Diversity Hiring Report 2021

Have you read SmartRecruiters' "Diversity Hiring Report"? aka The path to Hell is paved with good intentions...

Ya' should, even if it is a little depressing. Chief Customer Officer Rachel Orston joins the podcast and discusses the results of surveying over 400 employers about diversity recruiting. Needless to say, we have a long way to go. Fifty percent of organizations have NO PLAN on diversity. Maybe we could start there. The good news: Lots of room for improvement.

TRANSCRIPTION SPONSORED BY: Disability Solutions partners with our clients to build best-in-class inclusion programs and reach qualified, talented individuals with disabilities of every skill, education, and experience level.

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):

We'll make you famous. What's up everybody. This is your co-host Joel Cheeseman, and you're listening to the Chad and Cheese podcast. I am joined as always by my cohost, Chad Sowash.

Chad (34s):

What's up?

Joel (35s):

And today we're talking a little diversity, happy to welcome Rachel Orston and Chief Customer Officer at Smart Recruiters. Rachel, welcome to HRS most dangerous podcast.

Rachel (47s):

Thank you so much for having me.

Joel (50s):

So I gave you a very little title there in our intro, but what should our listeners know about you the person?

Rachel (58s):

I've been in the customer success, chief customer officer space for a long time and it's man, it's hard work. You got to work to make customers get value out of the technology that they're investing in and help them achieve their goals. And it's something I love to do, and I'm proud that I get to do it at Smart Recruiters.

Joel (1m 13s):

And you have a few customers there at Smart Recruiters. Don't yeah, just a

Rachel (1m 16s):

Just a few, just a few small insignificant unknown companies. Yes, yes. Just a few.

Chad (1m 23s):

Very nice. And you're a Deadpool fan. Am I correct?

Rachel (1m 26s):

I'm a big Deadpool fan. Absolutely.

Chad (1m 30s):

She's already won over my heart.

Rachel (1m 32s):

It's a family film. I told you it's a family film.

Joel (1m 36s):

Coming next is an hour worth of Deadpool conversation with Chad Sowash, the only thing he loves more is diversity.

Chad (1m 43s):

Yeah diverse Deadpool. So first and foremost, I would like to thank you, Rachel. And the Smart Recruiters team for putting this report together. It is enlightening and good, in a quite horrible way. Now I believe the title of the report is Diversity Hiring Report, but I think it should have been a tad different. Are you ready? Diversity Hiring Report: The Path To Hell Is Paved with Good Intentions. I mean seriously, because all I'm reading is the great work that you guys did to do nothing but expose what we've seen over the last couple of decades. It doesn't feel like anybody is budging. Are you seeing something different than I am? Rachel?

Rachel (2m 22s):

Look, I think you raise a good point. I mean, I think the whole point of the report was saying that we're missing the basics, we're missing the fundamentals and that, you know, many companies, even some of the bigger ones that took our study are missing a basic plan, right and/or a budget for a plan. But it does start first with having this conversation, right? That's why I'm so glad you guys brought, brought me on and are, you know, helping us, you know, drive this conversation a bit louder. Cause until we, I think really aggregated these results in a more cohesive way, maybe, you know, our hope is to shine a bigger light on this on the fact that, you know, there are a number of companies that are still in at the beginning of this journey.

Chad (2m 59s):

Yeah, no question. Well, one, the things I want to point out right out of the gate was really, there are five areas that we're going to talk about to some extent, first and foremost, you know, barely scratching the surface is one of the key points and key takeaways. And under that, it says "many organizations are missing out on the basic opportunities to share their commitment, to building a diverse and inclusive workforce with potential applicants." And then the next four points are working without a plan.

Rachel (3m 34s):


Chad (3m 35s):

Budgets, haven't budged neglecting opportunities for internal talent and bias keeps creeping in. So the commitment doesn't exist to job seekers and over the years they've seen this whole diversity kind of facade is a lie more than anything that's substantial and something that they should actually take notice of. So the first thing is we start talking about representation. We start talking about planning. What's the most important piece that you would like to start with first?

Rachel (4m 5s):

I think the biggest piece is that there is that this doesn't have to be a huge lift, that there are measurable strategic actions that companies can take. There are best practices, right. And part of why we did this report was we also built a toolkit, right? So we could actually say, okay, here's where you are. And by the way, I'm happy to transparently share where Smart Recruiters is because by the way, we took it ourselves and it went and kind of, you know, drink our own champagne, so to speak on the same thing, which is interesting and of itself. And so the whole point to your point is, you know, let's drive a conversation, let's be honest about where we are and where we're not, which you know, to your point is not great. And then let's also see like, what actions can we take? And so I want to be clear that the report was part one of a bigger, you know, initiative of ours, which is really to say, okay, now what can companies do?

Rachel (4m 50s):

That's where the toolkit comes in, where we've got some very practical recommendations, for example, right? Like, like how can companies just better diversify their career pages? Let's just start with attract. Let's just start with how companies are trying to get candidates in. Right? Are they making any efforts or initiatives to actually modify or target their career pages or their career events towards, you know, towards diverse, you know, candidates. Right? So there's some really interesting opportunities there on transparency. Can they do more on score-carding and how they're creating a transparent, more collaborative interview process? Right. So there isn't like backdoor bias, right? So we kind of outline, I won't go through each one. I'm happy to, but the point is we really started to say, okay, here's some very practical things that companies can do to get started because this doesn't have to be that difficult.

Rachel (5m 39s):

There are steps that companies can take.

Chad (5m 42s):


Joel (5m 43s):

Chad has his own title for this, for the survey.

Rachel (5m 45s):

Yes! Let's hear it.

Joel (5m 46s):

I have mine as well. The Big Bummer. I think was my, was my title for this. And what so quickly on the methodology, you guys surveyed 400 or so companies of various sizes and industries to do this and the survey went for how, like, what time span was this survey done? Yeah,

Rachel (6m 7s):

It was done over several months. I mean, the survey itself takes about, you know, there's about a hundred or so questions, it takes about 15 to 20 minutes to complete. So, you know, we did keep it open for a fairly sizable period of time so we can get, you know, as broad of a, you know, demographic of companies to take the survey, we were looking for, you know, folks across, across the organizations of all. So we were really trying to get as big of a net across sizes and industries as we could, whether they were Smart Recruiter customers or not. So I would say probably about four or five months, I don't know exactly, but it was a sizable amount of time. And then we had to aggregate the data and put the report together.

Joel (6m 46s):

So this year, roughly post pandemic, so this is post COVID. One of the big bummers of this for me, and Chad and I talked to a lot of people in diversity and DNI. And, we talk a lot about that there are actually budgets now for companies to do these initiatives. And we talk to vendors who provide services to companies to improve their diversity recruiting. But yet in your report, 62% said there was no diversity sourcing budget. Does that surprise you? And what is the major hurdle to getting budgetary outlets to diversity recruiting?

Rachel (7m 27s):

It's a bit of the chicken and egg thing like I said, I don't know. It didn't surprise us necessarily and I think it goes back to the main point that we made, which is people don't have a plan. How are you going to secure budget? If you don't have a plan, or if you don't have some really practical places. So, so why would somebody fund you if you don't have a plan or a place that you want to, you know, invest in, right? You don't have some very pragmatic approaches. And so again, that's why we kept for going back to, okay, how can we empower companies to start thinking about having a plan? Where should we recommend they start so that they can start to be more aggressive in going after those budget dollars? I believe the budget dollars can be there, but the companies have to be intentional and they have to start getting a plan together.

Joel (8m 7s):

Which l