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On October 2nd, more than 200 talent acquisition, HR, and D&I leaders gathered in New York City for Indeed Explore. The theme of the event was the “Search for Greatness.” This is particularly relevant as many companies are starting to remove tangible barriers to great careers and career growth — such as the college degree requirement which Indeed themselves recently removed. Leading companies know they will only be successful in finding great talent they need to compete if they remove intangible barriers, like the idea of “cultural fit”, and instead focus on skill.
Companies eager to create a culture of equity and inclusiveness, in which all candidates and employees have a equal chance to succeed based on their skills and performance, often turn to D&I programs. To help leaders along their journey, Indeed invited our D&I Leader, Portia Kibble Smith, Sal Mendoza VP of D&I at NBC Universal, and Jason Rosario Head of D&I at Oath to share what they’ve learned about creating company cultures that embrace diversity and how to succeed in being inclusive.
Read on for the key discussion topics and learnings from the session.
Portia Kibble Smith recommends an approach that she has used in her 30 years as a corporate recruiter: she encourages companies to take down the walls and offer candidates the opportunity to experience “a day in the life.” This is particularly important for early career candidates or interns entering technical roles — most of which may require them to move to a larger city like San Francisco, Seattle, or New York:
“Oftentimes children of color are not encouraged to move out of their environment. So they are hesitant to apply for jobs that are lucrative but require them to move.
Take down the walls. Provide opportunities for them to ask basic questions about interacting with their team members. Provide suggestions on neighborhoods to live in and the parts of the city they can find cultural activities along with religious institutions and personal grooming expectations — all of this matters and decreases fear of change.”
Prepare to go beyond diversity in race and gender. Talent leaders should start talking about neurodiversity. In a few short years, 35% of the workforce will be neurodiverse — this means having Autism, ADHD, dyslexia, or a similar disorder. Harvard Business Review has argued that this will be a competitive advantage for companies that embrace it.
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