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Can the DEI Easy Button Exist?

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are still on the tip of many employers' tongues. However, things like a global pandemic and a world on the edge of World War III have stolen a lot of the spotlight in recent years. So, do employers still care as much as they did just two years ago? It's something to consider, and that's why Chad & Cheese have brought back Barb Hyman, founder and CEO of Predictive Hire. And that's just one topic. If DEI is important to your organization - and you know it should be - then this is a must-listen.


INTRO (1s):

Hide your kids! Lock the doors! You're listening to HR’s most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheeseman are here to punch the recruiting industry, right where it hurts! Complete with breaking news, brash opinion and loads of snark, buckle up boys and girls, it's time for the Chad and Cheese podcast.

Joel (22s):

Yeah. Get out a cold Fosters and put a shrimp on the bar-b everybody there's an Aussie in the house. What's up? It's your favorite podcast, this is the Joel and Chad, oh my God it's 4 o'clock. Chad and Cheese podcast. This is your co-host Joel Cheeseman joined as always by my cohost, Chad Sowash and we have a mystery guest from down under Chad.

Chad (49s):

Did you have a gummy before we started?

Joel (52s):

Dude? Seriously at four o'clock I'm checked out. Totally.

Chad (56s):

I hear ya, I hear ya.

Joel (56s):

I don't even know what the hell I just said. Did I say that the Joel and Chad podcast?

Chad (1m 2s):

Yeah, yeah.

Joel (1m 3s):

Okay. This one's off to a great start.

Chad (1m 5s):

Let's not re-live that one. Let's not re-live it. So before we get into the mystery guest, you and I we're, we're pretty good at challenging the industry, we name names, we give our opinions and that's all just to get HR TA professionals and vendors to evolve, adopt, and just plain get off the fucking status quo. Well, in some cases, not enough, we receive a challenging and welcome retorts. And this one today, we're going to go to our mystery guests.

Joel (1m 37s):

Can you do that in Samuel L. Jackson voice is like? Shall I retort?

Chad (1m 43s):

Shall I retort? But seriously, I've been consistently ranting about tech platforms, slapping DEI on their marketing without truly having a DEI strategy. It's mainly just bullshit check the box PR stuff, but Barb Hyman, CEO of Predictive Hire doesn't believe that is quite fair. Welcome back to the show, Barb, how are you doing?

Barb (2m 9s):

I am awesome. I'm so excited to be back. And here to retort.

Joel (2m 14s):

Retort away, Barb. Get 'em.

Chad (2m 17s):

You were here on firing squad. Did really well. We had good, good ambience happening within the show. I hope we can continue that going. Hopefully you don't hurt me too bad.

Joel (2m 27s):

Aussie's are pretty feisty, man. This could go anywhere. Anything could happen on this.

Chad (2m 31s):

What did I say to get you so fired up?

Barb (2m 35s):

Yeah, look so, you know, we're all talking about diversity, right? And I think what you challenged was there are just way too many HR tech companies out there that are claiming they can fix it.

Chad (2m 47s):


Barb (2m 47s):

The issue, like that's what we're trying to solve. We're trying to solve how do we finally fix it? You know, diversity is invisible now because it doesn't truly exist. When it finally exists we all stop talking about it and we can move on to another more interesting topic.

Chad (3m 1s):


Barb (3m 1s):

And you cannot see what you cannot see. So how do we fix it? Unconscious bias training does not work.

Chad (3m 7s):


Barb (3m 7s):

You know, you send Tommy to unconscious bias training you haven't achieved anything. I also believe that targets don't work in my experience and I'm obviously female. I think women hate the idea that they're given the job because of their gender. They hate it, particularly young women. And when you get hired on a perception that it was based on a target, you're often undermined by other people in the organization. So it's almost like you created another ceiling for that woman to conquer. So how do we actually fix it? My view is you have to fix it through technology. And I do believe that the right technology, I obviously believe that our technology does that, can actually finally fix the lack of diversity in our organizations, at least up to a certain point. You know, you're always going to have a human who makes that final decision, but if you can use the right technology that removes all of those layers of bias, and it's got to be something that is in video.

