Over the last year as we witnessed a global pandemic coincide with a series of unthinkable racial injustices, the topic of diversity in the workforce elevated to an even greater state of urgency for most organizations. Nearly every leader began to wrestle with the lack of diversity on their teams and asked themselves how they could finally see this change.
Throughout this time and over the last few years, our company Mathison has been developing technology for diversity hiring and leading research in the space, studying equitable hiring practices and interviewing hundreds of leaders around their diversity hiring strategies as we’ve been authoring our new book, Hiring for Diversity.
One central theme stood out in our findings across the board – despite urgency leaders vocalized to grow diversity, they continued to delegate their diversity hiring efforts down to a select few in the organization instead of empowering their full organization to play a role and take responsibility. This has meant that hiring efforts have continued to fall on the shoulders of HR and recruiting teams alone with limited resources, capacity, and reach.
However, not actively engaging the broader team in diversity hiring efforts is problematic on two levels – it means potentially failing to build awareness or address personal bias on the part of anyone participating in the hiring process and it means missing the major opportunity to unlock the collective diversity network of the full organization.
Our own existing teams are our secret weapons in growing the future diversity of our organizations. Imagine the power of unlocking the collective network of our combined team to cast a significantly wider net for every role we are hiring for. Imagine empowering every person touching the hiring process with more intentional tools and systems to more effectively address personal bias they might bring to the conversation.
These findings inspired us to go to the drawing board to explore how we could develop a technology that would democratize diversity hiring efforts in a way that could enable everyone in an organization to play a more active role in the efforts.
This is what led us to develop Diversity Sidekick, a web browser app that is available to every team member in your organization. It provides a side panel application that pops up whenever team members would like to help with five core actions:
- Source and refer candidates from underrepresented communities on LinkedIn.
- Anonymize LinkedIn profiles to remove upfront selection bias.
- Analyze job descriptions and communication for exclusionary terms.
- Build structured interview scripts to address bias in interviews.
- Access diversity training content and insights in real time.
Organizations like Betterment, Theory, and Horizon Media are leveraging this solution across their teams and sharing that it’s the first thing they’ve seen that’s enabled them to pursue diversity hiring outside of their recruiting teams alone. Lori Hawthorne, Global Head of Talent Operations at WPP, shared, “Mathison has been instrumental in mobilizing diversity hiring across our company. They have equipped hundreds of our global team members with the insights and tools to drive this work.”
We have found that organizations have always dreamt of engaging their broader team in this work but have just been missing the technology to support them in doing so. This is where Diversity Sidekick has been the most powerful. The opportunities of engaging everyone in your organization around diversity hiring are endless. Not only does it mean you unlock the full potential and reach of your team, it means your diversity hiring pursuits start to feel like a movement in your organization, and that makes them truly sustainable.