I Used To Love D&I: Why I’ve Fallen Out of Love With Diversity & Inclusion

 

I USED TO LOVE D&I

Diversity and Inclusion was not my intended path. It was something that I knew very well at the ground-level being most often the only black woman in the companies, departments, and teams I worked for. Nonetheless, it wasn’t my focus to be a diversity and inclusion professional in the way that some may choose it as a field now. My work in HR brought us together. Whether it was the first D&I training I had in my first job where I spent three hours picking stereotypes out of a hat and affixing them under posterboards labeled “Black” “Hispanic” “Asian” or my long-stretch working for federal contractors who saw diversity as a burden rather than an opportunity; it is safe to say that I should have seen that the course was being set for me to have an impact in this arena.

The Impact

I had an impact ( and the journey continues). I saw the wayward relationship Talent Acquisition and HR as a whole had with Diversity. The annoyance of bosses of mine when asked about their hiring practices. They never had logical justifications for why they didn’t have a more diverse slate of candidates for jobs and I learned in the long run that they simply didn’t care. Watching the awkwardness of these relations and the contention at meetings, I often offered myself as the lone soldier that would either solely champion diversity efforts inside and out of the company or I became the one ally that Diversity had from Talent Acquisition. I went on to do some good work (never enough in my opinion). I became a regular face with local organizations that served the differently-abled population. I helped to train their people and even created some unique opportunities for internships and regularly paid positions for a few. I spent hours and hours for years combing through curriculum and tailoring it to what the market demanded to help my community organizations best empower their students. I fought for At-Risk Youth and got some of the most diligent and bright young men to work in fields they could never have dreamed of. It was good. I was doing good. That was until I realized that very few cared as much as I did about these people. I saw people. My employers saw these people as “good faith efforts”. Do you see the disconnect?

The Struggle is Real

You know you are in bad shape when you are working for a differently-abled person who doesn’t see the necessity in making a way for other differently-abled people. Add the red-tape of getting budget to move some of my programs ahead, even when I identified state funds that wouldn’t need to put a dent in anyone’s operational budget; the times that white people with no qualifications for the jobs they were being recommended for were dropped on my desk to execute an interview process and sometimes a hire. Perhaps you can start to get a glimpse of where my relationship with diversity went wrong. For whatever reason, there are companies that believe that putting a person of color or a differently-abled person in a diversity role means instantaneous success. Judging by the comments of Apple’s VP of Diversity (who has since apologized for said commentary), that is simply not true. In fact, it has been my experience that often times being a woman of color in diversity is a struggle. I remember being extremely excited to work with the African-American women who held diversity roles at two of my last jobs. In every instance, they all disappointed me and on some level, it wasn’t their fault.

You see, you can’t be a Black person or Latino person and start closing the gap for your own people in a substantial way. This is the trickery and illusion of diversity. Let me be clear, you cannot intentionally and substantially close the gap of employment, upward mobility and all of the other socio-economic factors where Blacks, Latinos, and even Asians are adversely-impacted. Even if all of the numbers around hiring, workforce census, metrics around people of color ascending to leadership or the lack thereof all align and express that there is a problem; in many companies, this will be regarded as you are hiring more Blacks, Latinos or Asians because they are your people. Instead, you have to speak about “diversity for all” white, blue-eyed men included with specific “initiatives” earmarked to attract more diverse groups.

Keep in mind we had a biracial, (but regarded as a black mostly) in President Barack Obama. If he articulated the disparities faced by diverse groups of people — supported by data and then went forward with closing those gaps ( and he did this to the best of his ability), he would be seen as being a president for serving individual interests. In other words, he would be somehow pegged as being discriminatory for eliminating barriers for people who really need it. This was the real and actual reality of his presidency. The same rings true for people of color in diversity and inclusion. Unless we are addressing the whole we can’t have programs for the select few who truly need our efforts and our help.

The Answer

You may be wondering: Why is it like this? I have an answer for you. Diversity & Inclusion is the American Red Cross of Racism and all other “isms”. Companies have decided that it looks good to be taking an action or actions towards diversity and inclusion except many of us know that there is no real change to the plight of people of color or any other marginalized group being made. It looks nice. It makes the company look attractive to say “they value diversity and inclusion”, but in practice, many do not practice what they preach. It is the reason why Unilever who is the parent company of Dove can be a part of a myriad of diversity-related coalitions and alliances and still have Dove be tone deaf enough to release their recent ad that simulates a white woman removing dirt from her body as a result of using their product that really ends up being a black woman.