Barb (3m 58s):

I know you guys have a view about video and video is sort of effectively, you know, productizing bias. You can actually fix diversity. So I think, reality is nothing that we have done has worked. Women is still what, 21% of the C-suite in the US. Women of color represent 4%. All the good intentions and money in the world hasn't made a difference. Technology can make a difference, but you gotta be really ruthless as a buyer to look closely at that technology. So that's kind of one tenant of if, you know, obviously what I believe around, how do you actually finally fix the lack of diversity in our organizations?

Chad (4m 34s):

Well, and there's no one platform that can do that because obviously, you know, let's say for instance, using your platform that is not going to dip into a diverse talent pool, is it? Or when I post a req, does it automatically go into your system and start programmatically targeting talent pools? Because first the basic issue that we have right now is that nobody's targeting anybody. They're not trying to look to become more diverse by targeting more diverse populations. And if you're not doing that, it's all for shit in the first place. Right?

Barb (5m 8s):

Yeah. Look, I completely agree that there's a very tight link between sourcing and selection. Right? You know, that if you, unless your sourcing is right, it doesn't matter how good the technology is that is trying to take out that bias through the funnel. But at the same time, you've also got to look at, you know, how are you engaging talent? Like, what is that process look like? And you know, who are you losing out on because you're using video, for instance, at the top of the funnel, you know, my son, he's 22, he's introverted. He's really good looking by the way, but there's no way he's going to go on video. You know, he will not turn on a screen and film himself. It's completely intimidating to him. So who are you losing out on because you're using a assessment or a way of engaging talent that people just don't like and don't trust.

Barb (5m 51s):

So I think, you know, you've got to think about sourcing, but you've also got to think about the journey that you're taking people through and what's going to be really fun. You know, how do you make applying for job fun? How do you make it something that everyone wants to do? Whether you're 15 or 50, whether you're male or female, et cetera. So I think all of those things need to be part of trying to solve for better diversity, you know, at the end of the day,

Joel (6m 14s):

Oh, I want to go back to what you said, and I want to make sure I get this right. You said the solution is technology, and then you said up to a point, correct?

Barb (6m 26s):


Joel (6m 27s):

So at some point the technology ends and the human begins. And until we stop the human begins part, can we really solve diversity issues and problems? In other words, doesn't technology have to take the ball all the way to the end zone, to use an American football reference that you probably don't understand. I don't know what the cricket equivalent would be, but you get my point, hopefully.

Chad (6m 55s):

Australia rules football. Yeah. Yeah. That's deep Cheeseman. That's deep.

Barb (6m 58s):

That's different to cricket by the way. So look, the, I absolutely agree that when you bring humans in that's when you start to lose the diversity piece and we see that in our software, our customers see it that up until the point where the humans making the decision, you know, you're basically marrying your funnel to whatever you started with in terms of the applicant side. And maybe organizations will get there at some point, you know, if they really trust the technology, they trust that everyone's given a fair go. That's a bit of an Australian-ism and that people are comfortable with the idea of being given a job without connecting with a human at all.

Barb (7m 40s):

I think, you know, I don't know how far we are away from being like that. I think Amazon's the only company in the world at the moment that goes from, apply to offer. Where we come in and this is my point around data. I think that I was challenging you on Chad. He said, you know, data does create that transparency around that human bias. So the ability to see as a CHR or head of talent, you know, where in the organization are we losing that diversity because at the last gate, someone is just preferring, you know, the white people or the men every time. And that transparency creates that accountability. And I think that's how you really drive change in behavior. Particularly if you make it somewhat public, you know, you can't hide from data.

Barb (8m 23s):

So there is the ability to firstly use tech and this is where our software operates, where you're stripping out all bias and you know, that means no CVS, no videos. And at the last gate you can see, well, you know, which state, which team, which leader is the one that's kind of letting down the team in terms of not hiring based on, you know, true fit, but hiring based on some other, you know, inherent bias.

