• Combating bias in the hiring process [video and slides]

    June 14, 2017 by

     

    Last week, College Recruiter co-organized an in-person and live stream event, “Eye Opening Tactics for Better Diversity Recruiting,” alongside WCN and Stinson Leonard Street. Presenters spoke about four topics: why and how diversity matters, combating bias, big data, and non-discrimination employment law. This blog post shares what Ann Jenrette-Thomas,  Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer of Stinson Leonard, presented in part 2: combating bias in the hiring process.

    Scroll down to watch the presentation and download Ann’s slide deck.

    Implicit bias: slow brain vs fast brain

    Implicit bias is the underlying thing that ends up creating problems in the hiring process. Another term for this is unconscious bias. Think of it as shortcuts in your brain. We use mental processes to quickly categorize information so that our brains can function optimally.

    We receive over a million pieces of information per second. This is information we gather from all of our senses. Our brains are detecting so much, but in order to function well, we can’t focus on a million pieces of information. The prefrontal cortex in the front of the brain is the slow brain. And it’s the slow brain that actually is necessary for critical thinking.

    If you repeat a slow-brain activity enough, it gets buried into the reptilian brain, otherwise known as the fast brain or the unconscious brain. Because these processes happen so rapidly, your conscious mind can’t even detect when something unconscious is happening. Take breathing—unless you make an effort to focus on it, you are not thinking about breathing. Another example if how we all learn to drive. When you first started to drive, you focused on putting your hands at ten and two o’clock. As experienced drivers, we’ve all had the experience of getting in the car, somehow arriving home and not even remembering the trip. When you learn to drive, you use your slow brain. When you’ve gotten to the point where it’s automatic, that’s your fast brain.

    This has everything to do with hiring. Some of the things that are embedded in the unconscious part—the fast brain—are cultural norms. Different cultures place value on different styles, of for example, leadership. When Americans think of leadership, we often think of someone who is decisive and confident. Herein lies a challenge for many international employees of multinational corporations that are headquartered in the U.S. In order to advance in the company, many international employees do a stint in the U.S. so that they can have the right qualifications and move up the corporate ladder.

    In Asia, they call that stint the “killing field”. Because in many Asian cultures, a valued leader is someone who is collaborative and who builds consensus, often someone with a much quieter leadership style and different type of confidence. This looks vastly different than an American version of “leadership”. So these particular employees are in a double bind. They have to come here in order to advance their careers. But once they come here, their leadership style prevents them from climbing the corporate ladder.

    There is more to how the unconscious mind affects hiring. We process everything from body language to eye contact, in order to assess whether someone is a good hire.

    Various types of bias in the hiring process

    • Affinity bias means we tend to gravitate toward people who we perceive as similar to ourselves.
    • Confirmation bias is when you magnify things that confirm what you already thinking. Or, you minimize things that contradict what you already think.
    • Attribution bias is when you give a more favorable assessment to somebody that is in your ‘in-group’. Now, what defines an in-group could be a variety of things, and that’s where individuality comes into play.
    • Availability bias describes how we prefer the quick and easy. When we mine for information, we grab what is readily available. Quick: imagine a fire fighter. It’s unlikely you had the image of a woman in your head. The readily available image of a firefighter is a man.
    • Groupthink is very similar to affinity bias. The notion of groupthink is where people are not willing to go against the brain of the homogeneous group.

    Combating bias starts with you

    It’s time to get to get to action and it all starts with you. If you don’t know your own biases or the fact that we are prone to them, then you’re not going to be able to help the system at all. And you have to also educate the people around you in the hiring process. Here are some suggestions for moving forward:

