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.

A Business Curse Word For The Ages: Diversity

Image courtesy of Flickr.

Image courtesy of Flickr.

 

I’ve spent the better half of my career immersed in work environments that had to keep a watchful eye over things like diversity & inclusion. The work felt like something I should be proud of — seeing as though it is predicated upon providing equal opportunity to people who have often been outcast based on everything from race to physical disability. At the same time that I was busy being proud, I found something interesting among my HR peers and other internal partners. This interesting tidbit was: Nobody “really” cared about diversity and inclusion.

Sure, we had several funded and active programs to quote, unquote “level the playing field”. We met regularly to look at how we were making strides with our Affirmative Action Plan and goals. For good measure, our leadership would even make it their business to make a very poignant and seemingly genuine speech at our African-American Affinity Group Scholarship Dinners or our coveted Black History Month Celebrations.

Still, very few in the organizations I’ve both worked for and heard about via the anecdotes of similarly-situated colleagues truly cared about diversity. It could be read between the rolling eyes, I witnessed when white hiring managers were forced to pull together a competitive slate of candidates instead of hiring their friends or others from their network. It was evidenced, when in one company I worked for — the administrative pool was 80-90% white and left us consistently having to answer to our partners in the Diversity Group about why we could never manage to hire more people of color with such high availability and capability numbers.  It became blatantly clear that no one cared, when even in HR, people of color were better educated and had stronger backgrounds than the bulk of the white professionals working for the company – yet we had to consistently answer to these people who had no clue. The disdain, jealously, and surprise oozed as I watched my white counterparts half-smile or as others call it “smized” with wonderment in their eyes as I spoke up for myself in meetings. The kind of “who hired her, she’s so articulate and smart” looks, but I digress.

I spent over 10 years in HR and really never met a person that wasn’t of color who truly cared about Diversity. Scratch that, even people or color gave up on the promise of diversity in time when they realized the purported efforts never matched the actual outcomes in real life. It in turn made me want to fight for the people I served more. It is the reason that I not only revived the otherwise defunct, African-American Affinity Group at my last job, I also ran and got elected to President in the group while working in HR (which had never been done and was frowned upon). When it came time to work with a national organization to help reformed youth who ended up in the prison system and I knew it was simply a superficial endeavor on the part of my then-employer — I raised my hand to manage the program. There were no shortage of hurdles I had to overcome in getting these stellar gentlemen hired for a program that was allegedly supported from the top. Oh, but somebody tell me again about how ‘diversity’ is so important.

Somebody, anybody share that statistic we have all run into the ground about how teams and organizations are more “innovative”, “productive and “profitable” with a diverse team and leadership behind it. Now that I have effectively left “The Matrix” that is Corporate America, I see why both the concept and application of diversity is troublesome for so many companies and the people that run them.

Here are some thoughts and questions I have:

1)  When we really break down why any diversity, inclusion and or anti-discrimination laws exist we must automatically return to the root cause of it all which is the anti-color sentiment on which the U.S was built and continues to run (a.k.a slavery, Jim Crow Laws, Segregation, Mass Incarceration of POC etc.).

2) If it is truly part of the founder or CEO’s moral and ethical fabric to have an “appreciation” or “love” of all human beings and their unique contributions, why do you need a group or department or a law to guide your efforts to not only include all human beings; but see that they are given a  a fair chance to be hired, developed and afforded equal access to opportunity?

3) How is it that companies have Affirmative Action Plans that get diluted and minimized to quotas in which they hire just a few POC, females etc. to appear diverse enough to keep their government contracts; but still leave some cushion for the latitude they crave to hire their golf buddies, neighbors or family members (who possess little to no requisite skills)?

“Diversity” is like a curse word in business. What it screams to CEOs is that you cannot just hire people who walk, chew, think and look like you. For the most part, they all want clones of themselves at every level of their company and the only time it even strikes them as plausible to look beyond themselves is when they can’t find the acumen they need to be profitable in their sea of clones. You shouldn’t have to be coerced or convinced to hire someone different if you are truly for all people. Diversity meetings shouldn’t have to happen every week or every month if you genuinely care and champion it. Moreover, the government shouldn’t have to regulate how you do business by dangling the carrot of money in front of you to not discriminate and provide equal opportunity. The fact that all of the practices I just mentioned are so pervasive, let’s me know that less of you care about diversity than you are willing to admit.

Before you go building that new diversity program or hiring that new Director of D&I, I would highly suggest you think about why they are needed in the first place.

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with my friend, Mark A. Dyson host of The Voice of Jobseekers Podcast along with another friend, Chris Fields, Owner of Resume Crusade. We discussed many of the double and triple standards I discussed in this article. If you are interested, take a listen below and share your thoughts in the comments. We appreciate you!

HR Technology Solution Provides Customers with More Options: A Look Inside Lanteria HR

Image courtesy of Lanteria HR.