Chad (8m 46s):

So we've had this data for decades. Too easy. We've already had this data, not to mention, if you walk into, let's say Ned's department and it's nothing, all white dudes, we don't need data, we can see it, right. We can see that there is a problem, especially comparing it to other departments throughout the organization. So we can take anecdotal and we can also take data that we've had to demonstrate that we are not even close to equity, let alone transparency. I agree a hundred percent when we talk about transparency. The first step I believe for paid equity is transparency. I also believe that transparency in this discussion is also necessary, but you as a vendor, how are you going to be able to drive that narrative?

Chad (9m 36s):

Because I'm gonna tell you right now, many companies out there that could prospectively be your client. They will not embrace that.

Barb (9m 43s):

In terms of the data transparency?

Chad (9m 45s):


Barb (9m 46s):

Yeah. Look, you know, it's a journey, I think for everyone to trust technology, to play a really strong hand in this space. Right. And it's hard to believe that the time is not here now, because really there has not been much traction. So the thing about transparency is you got to do it the right level. So we would never say that you would do it at the recruiter level, right. We don't reveal any data about the candidate in terms of, you know, their demographics when they're making that hiring decision and that's really important that it's as blind as possible. Yes. You know, the reality is that every board is reporting on this stuff. Like, I don't know if it's called the same thing in the US but ESG in Australia, which is the link now between capital markets, you know, what kind of interest rates you're afforded when you're, when you're borrowing money and also where the fund managers are gonna invest in you is absolutely linked to ESG.

Barb (10m 37s):

And, you know, the S side of that is really important. And so everyone's reporting on it at that level. Right. They have to.

Chad (10m 45s):

Yeah. But what's different between that and actually setting up goals because either way, if you're a white dude, all you're going to see is that there are less people like you coming in and they're going to focus on whether it's ESG or other goals that organizations have put in place. What does it matter? I mean, seriously, what does it matter what we use just as long as we press for hiring outcomes that are, that are more equitable, that are more diverse?`

Barb (11m 12s):

Well, so, you know, one of these companies in Australia, it's a super fund. They have an initiative called 40/40. They have on their website, all the metrics around percentage of women at the C-suite, at the board level, for all the list of companies yet, I'm sure there's something that's similar in the US right. That kind of transparency is what creates, you know, action on the part of boards. And it absolutely makes a difference when it comes to super funds investing. I think there are super funds now, you know, what is it called impact investing that make decisions purely based on how well you're doing against the environment, how well you're doing on diversity,

Joel (11m 48s):

Hey, Barb, it obviously provokes action, but does it also provoke tokenism? In other words, we've interviewed people that on and say, companies are just quote unquote, "swapping spit" at this point. So I'm an executive or shareholders of a company, and I say, Hey, we need someone on the board that's a woman, somebody, whatever, whatever the criteria is? Okay. Now recruiter go get someone from X company to put on our board, go get someone else to put in our C suite. And you're just swapping spit, as opposed to really making changes to your recruiting process or using your farm team to build your future executives that are of diverse caliber.

Joel (12m 30s):

So my question, I guess, is it real change or is it tokenism that you're saying?

Barb (12m 36s):

Yeah, look, I think at the board level, you know, that is the hardest place to get change. Whether it's male or female, they still all represent a certain demographic. That's where I'd say that you've got to start right at the bottom, right. Which is you're hiring. And then hopefully also your promotion, which is if you are hiring 10-2500 people a year, there's no excuse for you not to introduce a line in the sand in terms of technology that creates that maximum diversity, right? That's how you're going to change it over time. That's where you've got scale. That's where you can really shift the numbers. And we can see that with our customers, you know, who are hiring more than their fair share of the first nations of ethnic groups, of women, because you've stripped the human out of it.

Barb (13m 20s):

And, you know, we all know about that notion of diversity debt, right? If you're a startup and your first 10 engineers are men, you know, you're pretty fucked. You know, diversity debt increases exponentially. You know, when you have a team of four and you add an unrepresented candidate to that group, they represent 20% of your culture, 20% of your DNA going forward, they'll make 20% of your hires. They have an outsize influence on your group. You know, you have to start right from the beginning, right from the bottom. And, you know, fundamentally, I think we're both in agreement that the only way to do that is not through good intent. It's actually through the right technology.

