Our First Round of Goals for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Back in June, we told you we’d have some concrete changes to announce in September. Ever the humans of our word, we’re back with just that.
We are under no illusions that this will fundamentally change inequities in our country or the world, but the process of coming to these goals, as well as those already implemented, has already deeply impacted our internal team and, as we continue pushing these changes, can certainly affect our local communities.
As a small company, we will be the first to admit that up until now, we have not had formalized processes to improve representation on our internal teams. A lot of our work thus far has been reflecting on what we’ve done well and poorly in the past, then working to formalize what we’ve done well and divorce ourselves from what hasn’t served us. This has been difficult work and it does not end with announcing this first round of goals; altering entrenched thinking rarely happens in a matter of months. We are grateful to our owners for trusting their staff to interrogate systems and recommend changes.
Below are our first steps toward being a more just and equitable organization; this is not just important to our internal team, but also to all the individuals we place in jobs and the clients we place them with. We know that to be better, we need to take a holistic approach.
Our most immediate goals
Summer 2020 to December 1, 2020
Form an internal DEI Committee
We started with the big questions: How does our business function? Who does it leave out? Why aren’t our teams more reflective of our markets? This team will be a permanent fixture in our company, tasked with setting the goals, assessing progress made, and evolving the goals to ensure we’re continuing to move forward.
Survey our internal staff
To better serve our external partners, we wanted to know how our internal team thought of themselves: how they identify, what they see as ways to improve as a team, and what they expect from our committee. That survey also gave us baseline numbers and other data points we will continue to track over time, and this data will drive decisions and additional goals.
Integrate DEI into our company values
We’ve also worked to flesh out our values. They still have the same bones, but we combed through each one to better express what we mean by them. Our intention is to share those values publicly – we’ll keep you posted.
Proactively increase the diversity of candidates in our network
We’re working to provide our staff with resources and best practices to proactively increase the diversity of candidates in our networks. What we found, time and time again, was that these were strategies our staff were already using, but we wanted to take a more holistic look at getting everyone the same tools. Soon, recruiters will have a library of resources to call upon whenever they need.
Implement a company-wide diversity training
Diversity training had been wanted and researched for quite some time, but there was always a pressing issue that got in the way. Now, we’re doing it. We’ve chosen our practitioners and will work not only on the day of that training but at regular intervals afterward to keep these issues at the forefront for all of us.
Our longer range goals
Make diversity and inclusion part of our onboarding process; repeat and reframe it at regular intervals; include it in performance conversations
This has historically not been an explicit focus of our company, but we’re building processes to ensure that it is from here on out. When someone is hired as part of our internal team, we will discuss what diversity, equity, and inclusion mean to us as a business. We will make it clear that everyone, from back office, to marketing, to recruiters, what’s expected to strive to meet our goals.
We’ve also tapped our leadership team to include this in performance conversations; are we doing our best to ensure our clients are achieving their own goals for D&I? Does the content we put out into the world make everyone feel seen? Our managers will have more tools to have those discussions.
Invest in structured interview process and hiring plan
We interview people for a living, and we’re pretty damn good at it. But when it comes to internal hires, we have updated standards in relation to our new goals, and our structured process will set that in stone. The hiring plan formalizes our best practices while also leaving less room for implicit biases.
Pivot to “value fit” or “culture add” language
Lastly, we’re looking for value fits or culture adds; we want new ideas rather than our own reflected back. This is less a formalized process and more a new guiding principle: Who haven’t we heard from? How could they impact our company culture? What can we do to get them on the team?
Moving forward, we will evaluate our goals and our progress on a quarterly basis. There are other goals in mind and a lot of work still to do; this is a new process in our company, not something that has an expiration date. We are committed to being better internally so that we can do better externally. Please keep putting your faith in us and pushing us to meet these goals. We’re all in.
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