Here’s what we did:
We had undergone a human resources review of our salaries, position titles and job descriptions, and adjusted the titles of our positions to reflect the actual work being done. In some cases, we awarded a more senior title to match the level of responsibility the employee was taking on. (In a smaller organization, ensuring you have the right seniority of title is REALLY critical and an incredible flexibility that larger institutions don’t have). In the job ad, I used more action verbs and carefully reviewed the description to ensure I was accurately describing the exciting work and purpose the employee would be fulfilling.
Applying for a job is emotionally draining, confusing, and seems to have all kinds of hidden rules. We took Inclusion on Purpose’s advice and evened the playing field. We got explicit about expectations (e.g., please submit a resume and cover letter). We let candidates know what to expect and our timelines. Because of our structure, we ran a hiring process with grading and at least 3 interviewers. We let candidates know this in advance. Surprise surprise, candidates came better prepared, and we got to really see them for who they were without excess nervousness. I believe in letting candidates know what to expect so strongly that we have added this to job ads in our platform
This was the very first thing I did when I joined the organization, mostly because I’d always wanted to try the technique. I assigned a staff member to download the applications from the platform we used, and she redacted them to remove the candidate name/identifier. Then we used a grading rubric to screen the candidates. It cut down on my admin time drastically.Candidates were informed that we’d be blinded during the process as part of our transparent process.
When I compared our data to competitions prior to blinding, we interviewed more diverse candidates by a factor of 2-3 times. This is easy to accomplish with our platform- you can add team members and assign an admin staff member to download and redact resumes/CVs.
After the results I saw first hand with this organization of more than doubling (and sometimes tripling applicants), and obtaining a far more diverse candidate pool, I’ll never go back! And I’ll never forget getting that thank you card for NOT hiring someone.
I’m curious to see if you have tried any of these techniques, or others that have been successful or unsuccessful? What’s worked for you? If you need help with your recruiting and retention strategy, get in touch. We’d love to help.
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