Chad (13m 57s):

Well, and also data. I agree there, but the thing is, shouldn't this be a standard for all platforms to have and provide this data to their clients in the first place. I mean, if you are a VP of Talent, Acquisition, or CHRO, and you don't have this data today? I mean, what year are we in? This all seems to be fairly standard from a data standpoint. That does not equal again, the DEI easy button, which I am sick and tired of hearing about. That everybody says, you know, your DEI will be better by using this platform. No, it won't. It'll give you tools.

Chad (14m 37s):

I can screw in a better screw into the wall with my impact wrench if I want to, but that's not the right tool.

Joel (14m 47s):

Chad loves screwing screws, btw.

Chad (14m 48s):

Big fan. But I mean, if it's not the right tool, then what does it matter in the first place?

Barb (14m 54s):

Yeah, now you're talking et's all advocate for federal legislation to make technology like as mandatory at the top of the funnel, we're on a journey, right? Like this is where innovation can actually help. And I think it's about how do you get TA leaders and HR leaders to be smarter about asking the right questions on the technology they're using? Like, it frustrates me as I know it frustrates you guys that people are still watching videos and thinking that that's gonna fix diversity, right? Like you cannot remove the human bias. Cause guess what? Most of the biases unconscious. It's fascinating how, when we run webinars, we ask people, do you think humans can be trained out of their unconscious bias?

Barb (15m 35s):

Do you think there's unconscious bias? Like the answers don't correlate. So it frustrates me that people still see these CCVs as something that can be, you know, de-identified from a gender and ethnic perspective,

Joel (15m 48s):

Our resumes broken Barb?

Barb (15m 49s):


Joel (15m 50s):

Do we need to replace the resume? And if so, what is the replacement?

Barb (15m 54s):

Oh, I'd love to kill the resume.

Joel (15m 56s):

Okay. Then what's the replacement?

Barb (15m 58s):

Well, the replacement is, you know, what are you looking for? Right. It's a, you know, in our product, we can effectively replace the resume because we say, look, what really matters is in most of the roles where our tickets used is who you are, not what you are. You know, the resumes are proxy for advantage. That's all it is. It's not a proxy for intelligence or capability. It's just a summary of what you've done in your life. But how does that in any way, connect with that, you're going to be good in this role. So, you know, what do you care about when you're choosing someone to partner with? Someone in your team? You care about who they are, like, their values, their traits, you know, how committed they're going to be? Are they going to work well with people?

Barb (16m 38s):

Are they curious? Are they good thinkers? Like, that's what matters, right? You know, agnostic of that, you went to Yale or that, you know, you've got a certain GPA. So I'd love to kill the CV. You know, that's effectively ambition.

Chad (16m 50s):

It's pretty amazing that we're still using a piece of paper or a quote unquote "digital paper" to represent ourselves as opposed to more of identity dynamic and fluid profile that have our experiences, but also our certifications and you know, our backgrounds and those types of things. Why haven't we moved past the resume? Is it just because we are a lazy bunch of fucks or what?

Joel (17m 17s):

We've always done it that way, Chad that's why.

Chad (17m 20s):

Yeah. Why aren't we still riding horses then? That's bullshit. That's a bullshit discussion,

Barb (17m 24s):

You know, probably great. But I think that's, I'm going to be cheeky here and say that because companies don't know about us, right. Is that, you know,

Chad (17m 34s):

All come on, Barb!

Barb (17m 35s):

Seriously, what do you really want to do when you're hiring? You want to interview everyone. You want to get to know everyone. You want to hear what makes them, what's made them in their life. Right. So in the absence of that, what do you do? You look at a piece of paper, that's trying to tell you a story about who they are. So, you know, technology, innovation, and I'm sure there, you know, I don't want to just tap for us, but the ability to interview the universe, like there are 2 billion workers in the world. Like there's no excuse not to have diversity in the top of the funnel when your technology can do that for you. So, you know, that, I think we're on the journey to get rid of the CV. I honestly do. And I think, you know, the other thing about, you know, HR and making decisions like this, like ultimately this is a decision of risk when you hire someone, right?

