Diversity this year has been a hotter topic than ever and whilst most major organisations have defined their diversity policies/targets in relation to hiring there are still a large number of companies both big or small who understand the concept, openly acknowledge it but don’t necessarily live it.
If as a hiring company, you aren’t hitting your diversity goals then perhaps it’s time to stand back and look at what you are looking to hire.
For example, it’s a known fact that there is a gender imbalance within Australian IT but what we as recruiters are seeing is a reluctance from some employers to think out of the box, to take a hiring risk and hire more on capability and attitude. If adding in a training course allows a candidate who doesn’t have all the technical skills to be hired, then arguably we should be doing that instead of continuing to search for something that may not necessarily exist! Of course, this may sound like playing to a recruitment companies’ strengths but what shouldn’t be forgotten is that there is only a finite number of people within Australia and in a lot of cases a more than suitable alternative could be under your nose.
Having read a lot this year around ‘unconscious bias’ (stereotypes that are automatic, unintentional, deeply ingrained and able to influence behaviour) it is worth defining in the context of recruiting for IT roles what this means.
For us at Genesis it’s about being truly conscious about the cross section of candidates we are talking to. Constantly re-assessing who we are talking to and not standing still. It’s about understanding more about the clients we work with. For example, what are the Core values of each client we hire for? Do we understand these deeply enough to use them as part of the hiring process? How can we use these effectively to really hire the right fit? It’s about entering our internal candidate interviews fully prepared and pressing our internal reset button before we enter the interview room so that we bring our whole self to the interview (making sure we aren’t just ‘going through the motions’). By doing so we can help address diversity as hiring the best person for the job rather than the most well-known, liked or simply who may have been front of mind.
The key for us is trusting the recruiter you are working with. Get to know us, partner with us and we will provide the diversity for you. For employers it’s about making sure that if we aren’t looking at a diverse cross section of candidates for you based on what you have briefed us on then you, as an employer are open to discussing what is required to change in the job spec or requirement to achieve this. We will search broadly and deeply for you but being honest over the years the best results have been achieved by spending more time understanding each other. From hiring manager to trusted recruiter.
Talk to us about how we can help you break that mould, reach your diversity targets and in doing so create teams (be it contract or permanent) who are diverse. They will breed ideas and mean that longer term you may not ever have to search for that unicorn. In recruiting terms, they will be extinct…