How to Improve Your DE&I in Tech Hiring

Published: 18 July 2022
5 min read

It's not surprising that the tech industry lacks diversity. Men typically dominate engineering teams. Female founders, board members and CEOs are scarce in the industry.

In addition, only a small percentage of employees at leading technology firms are Black. As a result, companies miss out on a variety of talent, opinions and perspectives due to a lack of DE&I.

For example, companies with 30 percent or more female executives outperformed those with less female representation at the top.

Recognise Unconscious Bias

To create a DE&I workforce, we must educate our colleagues about unconscious bias and how it affects company culture.

Unconscious bias doesn't just affect how you perceive people based on their gender or ethnicity, it can also influence how you judge people based on their religion, sexual orientation, or even physical appearance.

Employees must understand that they have the right to speak out against unconscious bias. If they are uncomfortable discussing it with other employees or in a public forum, make sure a private and anonymous channel is available for them to use instead.

Get in Front of Passive Candidates from Diverse Backgrounds

Candidates from diverse backgrounds sometimes do not feel that they that there is much point in applying for jobs with certain types of organisations. By proactively looking for candidates from diverse backgrounds, you’re able to change the direction of travel for your organisation.

Many of these candidates may not have a polished CV as you're used to receiving. However, they may well have excellent technical skills. At TechRank, we’re able to ignore the CV completely and instead focus in on the actual skills technical skills that candidates have.

This isn't a strategy that would be practical for internal recruiters due to the sheer amount of time that would be needed from your engineers. By using a third party such as TechRank, however, you’re able to screen such candidates at scale and on-demand.

Implement Fair Interviewing Procedures

Often with the screening and interviewing of technical candidates, a fair and consistent approach can be lacking. This lack of consistency can introduce entry points for unconscious bias, resulting in hiring decisions that do not help diverse candidates.

At TechRank, we have implemented processes and systems that ensure every candidate is asked a set of questions that have a consistent level of difficulty, regardless of their CV, appearance or any other factor.

Record Every Screening Interview

Screening interviews are often not recorded in any way, which enables further opportunities for forms of discrimination to take hold.

With TechRank, not only is every interview recorded and easily accessible, but we also conduct regular audits on our interviewers to ensure high DE&I standards are adhered to. Our clients are also invited to regularly audit the recording for peace of mind.

Allow Candidate Tech Skills to Speak Louder

Very often when we look at candidates, we unconsciously expect candidates to be similar to ourselves.

For example, we look for similarities in mannerisms, tone and language. We expect candidates to be confident and articulate, forgetting that technologists, in general, and people from diverse background, in particular, may not possess the same level of confidence and language skills due to feeling less welcome or for reasons related to community norms.

It is therefore important to focus far more on the technical skills of candidates at the early stages, so that we’re not automatically discounting candidates from diverse backgrounds just because they appear in some way different to ourselves.

TechRank are specialists at finding technically talented candidates. We ignore the CV and treat every candidate exactly the same. Our interviewers and our processes are well tuned to look for tech talent.

For example, all candidates are presented with technical problems that they must solve using their skills. We ensure each candidate fully understands the problem before they begin and then it’s an equitable opportunity for each candidate to allow their technical skills to shine and speak on their behalf.

Hire Technical Interviewers from Diverse Backgrounds

The ideal scenario would always be for diverse candidates to be interviewed by a diverse interviewer. Not only would this make the diverse candidate feel more at ease (and possibly perform to their best ability during the interview), but it also helps to achieve DE&I outcomes for the organisation.

This can be a very difficult arrangement to set up consistently, but with TechRank’s global team of technical experts, we’re able to deliver this for our clients.

TechRank interviewers come from all over the world and represent a diverse range of ethnicities, religions, and cultures. Having a diverse team of people involved in the hiring process can make the process more equitable for candidates and make it easier to detect and prevent unconscious biases from swaying decisions.

DE&I with TechRank

We take the DE&I seriously at TechRank because we believe that diverse perspectives build stronger teams, a better culture and a more peaceful world.

We have designed our processes and systems with DE&I in mind from the very outset.

Beyond DE&I, we passionately believe that the best tech talent is often hidden from plain view and the usual methods are insufficient at detecting the very best talent.

By focussing on the screening stage of the talent acquisition funnel, we ensure our clients never miss the true talent that deserve the opportunity to be considered further.

Help make your organisation more diverse and equitable by contacting us today!

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