 

 

Diversity & Inclusion is like getting a band-aid after you get bruised or wounded and suddenly someone says you have healed no need for that band-aid anymore and they rip it off without concern for your pain. So, I have asked myself what does it all matter in the end? If we are going to continue the diversity & inclusion dialogue, conferences and summits all highlighting the star-students of the bunch while being thoroughly-oblivious to how that doesn’t nearly speak to the other 80-90% of companies who couldn’t care less or care, but play helpless, or do just enough to ensure that they don’t jeopardize contracts or possible litigation — ask yourself what good is it all doing?

This my friends is the truth about diversity and inclusion. It stinks. It needs an overhaul and/or dismantling and it is virtually useless if the practitioners who touch it on a day-to-day basis don’t care about the only thing that matters in all of this and that is humans.

I will keep up the good fight, but I prefer to fight for people over lofty concepts like diversity and inclusion.

I have been doing deeper dives on this topic on my weekly livestream show “Ask Czarina Live” if you are interested, feel free to watch the replays here.

Five Ways Video Can Enhance Your Recruitment Process

Image courtesy of Assess Hub.

Image courtesy of Assess Hub.

In an increasingly mobile world, many businesses are beginning to shift towards more effective execution within their HR departments. Implementing video into the process of recruitment not only provides an integral solution for businesses, it expands their reach when it comes to attracting the best talent.

Make full use of available resources

In 2016, 63% of organizations were using video in their recruitment processes and the use of such a tool facilitates the process of hiring new talent as well as largely affects the way companies engage with the most talented candidates and potentially even tapping into new global markets and an unlimited talent pool that may have previously been inaccessible.

This effectively means companies achieve global reach while cutting down recruitment costs, particularly beneficial for start-ups and smaller institutions.

  1. Using video for interviews

Using video as an interview tool allows international businesses and start-ups alike, to connect with candidates conveniently, even regardless of location, assessing their abilities efficiently and cutting down the time required to schedule and conduct interviews in person in half. With video interview technology comes the great freedom of connecting with new candidates and getting them excited about your company through the use of video resources.

  1. Use Video to Leverage Communication

Numbers show that recruiters who use video as a one-way or two-way interview tool can screen candidates rapidly, thus elevating their rate of success over the span of the recruiting process as opposed to the hours HR departments spend screening candidates’ resumes and conducting initial phone interviews. Specifically, with live video interviews, you can enable the candidates to connect with you in real time and most importantly, at a time that suits your busy schedule while benefiting from the crucial aspect of face-to-face interaction with each participant. Many applicants apply on their mobile devices which shows that more and more job seekers search beyond traditional websites. Thus, video is where your company can gain a mobile edge and proves an innovative add-on in the recruiting process for the best available talent even if you attract them on the go.

  1. Market Your Business more effectively

Digital advances have made for a generation of young professionals who were bred to respond to visuals. Many companies are already using video to attract the right candidates with the advantage that videos are a shareable tool that can be creatively integrated within various social media platforms. Recruiting-focused videos are increasingly popular and can benefit your business or start-up greatly if you feature existing employees’ testimonials, reflect aspects and put across your unique message about the working culture within your company. You can go as far as enhancing job advertisements on your career website with targeted videos, showcasing the specific job function advertised to add a personalized touch and ultimately enhance the way candidates engage with your organization.

  1. Showcase Opportunities

Use video to advertise new openings within your company but do not limit the use of this versatile tool to just that; – rather, showcase the human aspect and culture of your organization, even go as far as creating interactive office tour video, to inspire candidates and take the hiring process to the next level.

  1. Stay Current During and After the Hiring Process

You can use video to replace automated response emails that will reach applicants and make you stand out from the rest or use this tool throughout the hiring process to highlight important aspects of the candidate, such as what to expect in the different stages of recruitment or elaborate on your company’s processes and values. This is a proactive way to continue communication even after you have hired a candidate by creating customized videos and greatly speeding up the process of training for each individual new employee.

Can you think of any other options to use video in your recruitment process? Please share with us in the comments.

 

Author’s bio:

Vishal Amberkar

Image courtesy of Assess Hub.

Image courtesy of Assess Hub.

Vishal has over 12 years’ experience working across industries, planning and implementing business growth strategies in the digital space. Equipped with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Department of Management Studies (Pune University), his present association with AssessHub is about contributing to thoughts and sharing key insights on improving the Human Resources function and sharing ideas about the same which he shares through the AssessHub Blog.

 

 

Is Your Recruitment Process Still in the Stone Age?