Image courtesy of Lanteria HR.

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 Lanteria HR. 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.

One of the things that has bothered me from the very beginning with certain HR Technology solutions is the lack of flexibility. Sure, they all preach about how flexible their solutions are; but analysts who have been through their share of implementations can attest to a different reality.

We have been able to convince most of the HR industry that having technology to streamline and/or facilitate their internal processes has some substantial wins where both productivity and consistency are concerned. Now that we have their attention, it would seem that we need to meet them where their customer journey begins.

As someone who has worked in HR previously, I know that the customer journey towards purchasing HR Technology isn’t often a proactive decision; but rather a reactive decision that commonly results from several, separate, yet connected pain points with processes and/or home-grown systems. There are usually work-arounds for the work-arounds and systems that don’t speak to one another which causes inefficiency and frustration for those doing the work. When your solution arrives on the scene to save the day, the single, most impactful thing you can provide is a flexible solution.

Although there is plenty variation in customer needs, most HR professionals will agree there are some basic needs that can be extrapolated across our industry.

Here are a few of them:

  • HR professionals prefer a solution that is has the capacity to scale accordingly with business as it continues to grow.
  • HR professionals prefer a solution that is intuitive, can incorporate their company lexicon and doesn’t require a lot advanced training or thinking to utilize it.
  • HR professionals expect the solution to make their jobs easier.

Recently, I had the pleasure of getting an inside look into a solution I was unfamiliar with called: Lanteria HR. Lanteria HR is a global HR Management (HRM) solution best suited for mid-sized to large companies. They currently service companies with as little as 50 employees up to 20,000 employees.  If you are an Office 365 customer/fan, you will love the way Lanteria HR integrates with SharePoint and the Office 365 product. Lanteria HR is a SharePoint-based system which means you will enjoy the personalization of roles as it integrates well with Microsoft Office. Lanteria HR prides itself on their ability to meet their customers’ configurations needs without expensive software customization.

Lanteria HR has 9 functional areas that you can utilize via the various modules delivered via the solution.

The functional areas Lanteria HR covers are: Core HR, Time & Attendance, Compensation, Recruiting, Onboarding, Performance Management, Learning, Succession Planning and Reports.  You will find that each of the five modules in the solution allow for easy toggling back and forth without issue.

When it comes to user roles there are three within the solution. There are the Core HR users better known as “Super Users”.  Then, there are the roles of “manager” and “employee”. Lanteria’s team can also create custom roles depending on your organizational structure needs. During my testing, it was great to simply change existing organizational charts; but also to be able to create new departmental and group-specific hierarchies as your organization changes and scales.

Learning & Development has a special place in my heart

With a natural focus on retention being prevalent in the HR sphere, technology that can facilitate the ongoing process as well as the roll-out of programs to a large number of people will become important.

In Lanteria HR’s Learning Development module, every employee has a development plan and profile. They have delivered reports that track L&D milestones. In addition, you have the ability to deliver and L&D training directly from the solution.

Types of training that you can have in this system are: E-Learning SCORM courses, Video, Homegrown Training Programs, MP4 files and/or links to training hosted on the internet (i.e. Vimeo or YouTube).

Where Succession Planning is concerned, I like that they focus heavily on career pathing, internal talent pools and delivering career goals at all three role levels through their dashboards within the module.

What does implementation look like?

Implementation for Lanteria HR is about 2-3 months from the time a contract is awarded. There are once a week meetings where you will meet with your assigned project manager and engineer. It is recommended that you have at least 1-2 people internally that can serve as your implementation team.  All training is delivered remotely via the train-the-trainer method.

What do their Service Level Agreements (SLA) look like?

Lanteria HR allocates engineering time as part of your licensing package. Since your solution will can be  hosted on-premises or delivered as a SaaS solution, you will either rely on your internal IT Team or Lanteria’s team for resolution of any technical difficulties experienced.  Major updates happen 1-2 times a year.  Lanteria’s support team troubleshoots technical issues when they’re related to Lanteria HR. If you experience issues with SharePoint, it should be resolved by your SharePoint administrator, IT team or anyone who manages your SharePoint.

What about pricing?

Lanteria HR charges per license/module. All fees for licenses include the cost of the license and implementation. Prices will vary as they serve customers internationally. You will need to contact them to be properly priced-out based on your company, team and needs.

All in all, if you are looking for a solution that has the capability of being delivered on-premises or in the cloud; with greater flexibility, personalization and control over your next HRM solution Lanteria HR is worth a look. It is simple, does all of the things that we as HR practitioners need to do in a day, plus has some extras that can help us drive the proper messaging and programming around Recruitment, Retention and Succession Planning.

Want to see the latest version of Lanteria HR? Check out there short feature tour here.

Get know Lanteria via their product overview below:

 

 

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