    1. Take the Implicit Association Test. There’s a variety of tests out there: go to projectimplicit.org. It’s free. This just gives you a baseline of where you are on these issues.
    1. Take some time to become socially confident. Learn about any particular cultures with which you are working, for example what leadership looks like.
    1. Assess your hiring process with the assumption that implicit bias is there. Why? Because statistically speaking, it’s there. It could be present where you post your jobs, how the descriptions are actually written, who and how the resumes are reviewed, how the interviews are conducted and who conducts the interviews.
    1. Review your job descriptions for bias. There are certain words and phrases in a job description that could lead to fewer diverse applicants because they will self-select out. For example, women are less likely to apply for a job where there are masculine coded language, like “aggressive” or “adventurous.” Interestingly, men are negligibly affected when it they read feminine coded language, like “collaborative”. When diverse candidates read job descriptions that are more neutral, they are less likely to scrub out any identifying information, for example clubs and organizations that might be specific to an ethnicity. You want to make sure that your job descriptions only include information that is absolutely necessary to perform the job well.
    1. Get used to operating outside your comfort zone. This is ultimately a relationship game. Recruit from a broader circle, go to different places. Ensure that you are also posting on sites that cater to a diverse community. Make sure you understand what other comparable programs are out there beside your core recruiting schools.
    1. Evaluate every resume the exact same way. There are programs out there that can strip demographic information from resume, so that’s one way to try to make things anonymous. It’s also important to develop a standard evaluation form with detailed metrics so that everybody is evaluated on the same criteria.
    1. Identify what you want before the interview begins. If you are clear about the skills, qualities, credentials, etc. that best suit the position, then you can craft questions that speak to those specific skills, credentials, etc. You can develop a checklist of these factors and give them to the interviewers beforehand so that everybody is clear. Prepare the interviewers. Make sure they are aware of the potential for bias. Use a diverse panel of interviewers.

    Finally, don’t get overwhelmed by the challenge of combating bias. Your unconscious biases are going to pop up. It takes effort and time to keep trying to change these things. Be patient, keep at it, and know that you’ll get there.

     

    Keep informed of recruiting best practices by staying connected with College Recruiter on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and YouTube. Hiring soon? Would it make sense to have a brief conversation about your hiring needs? Consider College Recruiter’s advertising solutions, or email sales@collegerecruiter.com.

    Download the slides from this presentation here.

    Watch the presentation of this content by Ann Jenrette-Thomas at Stinson Leonard Street from “Eye-Opening Tactics for Better Diversity Recruiting”:

  • Diversity recruitment lessons from law enforcement: Inside the research

    March 06, 2017 by

     

    College Recruiter is introducing a regular feature called “Inside the research”. We will dive into recent research that can be applied to practitioners in recruitment, HR and talent acquisition. 

    Policing and race relations are topics of national interest these days. A study from the Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice1 looked at how several law enforcement agencies market their opportunities to communities of color, and their success in diversity recruitment. Drawing a parallel between police and corporate recruitment highlights just how much effort recruiters must put into hiring diversity. That is, if you want results. Here are six lessons that recruiters can glean from this study.

    Understand that institutional racism is around us. “Police agencies have been criticized for what is perceived as institutional racism in the recruitment, retention and promotion of Blacks and other racial minorities,” write the authors of the study, titled “Recruiting for Diversity in Law Enforcement: An Evaluation of Practices Used by State and Local Agencies.” While police have been in the hot seat, recruiters of all sectors and industries must turn the mirror upon themselves. Many would agree that institutional racism exists in business across the board.

    Put your money where your mouth is. The authors write, “Today’s typical police recruitment campaign is managed almost exclusively using advertisements in those news publications that cater to the greater (White) community at large.” As a recruiter you might be thinking, but we advertise across many different channels, including Facebook, which is very diverse! That may be true, but try doing a little exercise. Compare all the places where you advertise, and how much money you spend on each channel, to your recruitment goals. If you have a goal around diversity, you have to put your advertising dollars where your mouth is.

    Police agencies desperately want to hire diversity, precisely because they know they have a trust problem with communities of color, particularly the African American community. The study points out what should be common sense: “When citizens see that a police department has personnel who reflect a cross-section of the community, they have greater confidence that police offers will understand their problems and concerns” (Streit, 2001). The study found, however, that these agencies are just not putting their money where their mouths are. There are points of contact in the community where recruiters may connect with more of their targeted candidates—churches, hair salons, shopping malls, for example—and yet the agencies studied here did not take advantage these opportunities.

    Be aware of hypocrisy. Companies who include diversity in their core values, and especially companies who flaunt their inclusive environments, would be wise to check their authenticity. The study reminds us of what we already know about policing: “when community partnerships are seen as being superficial, agencies risk alienating candidates who might be aware of hypocrisy where such activities are inconsistent with reality.” (Syrett & Lammiman, 2004). You should communicate your commitment to diversity, but just saying it doesn’t make it so. Effective diversity recruitment makes it so. Continue Reading

  • Cultural awareness training is too simple to effectively manage diversity

    February 02, 2017 by

     

    For global companies–or any organization–with multicultural and diverse teams, a good manager must be aware of cultural differences, and they must embrace team members’ differences. Differences can lead to conflict, but just participating in a cultural awareness training is probably not the answer. There is more to learn about effectively managing diversity.