Recruitment Process- Jobsoid

Have you ever called a promising candidate for a follow-up interview only to find out they just took up a job at a competing firm? How often does this happen? If it’s more than once, it’s already one too many! If you are missing out on top talent only because the follow-up rounds took longer to plan, it’s high time you updated your process. But you probably know that already. What usually happens is HR managers like yourself often find themselves in a tough spot because they simply don’t know where to start! Considering the multi faceted nature of the process, you can’t always rightly identify the cause of such delays but you can tweak your process wherever possible and avoid any unforeseen delays! Find out how:

Automation, Automation, Automation

It’s time to stop making dedicated drives for all your HR data and upgrade to the latest technology. Sure spreadsheets and emails work when there aren’t any urgent/immediate hiring needs but that won’t always be the case, since this function is more of an ongoing activity. The HR department receives resumes all round the year and keeping track of them can become quite a daunting task. So, instead ditch those spreadsheets and move to an automated software that can intuitively track and manage all applicant data.

The Source Code

Just kidding, no code here, but there is just one simple rule, dig deep enough to find out which source drives the best candidate volume. It is very important for the modern recruiter to understand where and how his company receives the best traction. Another aspect to this is that you not only track which medium you get the most visibility on but also the best quality. Identifying the right platform for your recruitment needs automatically streamlines your process by cutting out the noise.

First Impressions are a Two-way Street

Like you would expect your applicant to be on top of their game while you interview them, they have similar expectations while applying for jobs. And with the digital age that has set in. Your company’s website is the mark of credibility in your applicant’s eyes. A well-updated, detailed website will always draw more traction as it adds to the company’s overall image.

Embrace the Change

While all things vintage and classic have their own charm, sometimes it is necessary to make the shift with changing times. There are a plethora of applicant tracking systems, recruitment tools and hiring software available in the market which significantly add time to your hiring process. A good applicant tracking system will help in taking care of minute details like automatically souring and screening candidate data, maintaining and updating talent pools, as well as sending out follow-up emails.

Research and Development

Just like recruitment, research and development is an ongoing process. Taking time out to constantly analyze your recruitment processes is crucial to hiring success. Apart from identifying bottlenecks in your process, you also need to keep tabs on current strategies and technologies to be able to get the desired results. Do your reading, experiment with those free trials and then settle on the best method for your organization.

So, there you have it, recruitment doesn’t have to be as cumbersome as it used to be years ago. All you have to do is find out what works best for your company, find software and tools to automate functions that don’t need your immediate attention, giving you time to focus on other time pressing activities.

Author Bio:

Kelly Barcelos

Kelly Barcelos is a progressive digital marketing manager specializing in HR and is responsible for leading Jobsoid’s content and social media team. When Kelly is not building campaigns, she is busy creating content and preparing PR topics. She started with Jobsoid as a social media strategist and eventually took over the entire digital marketing team with her innovative approach and technical expertise.

3 Reasons Why Your Restaurant Business Needs a Technology Upgrade

 harri-guest-post-1

Today’s Guest Aristocrat is: Maria Gee. “Maria Gee is The Content Manager for harri.com.  A restaurant worker turned blog-writing-video-directing machine, she aims to educate and entertain those in the hospitality field. “

The restaurant industry is currently seeing one of the biggest technology shifts since the 1980s. With the recent emergence of ordering kiosks, mobile payment platforms and other innovations, it’s time to give your management system a needed overhaul too. Before you make the final decision on one of the many hospitality solutions out there for your restaurant, arm yourself with the following information:

Craigslist Doesn’t Cut It Anymore

Craigslist is known to be the go-to source for staffing in the restaurant industry. You publish a job post in the morning, and you may make a hire by the end of the day. Sounds great and all, but that’s not the best way to source candidates for your business. (Don’t keep your hopes up either; you probably won’t be that lucky every time.) You need a more reliable channel when recruiting talent. Find a hospitality online management system that can deliver you the quality and quantity. Also, when you are not looking to staff, have the resources to be proactive and scout out for potential hires. The shortlist of names will come in extremely handy when you are actually short-staffed.

Your Filing Cabinet Cannot Handle Any More Paperwork

Retire your filing cabinet immediately. Begin onboarding your employees via digital forms and applications. Going the paperless route will not only help you reduce waste, but you will be able to bring on new hires at a faster pace too. Hey, what’s not to like about that, right? The quicker you can handle that, the quicker that team member can add value to your business. Additionally, digital onboarding now includes e-signing and e-verifying features, which means you will be fully compliant with labor laws.

