
They're walking around and people are sharing their stories. I want people like them. As an introvert, I need that. I need the dreamers. I need the operators. I need this whole plethora of personalities and types and perspectives. And when you recruit somebody, tell them why you. Not the job, why you though and why you're different than and why you're additive to. I don't believe in a culture fit. I believe in a culture add. If you're not adding to my teapot, then why bother? It's the same color of my crayon box.
I like multiple colors. When you're recruiting and you're coming from different industries, being a savvy recruiter, being a savvy manager, I should know what it's like to work in the finance industry or healthcare or semiconductor or entertainment, you name it and so I have sense of your language and a sense of your background so when we do talk, we can map our languages together because how I talk in tech is different than how you talk in healthcare. And kind of like writing on a napkin, we've got to translate.
And when we translate we can say the same word, but what do you mean by that word? And once you get to the meaning of the word then you go, "Aha," and then trust starts building, knowledge starts rolling, the glass becomes fuller. So pausing the conversations, why you, your unique you, why you're an add, not a copy exact, celebrate those things and you do that throughout the whole lifecycle from meeting you the first day, walking, introducing you to our potential team, and explaining to the team why you are such a great add, that's magic.