On October 27, 24 Seven was proud to co-host a webinar on how to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion best practices into the hiring process. Over 200 attendees registered to hear Celeste Gudas, 24 Seven’s founder & CEO, present “Realigning the Hiring Approach for Greater Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI), with Paradigm, a company that designs, delivers, and evaluates DEI strategies and trainings. Paradigm is 24 Seven’s partner in helping us improve our own diversity, equity, and inclusion policies, procedures, and culture. Celeste’s co-presenter was Paradigm’s Ariel Sincoff-Yedid, who brings more than a decade of experience in education, training, and curricular development around diversity and social equity to her work in Training & People Development at the firm.
Celeste began by reviewing the results of a field study 24 Seven conducted over the summer to better understand how companies were responding to the social unrest over systematic racism and the attitudes talent expressed around DEI. Our research found that although the majority of employees said their company renewed its commitment to DEI in light of the recent social movement, only four in ten said their company was evaluating their hiring approach for bias.
Celeste and Ariel agreed that the hiring process is an essential place for companies to start moving toward a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace. Ariel kicked off her portion of the presentation with reviewing what “Diversity” should mean in context of the recruiting and hiring. Ariel posited that Diversity is “plainly, difference…Diversity is the variety of traits, characteristics, and experiences that a group of people holds, both visible and invisible.” Ariel urged attendees to think of Diversity as beyond the quality of one individual.
Ariel then went on to explore how unconcious bias influences decisions and judgments throughout the hiring process – from referrals, sourcing talent, through evaluating candidates. She reviewed two common types of bias: Confirmation & Similarity. Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, or recall information in a way that confirms one’s beliefs or hypotheses. Similarity bias is the inclination to seek commonalities to establish connection and justify decisions. This is why Ariel warned about hiring for ‘culture fit’ can be a similarity bias pitfall. Rather companies should hire for ‘culture add’ – what can a candidate bring to the team to enhance and strengthen the whole.
The final section of the presentation gave attendees practical advice on how to manage bias during key phases of the hiring process. She spoke of the importance of establishing standard candidate evaluation techniques to ensure that job seekers are measured across predetermined guidelines rather than individual opinions and filters. She also had suggestions on how to create and maintain diverse talent pipelines by expanding the talent feeds into the funnel.
To access 24 Seven’s study on the state of diversity, equity & inclusion in the workplace, click here. And watch this space for future webinar collaborations between 24 Seven and Paradigm on the critically important and timely topic of DEI in the workplace.