Communication is Vital

It’s crucial that your restaurant team stays connected. The best way to keep in touch nowadays is through messaging apps, since most hospitality professionals rely on their phones. In the group chatroom, update your crew on the latest updates. For example, let them know there is a seasonal menu change or a daily special. When everybody is on the same page, both your restaurant team and business will run smoother.

Connect with harri on Twitter and Instagram at: @jobswithharri and on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/jobswithharri.

The Future of Work Needs Flexible HR Technology: A Look inside Recruiterbox

 

Image courtesy of Recruiterbox

Image courtesy of Recruiterbox

 

Campaign/FTC disclosure: This is a sponsored product review. I will receive compensation for this post. I only work with companies I feel have great products, services and offerings. In accordance with my blog disclosure statement, I will only work with and showcase products, events and/or companies I believe my readers will benefit from.  I am not formally employed by Recruiterbox. All thoughts and viewpoints are created and written by me. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

I have long discussed the perils of ill-implemented HR Technology. I have also discussed the necessity for HR Technology that can grow and bend with the whims of the business.

As someone who worked in Talent Acquisition for virtually her  entire HR career, I know the pain points  when it comes to Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) all too well. I have lived through everything from ridiculous error reports for minor input mistakes to larger-than-life SaaS solutions that consistently overpromised and under-delivered in the way of ease of use.

As both a former HR practitioner and now as a business owner/analyst assisting companies with making technology decisions for their businesses, I have often wondered why technology that has been designed to streamline the hiring process has instead made hiring more difficult for everyone involved.

Let me be fair…we have evolved.

In fairness, it probably wasn’t the intention of the founders of several of the applicant tracking systems we know to deliberately make recruiters’ and hiring managers’ jobs harder with their creation.

If we look at the ATS historically, there was a time when ERP systems were the best, new products on the market for tracking the steps of candidates and hires. ERP systems weren’t necessarily ideal, but they got the job done – albeit in an excruciatingly painful manner.

We evolved with Software-As-A-Service solutions – understanding that the nature of how business and work gets accomplished was changing to a more on-demand and flexible approach. This approach continues to be at the forefront of what is needed from the ATS whether you are an enterprise company or a small business.

The Workforce is changing.

The workforce is a mix of Millennials, Boomers, Gen X, Gen Z and even some Traditionalists. It is a mashup of full-time, part-time, freelancers, temporary, remote workers and per diem employees. With a mix of all of these demographics funneling into companies of all sizes, it is an absolute necessity that companies have an ATS that is dynamic enough to capture all of the information available to us, malleable enough to change workflows, users and processes on the fly, and easy enough to use – that even the least tech savvy employees in your organization will enjoy using it.

Meet Recruiterbox

I had the pleasure of chatting with the one of the three co-founders of Recruiterbox, Raj ShethRecruiterbox is a 5 year-old, self-funded recruiting software company that doesn’t try to be anything more than what it is intended to be and that is a seamless, easy-to-use technology that makes hiring a productive activity.

During my demo with Raj, he summed up the reasoning for why Recruiterbox exists as follows: “Traditional HR software is cumbersome and built for process – not for productivity.” He went on to explain that so much of what we do takes place in email, yet there is no way to draw from this data source.

As a former recruiter, I can attest to how many resumes and discussions took place in my email. In return, I had the task of figuring out how to properly document those conversations in the ATS.

Raj and his team have gone to great lengths to see that productivity, communication, and user experience are the cornerstones to this software.

How do I know?

I put my super user hat on and spent the past week and a half utilizing their free trial to test the capabilities of this software.

RB Social Footprint

Social Footprint Screen

Here are some features that really resonated with me:

  • Truly configurable workflows. The first thing you do when creating a new opening in Recruiterbox is to design your workflow. They give you three delivered workflow stages that you can edit to suit your needs. I appreciated this feature, because different openings call for different steps towards the hire at times. With this workflow editing option, Recruiterbox is giving you, the organization the power back to make changes to your hiring process as needed. I did not need to log-in to a different portal to make my changes nor did I need extensive training to learn how to configure the workflow. Everything in Recruiterbox is extremely intuitive.
  • No more post- job fair or compliance nightmares. When you sign-up for Recruiterbox you get a company-branded email that allows people to apply to your company with one email. When the candidate sends their resume to this email, it automatically loads their resume in the system. You as the recruiter or coordinator can assign the candidate as you see fit thereafter.  If you don’t like this option, you can also batch upload resumes via zip file into the system. This is a nice feature if you like a paperless process like me.
  • Capture the candidates you find on the web with one click. Recruiterbox has a Google Plug-in that allows you to pull in candidates into their “Prospecting” dashboard. You know those candidates that you happen upon during a Boolean or LinkedIn search? You can capture their name, email, phone number, referral source, and resume with this plug-in. Minimal parsing makes for 100% successful execution every time.
  • Want to know where your candidates hang out on the web? Recruiterbox captures each candidate’s social footprint so you can see how they present themselves across all social platforms.
  • Interview scheduling made easy with a dose of video. In Recruiterbox, you can easily schedule everything from a phone screening to a Skype Interview. You have the option of confirming your interviews or you can send prospective schedules to candidates for them to confirm their acceptance of the designated timeslot. Two clicks from within Recruiterbox allow you to launch Skype when you have installed the Skype plugin on your desktop.