Barb (18m 18s):

Is this person a good bet or a bad bet? And, you know, that's where I really believe in that objective dataset. Like, how do you bring objectivity to that decision? And in every other domain think banking, you know, you're applying for a loan and the bank is not going to bring you in and interview you and, and figure out are you a good bet or a bad bet? They're not going to get all the other tellers to have a chat and figure out whether you're going to be, you know, the right bet for the bank ride, like, banks would be out of business if they did that. And they certainly are going to come back to you in three weeks and tell you whether you got the loan or not. So, you know, I think it's an opportunity for recruitment to look at where do other sectors make decisions of risk? How do they do that? What do we learn from that? And it is really about objective intelligence.

Barb (19m 1s):

And that is not a CV.

Joel (19m 5s):

Speaking of the journey Barb, the diversity journey is not without its bumps and potholes.

Chad (19m 10s):

And bruises.

Joel (19m 11s):

And, you know, I would say 2020 or so, 2019 was sort of a watershed with the George Floyd murder and things were going on. And it seemed like there was some real strong momentum and really getting things done. And we saw companies committing budgets to making real change and companies making actions that were relevant and then along comes a saying called the pandemic, which kind of throws a monkey wrench and people's attention for a couple of years. And now we have Russia invading Ukraine. I'm curious from your perspective and talking to companies, is there a risk that this just loses attention and we move on to other things, or from your perspective, are companies still committed, even though we have some of these exterior shiny things that are taking our attention away from the ball?

Barb (19m 59s):

Yeah. Look, I think that there's from my conversations and this is, you know, we work with companies globally. There's even more of a drive to do it, but it's driven by something different. It's driven by the scarcity of talent, which is, you know, you can't just go and fish at the same ponds or lakes anymore. You actually have to go broader because otherwise you're not going to find people. So I think there's a, you know, certainly for consumer brands, what we find is there's a continued focus on diversity. And I think that's because they have to marry up to their external claims and marketing with what they're doing, you know, in their business. But the other big motivation is shit, where are we going to find people?

Barb (20m 40s):

You know, so you have to go broader and you have to do that in a way that's really, cost-effective, that's where technology is your friend. And in a way, I think that's going to drive faster impact on diversity then, you know, the DNI team locally trying to change people's mindsets.

Chad (20m 58s):

Okay. So let's talk about finding those people for the most part, companies have already found them and they have paid for them over and over and over because they're constantly posting jobs and they're not trying to re-engage the individuals that they already have in their database. Do platform was like yours, go in and re-engage those individuals to be able to get more information, to be able to provide a better profile, a better understanding, a more nurturing type of a scenario, versus just allowing that database to sit there and atrophy?

Barb (21m 37s):

No, that's not what we do. But what we do is we allow you to interview the world. I think there's a huge amount of talent out there that hasn't been noticed that it hasn't been tapped. I think Harvard Business Review quoted something like 10 million people who are great potential for roles that are open right now that have just been missed. So I think that that opportunity, you know, the opportunity set of talent is way bigger than more companies have engaged with. I think they're missing out on a huge amount of talent and the business that works it out and that's at a global level, right? Particularly the pandemic has allowed us to say, people can work from anywhere. So suddenly your pool of talent is truly global. So how are you going to reach them? You're going to reach them through the right technology.

Barb (22m 19s):

And it's got to be technology that people trust, that they engage with, that's human above all. So you maximize that diversity and you're not using people to source and do that interviewing you're using, you know, a smart interviewer to do that. In terms of tapping into your internal talent database. You know, I think that tokenism again, is a worry, like the last thing you want to do is reach out to all those that are from a minority group that you've already connected with and, you know, where are you at? And are you interested? I think you've got to have that authenticity right from the start and just treat everyone the same and be truly inclusive. But I think the opportunity right now is how do you interview the world? How do you do that in a cost-effective way? And how do you make sure that as many people as you touch actually want to go through to the end?

Barb (23m 6s):

Because I think, you know, the experience for most candidates right now is pretty shit,

Chad (23m 14s):

92% eject from the last data that we actually just reported on last week, 92% eject.