    Differences can lead to conflict within your team. And that is good. 

    A 2014 study published in Securitologia, authored by Dr. Krystyna Heinz, pointed out that “if a company wants to do business internationally, it needs to have knowledge related to diverse management process.” I would add, even a company who only does domestic business needs to have this knowledge, given the increasingly diverse workforce.

    Being more aware of different cultural values is the first step (but it’s only the beginning). If you’ve participated in any cultural awareness training, you’re familiar with the iceberg analogy. If you’ve forgotten, I’ll explain. Culture is like an iceberg. The aspects you can see or hear—clothing, food, language, etc.—are only the tip of the iceberg. The vast majority of what makes our culture unique is hidden from view. The Heinz study puts it this way: “Culture values are invisible behaviours.” Many cultural values will impact business and relationships at work, for example “family, money, religion, seniority, individualism, hierarchy, and others.”

    Your challenge is not to overcome these differences, but to embrace them. These cultural differences may lead to conflict, but in business that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, teams whose members don’t challenge one another end up being less productive. According to the Heinz study,

    “For most people the word conflict has negative connotations, but if no conflicts occur during team working, the team will probably not be effective.”

    The manager’s job is to “identify the underlying cultural reasons of conflict, choose the right strategy, and to intervene.” Cultural differences can lead to obstacles to high performance if they are not addressed, so the manager’s role is absolutely critical to making diversity work.  Continue Reading

  • College recruitment matters to Diversity & Inclusion: Q&A with the Experts

    December 16, 2016 by

     

    College Recruiter is introducing a new regular blog feature, “Q & A with the Experts”. In this monthly feature we will draw insight from experts in talent acquisition and HR. For today’s post, we spoke with Loreli Wilson, Manager of Diversity and Inclusion Programs at Veterans United Home Loans; Saïd Radhouani, Co-founder at Nextal; and Steven Rothberg, founder and President of College Recruiter. We asked Loreli, Saïd and Steven about the connection between college recruitment, and Diversity and Inclusion.

     

    What do you think is the importance of college recruitment to diversifying the workplace?

    Saïd Radhouani: Universities are great channels to bring new diverse talents into organizations and promote a diversified workplace. Both local and immigrants students form a big pool of diverse talents. They may differ greatly in terms of language, culture, religion, or color; yet ultimately study toward the same goals. These talents are already diverse and know how to perform in a diversified environment. College recruitment is a big enabler to diversify the workplace.

    Loreli Wilson: Colleges and universities are a great source for smart, passionate, and innovative applicants from marginalized communities. It’s a smart move to align with those institutions to engage students and cultivate our workforce by our own specifications.

     

    What are best practices for recruiting a diversity of college students?

    Saïd Radhouani: If diversity is part of your organization’s priorities, you should empower some individuals to serve as diversity advocates. They can promote and keep diversity goals active during the recruitment process. These advocates should include college recruitment into their plans. A few best practices they can suggest to the recruitment team include: Continue Reading

  • Workplace mentoring: part of your inclusion strategy

    November 11, 2016 by

    Mentor coaching two employeesIn a scramble to create more inclusive workplaces, many companies have implemented mentoring programs. The programs live in the Diversity and Inclusion space because often, minorities and women benefit the most from having a mentor. Research by Catalyst has found that female employees with mentors increase their salaries by 27% compared to women who do not have a mentor. Having mentors, says Kerry Stakem at PricewaterhouseCoopers, is “like having your own board of directors.” Depending on your situation, you seek help from different board members. If you have or want a mentoring program, think through these tips and examples.

    Set your objective. “One of the main mistakes many organizations make when starting a mentoring program is not having a goal or program objective,” says Lori Long. Long is a business professor at Baldwin Wallace University who specializes in understanding and promoting effective workplace management. There are four objectives commonly found among mentoring programs, according to research done by APQC. Those are: “the transfer of discipline-specific knowledge; career pathing and counseling; the development of business acumen and soft skills; and the dissemination of “insider knowledge” about an organization’s structure, norms, culture, and professional networks.”

    Get everyone involved. Even if your program is intended to help women and minorities catch up to their White male counterparts, you should include all employees in the program. Often companies may only provide the opportunity to participate in the program to certain groups of employees, thus excluding some employees that may really benefit from such a program,” says Long. Plus, given the disproportionate number of White males in senior leadership, you likely need their participation as mentors. It’s a numbers game.