 

Application form configuration screen

Application form configuration screen

The list of positive attributes to this system is endless. As we speak they are working  launching an improved and robust reporting and analytics module. As you well know, I have a penchant for companies who are relentless about improving their product  through good data.

If you are a company of 1-1000 employees and in the market for a new ATS, Recruiterbox is worth your attention.  You will find the pricing to be reasonable and  the value immense.

For a free demo, click here to sign-up or watch their video demo.

Need more convincing? Read a case study from one of their clients, Beauty Brands here.

Bonus: Get a free copy of Co-Founder, Raj Sheth’s  E-Book prePARE: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Hiring. Click here to download.

Five Hiring Crimes Your Talent Acquisition Team Is Committing

Courtesy of Unsplash.com

Courtesy of Unsplash.com

I’ve been talking a lot about where HR is headed this year, which is important so we can prepare ourselves appropriately. However, what about now? What can we fix right now? It has occurred to me that there are some basic precepts in Talent Acquisition (TA) that practitioners are not tending to. This advice emanates from conversations I have had with several jobseekers about their hiring experiences of late. If you are doing committing any of these hiring crimes, please fix it immediately.

  • Asking the candidate for information in bits and pieces. Every company has necessary information they need in order to make a formal offer. In case you were unaware, candidates are as busy as you are. They don’t have time to be going back and forth with you about what you need. Create a checklist or some sort of system for the jobs you hire for to ensure you account for all of the items you need to collect from a prospective hire. To commit this crime is to annoy your candidate and to give the impression that your company works haphazard manner.
  • Not allowing your new hires to give adequate notice. If the candidate has to wait several weeks to get through your pre-hire process, you can wait the two to three weeks they need to give their current employer adequate notice of their departure. If you expect it from your people, you should expect others need to do the same for the companies they are employed by as well.
  • Telling prospective hires to give notice before you have fully vetted them. No one has time to be putting in notice with their current employer prior to you vetting them or officially offering them a position- only to be told the position is no longer being offered to them. This is a crime, because you never know what can come up during your pre-offer process to prevent you from hiring them. Will you help them find a new job if it turns out you can’t hire them? Probably not. It is never advisable to say anything to a current employer, until a prospective hire is fully vetted and given an official offer letter. Make sure your TA people aren’t telling candidates to do this.
  • Ridiculously long applications. When’s the last time you looked at your application? Do you really need to know things like: when a person was divorced or where a deceased family member lived? These examples are just a few of the growing list of ridiculous questions asked on applications. Unless you are a federal, state or civil service agency, you should not have a 50 page application. Even within those agencies, there are often times redundancies in terms of information they solicit during the hiring process. Some advice, take a look at your application and gather only the information you absolutely need to make both a legal and practical hire.
  • Requiring candidates to incur costs in advance of their employment. A candidate I know was recently asked to send passport photos to her prospective employer (which was previously made available to the employer and lost.) The loss of the photos caused this person to have to purchase a new set of photos and pay for overnight delivery to a state agency. This was a burdensome cost for the candidate. My advice to employers is: you require it, you pay for it. Many candidates are in tough financial spots and cannot afford to pay a dollar more than what it may cost them to get to the interview and back. Do your best to eliminate economic and financial hurdles for them to overcome while trying to become employed by your company.

These are just a few instances in which the actions of your Talent Acquisition staff could be undermining your hiring efforts. I provide this advice not to point the finger, but to shed light on an area where we need to do better as a discipline. When I worked as a Talent Acquisition Specialist, my focus was to put the right people to work as quickly as possible. As a TA Specialist or Recruiter, you have to be dedicated to making every step in the hiring process as painless as possible. You make it so by letting people know what they can expect and removing unnecessary hurdles from their path to becoming an employee.

For more insights on this topic, click here to hop over to “The Aristocracy of HR” You Tube Channel.

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