Code Institute recently gathered a panel and representatives from tech hiring to discuss ways of improving Diversity in Tech Recruitment. This has been a hot topic at Code Institute for some time. So, when the majority of our hiring partners identified this as one of their biggest challenges, we had to act. It’s time for better processes, open minds and a more welcoming approach to enable diversity within tech.
We were delighted at the interest our event generated and the attendance on the day. We welcomed our panel, Jenny Darmondy, Silicon Republic; Cian Collins; www.frankli.io ; and Sanch Mulcahy, RedHat along with Jane Gormley, Career Services Director, Code Institute.
A Broader Perspective
Attendees were all tech hiring managers and talent acquisition leads from start-ups to multinationals. From Code Institute’s perspective, the over-reliance on third-level degrees inhibits otherwise excellent applicants. So, this was an ideal time to share our own experiences of success from our community of graduates. Interestingly, Code Institute has a higher than average level of diversity among students. In fact, the percentage of female graduates outstrips universities in technology and coding subjects. This is a massive advantage when seeking to establish a gender balance within teams.
Change and Progress
Naturally, diversity is an extensive topic, and we didn’t expect to be able cover everything in one sitting. However, in order to make progress, our discussion focused on female coders, third-level education and remote working. (Little did we realise just how topical the remote working conversation would soon become!) A lively, informed and fascinating discussion threw up great points around familiarity bias. It also explored how progressive companies really understand how to communicate with a broader audience.
Feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive and it’s encouraging to see tech community place an emphasis on this area. We look forward to continuing the conversation again soon!
The key takeaways on the day:
- Companies with more diverse teams perform and operate better.
- Hiring technical staff from “ non-traditional” educational backgrounds is essential. There are more technical roles available than there are graduates from a STEM discipline
- Language on job ads can skew applications along gender lines. Pay attention to what an ad lists as “REQUIRED”. There are typically lots there that one can do without, overly detailed job specs repel applicants.
- An over emphasis on “Culture Fit” might be better as a “Culture Add”. The culture fit can quickly become too exclusive and deter us from identifying great talent that doesn’t fit the mould.
- Attracting new talent to your company is like attracting new consumers, they’re a valuable, sought after commodity. A more personable approach is preferable, particularly once someone has engaged in a process. Don’t get overly reliant on digital processes!
- 50% of workers are now millennials. Growing up in a digital world has shaped their expectations of digital processes and their working environment. Leadership teams are often from a different generation and may need to be reminded of this!
- Remote working will allow you to tap into returners, women and groups from outside your usual commutable areas. This can be a REALLY clever way to enable people to work with you that otherwise couldn’t.