    Many companies, such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and Boston Consulting Group, assign mentors to all employees. To make a match, organizations may use demographic or personality questionnaires. Lori Long says that one approach is “to host mentoring networking events to allow potential mentors and mentees to meet each other informally.   Then the program can ask mentees to request their preferred mentors. “She believes mentees should make the request. The formality of the networking event can ease the intimidation of asking someone “Will you be my mentor?”

    PwC recognizes that not all matches are made in heaven. Employees can change their mentor every year during PwC’s open enrollment. Kerry Stakem, PwC’s Northeast Talent Acquisition Leader, says “If it’s not working then it’s doing neither side any good.” If an employee swaps their mentor for someone who they prefer, their buy-in goes up and participation becomes more voluntary. A voluntary evolution of the mentor-mentee relationship is key. They will naturally build a trusting relationship.

    Mentoring can evolve into sponsorship and advocacy. If the mentor-mentee relationship goes well, the mentor can become more of a sponsor. While a mentor can be passively available to guide their mentees’ development, a sponsor is more active. Lori Long says that the “sponsor’s role is much more proactive and can usually have a more significant impact on one’s movement within an organization. “ A mentor is good. Even better is a sponsor, and a real advocate is ideal.

    At BCG, Matt Krentz leads the Global People Team. Their mentors, he says, are responsible for tracking their mentee’s engagement and watching for someone in the company who can be a sponsor, and hopefully an advocate. An advocate is someone who more naturally puts themselves on the line for someone else.

    It should be reciprocal. Advocates and sponsors should benefit from the relationship too. Employees being advocated for should help their advocates look good. Kerry Stakem says that aside from the warm fuzzies of helping others develop, mentoring others builds her own leadership and listening skills.

    One company that is doing this right is Sodexo. They have programs for mentoring women at all levels, from entry-level to senior management. Here’s what they do for their entry-level hires (excerpt from BCG’s recent report, “The Rewards of an Engaged Female Workforce“):

    “French food services and facilities management company Sodexo is globally recognized for its commitment to diversity. …Sodexo launched mentorship programs at all levels, many targeting high-potential women and focused on operational roles. For example, promising junior women are offered networking opportunities and exposure to female leaders through virtual webinars. …“It’s a high-touch process,” says Anand, “but that level of people investment is part of our culture.” …Selected employees get matched to senior mentors, who are chosen through a similarly rigorous process and trained in good mentorship practices. The program matches people across business lines to ensure broad exposure for mentees. Most important, it works: women in the program are promoted significantly faster than their peers.”

    If your goal is to create a more inclusive workplace, a mentoring program can be part of the solution, but not the whole solution. Inclusion must be a core value and be integrated into the fabric of the organization.

     

    lori-longLori Long is a Professor at Baldwin Wallace University and instructs courses in human resources and general management. She holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration and is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources through the Human Resource Certification Institute. Lori is also the President of LK Consulting, LLC, a human resource management consulting firm and she is the author of “The Parent’s Guide to Family Friendly Work” (Career Press, 2007). Connect with Lori on LinkedIn.

     

    kerry-stakem-pricewaterhousecoopersKerry Stakem is the Northeast Market Sourcing Leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers with specialties in Assurance, Tax and Advisory Recruiting. She is excited by opportunities to connect people with their passions through her work.  Connect with Kerry on LinkedIn.

     

     

    matt-krentz-boston-consulting-groupMatt Krentz joined The Boston Consulting Group in 1983. He is a Chicago based Senior Partner and head of the firm’s Global People Team, which is responsible for attracting, developing, and retaining top talent across all cohorts. He is also a member of BCG’s Executive and Operating Committees, as well as the Consumer and People & Organization practice areas. Connect with Matt on LinkedIn.

     

  • What’s the difference between diversity and inclusion?

    September 20, 2016 by
    Ted Bauer

    Ted Bauer is a contributing author to College Recruiter

    By Ted Bauer, contributing author to College Recruiter

    Diversity is a complicated topic, especially in this modern political climate where it seems like many are trying to define other groups as the enemy. It’s also semantically complicated — it means many different things to many different people. Some think of it as skin color, some as gender, some along socioeconomic lines. It varies.