Joel (23m 19s):

After hitting apply.

Barb (23m 20s):

Yeah. Yeah. And like, why is that right? Like, you know, what is it that is causing candidates to flee?

Chad (23m 26s):

The experience.

Barb (23m 27s):

Yeah. You know, and I think that's part of the challenge as well, which is you've got these big systems that are sort of not really built for, you know, low fire, fast crazy, consumer friendly experiences. So, you know, that's another challenge for recruitment is how do you work around that? How do you actually get people to do it without forcing them through a pretty sort of laborious process.

Joel (23m 55s):

Barb? Gem had a survey. Gem as in G E M, the company, in our space did a survey in January where they found that 59% of enterprises track diversity. Now, obviously that's a pretty small number for enterprises, but they also found that only 44% of smaller organizations track their diversity numbers. How do we get more smaller companies engaged with this metric? Or can we??

Barb (24m 21s):

Yeah. I think you make it easy for them. You know, enterprise have resources, they've got big DNI teams, you know, there are different ways of driving at that tracking. I think that's where, you know, easy software, easy to implement, easy to use. It does it for you is how you get to that market. And, you know, fundamentally, that's what we're about, which is how do we make it so easy that it happens in the background. You don't need targets. You don't need to be going into your ATS and figuring out all sorts of stuff.

Joel (24m 51s):

Isn't education, a more important part of that? I mean, everyone can just buy software, but they have to be convinced to buy it. Right? So how, I mean, is there an effort to educate smaller companies as to why this is important? I mean, I feel like we're just trying to get enterprise level companies on board with why it's important. I don't, I think it's more than just technology,

Barb (25m 12s):

The point, I think enterprise, because there's more pressure top-down and, you know, capital markets led for them to do it. I think it's the reality of talent scarcity that's going to get them there. Like, I don't know what it's like in the US but in Australia, you've got some businesses that have just shut down because I can't find staff. So, you know, part of what our software solves for is just, you don't have the time, you've got way less time than anyone in a big company to go and source and interview. So technology will do that for you. And then it happens kind of easily and invisibly. And I think that, you know, if the driver for them improving diversity is because that's the only way they're going to get people to keep their business open. Like I'm okay with that. And, you know, then what you get is them hiring people that may be different to the past, but that's all they've got.

Barb (25m 58s):

Right. You know, you're forced to dip into different pools when you can't get what you need from your traditional pools. And I think, you know, simple software and I emphasize the word simple allows you to do that.

Chad (26m 13s):

Yeah. And let's just say, if we could actually infuse that into the job posting process and it all just becomes an embedded piece of the product itself. Damn. Do we have a great product?

Barb (26m 26s):


Chad (26m 26s):

That's my, it might be for Indeed or one of these big platforms to buy you there. Barb, that's Barb Hyman, C E O of Predictive Hire. Barb, you and I both want to see the needle, move on this. I'm a little bit more pessimistic than you are. Hopefully we get there and hopefully we get there soon. If people want to find out more about you and about Predictive Hire, where would you send them?

Barb (26m 53s):

Just find me on LinkedIn, Bob Hyman.

Chad (26m 55s):

Too easy.

Barb (26m 55s):

I think there's only one, hopefully.

Joel (26m 58s):

Just drink more, drink, more Fosters, Chad and you'll have a much brighter outlook on life.

Chad (27m 4s):

God, I hope so.

Joel (27m 6s):

Another one in the can and some shrimp on the Barb-b.

Chad and Cheese (27m 11s):

We out.

OUTRO (27m 56s):

Thank you for listening to, what's it called? The podcast with Chad, the Cheese. Brilliant. They talk about recruiting. They talk about technology, but most of all, they talk about nothing. Just a lot of Shout Outs of people, you don't even know and yet you're listening. It's incredible. And not one word about cheese, not one cheddar, blue, nacho, pepper jack, Swiss. So many cheeses and not one word. So weird. Any hoo be sure to subscribe today on iTunes, Spotify, Google play, or wherever you listen to your podcasts, that way you won't miss an episode. And while you're at it, visit just don't expect to find any recipes for grilled cheese. Is so weird. We out.


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