    What’s more — diversity and inclusion are actually very different concepts, although they’re not often treated as such. Your efforts at diverse recruiting need to differentiate between the two ideas. Continue Reading

  • It’s time to think more about diversity recruiting

    September 18, 2016 by
    Ted Bauer

    Ted Bauer is a contributing author to College Recruiter

    We tend to think of diversity in very specific ways, using even more specific terms…but there’s oftentimes layers and layers of nuance we’re missing. Have you ever considered narcissism in hiring, for example? Cue this study:

    “A job interview is one of the few social situations where narcissistic behaviors such as boasting actually create a positive impression,” said Del Paulhus, Psychology Professor at the University of British Columbia and the study’s lead author. “Normally, people are put off by such behavior, especially over repeated exposure.” The research noted that “narcissists tended to talk about themselves, make eye contact, joke around and ask the interviewers more questions. As a result, the study found that people rated narcissists as more attractive candidates for the position.”

    That’s not good. You need to be thinking more and more about your diversity recruiting efforts, on a variety of spectrums.

    One of the most effective operational ways to do that is by diversifying your recruitment funnel. You do that through shifting methods — move away from on-campus and more to online, for example. There’s a concern that online candidates aren’t as “vetted” as face-to-face candidates, but that can be overcome.

     

  • How do you actually hit your diversity recruiting targets?

    September 16, 2016 by
    Ted Bauer

    Ted Bauer is a contributing author to College Recruiter

    By Ted Bauer, contributing author to College Recruiter

    We all know diversity needs to be a priority in recruiting, but many of us struggle with this daily.

    There are best practices all over the Internet for diversity recruiting — Harvard has a particularly good one — and there are numerous lists of good companies for diversity, including Black Enterprise’s version and Fortune’s version.

    There are organizations out there doing diversity recruiting properly, and here’s the central thing all of them have in common: they diversify (logically) their pipelines. If you’re predominantly on-campus, then you’re predominantly going to get the types of students on that campus. But if you’re on-campus and using digital tools and job boards, you can attract a wider grouping. Then, from a numbers perspective and a talent perspective, you’re set up for more success. Continue Reading

  • Maximizing your diversity recruiting

    September 14, 2016 by
    Ted Bauer

    Ted Bauer is a contributing author to College Recruiter

    By Ted Bauer, contributing writer to College Recruiter

    There are organizations out there doing diversity recruiting properly, and here’s the central thing all of them have in common: they diversify (logically) their pipelines.

    If you’re predominantly on-campus, then you’re predominantly going to get the types of students on that campus. But if you’re on-campus and using digital tools and job boards, you can attract a wider grouping. Then, from a numbers perspective and a talent perspective, you’re set up for more success. Continue Reading

  • Limitless career opportunities: Indian Health Service

    June 30, 2016 by

    Opportunity. Adventure. Purpose.

    IHS_REC_Blog_730x150_GrtPlains_Horses_MAY_ColRecrThe Indian Health Service (IHS) Great Plains Area is one of the best-kept secrets in the world of health care employment opportunities today. With clinical opportunities in more than 15 health profession disciplines, the sky truly is the limit for clinicians hoping to practice in the Great Plains Area.

    Offering health professionals opportunities to provide comprehensive health care to more than 122,000 American Indians and Alaskan Natives in hospitals, clinics, and outreach programs throughout the Great Plains Area, Indian Health Service provides clinicians with three distinct career path options. Each option offers comprehensive salary and benefits. Indian health professionals are also eligible to apply for up to $20,000 per year in loan repayment of their qualified health profession education loans.

    That’s not all. An Indian health career within the Great Plains offers clinicians a unique work/life balance, including ample opportunity for recreational pursuits throughout North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa. Known for its awe-inspiring natural attractions and landmarks, the Great Plains Area boasts world-class fishing, hunting, hiking, skiing, and more.

    In addition to opportunities for health professionals, Indian Health Service lays the foundation for the education of future Indian Health Service leaders through three levels of scholarship assistance for American Indians and Alaska Natives. Since its inception in 1977, the IHS Scholarship Program has provided thousands of scholarship recipients with financial support in their educational pursuits leading to careers in health care.

    IHS_REC_Blog_300x200_GrtPlains_Phys_MAY_ColRecrWhat’s more, the IHS Extern Program allows health profession students a chance to receive hands-on instruction while working alongside Indian health professionals. Externships are available for 30 to 120 days during non-academic periods. Externs become familiar with Native communities as well; this cultural experience is invaluable in today’s diverse workplace.

    Visit ihs.gov/careeropps for more information about the limitless Indian health opportunities available for recent graduates and health profession students within the Great Plains Area.

    Want to learn more about other great employers and career options? Keep reading our blog and register to search College Recruiter’s website for great internship and job opportunities, and find the right fit for you. Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.