This newsletter I’m trying something a little different. Instead of looking at a particular topic in depth I’ve put together a collection of recent articles on candidate experience and equality.
It would be great to hear what you think of this version - and whether it’s something you’d like to see more of or never again 😉
P.S. Want to improve your career site but don’t have any budget? My free guide, “8 ways to improve your career site - without a designer or developer” can help.
This month software company Basecamp received over 1,200 applications for their programmer role. They put their incredible success down to:
The idea behind their approach was that applying for a job is a much bigger commitment for the applicant than for the company. So they put in the effort to give people a deep, fair and honest look into what it’s actually like working for Basecamp.
Admittedly a very generous salary will have helped - but their job description is excellent (you can find it here).
If you want to attract more diverse candidates, it helps to show them how you’re serious about diversity and inclusion. But which initiatives do they care about?
Researchers at Boston Consulting Group surveyed 16,500 employees around the world to find out which diversity and inclusion policies were important to them.
They found female employees wanted to have visible role models and flexible work programs. It’s important to note that flexibility can mean different things to different people. For some women it could mean reduced hours. For others non-traditional hours or working from home.
For employees of colour, the survey found that recruiting a diverse workforce was vital. This could be demonstrated by using blind resume screenings and having diverse interview panels. However, companies also need to be able to demonstrate that they’re inclusive - and that there is a bias free day-to-day experience as well.
LGBTQ+ employees also rated a bias free daily experience highly, along with being treated equally, especially in areas such as healthcare, and for their organisations to publicly participate and support LGBTQ+ events.
We hear it all the time - there just aren’t enough workers. But given that’s unlikely to change in the next 5 - 10 years, how do you find the people you need to hire?
While it’s fair to assume anything that can be automated will be automated, there’s only so much automation that can happen in service and creative jobs. It’s unlikely being served by a robot will become the norm in restaurants. Or that AI will develop marketing strategies. And how do you automate the programmers responsible for automating everything else?
In this article, Josh Bersin suggests that to hire in an economy with low unemployment requires a shift from “attracting candidates” to “creating candidates”.
Essentially we need to hire people with potential to grow and train them. Whether that be a young person starting out in their career. Or training a worker already in your company to do something different. And most importantly, companies need to realise that people are an asset - and stop thinking about them as an expense.
Self-promotion is an essential part of our careers. We use it in interviews, when asking for a promotion, or even when we’re networking.
But a recent study found that women downplayed themselves even when:
This was surprising, because the experiment was designed to eliminate many known reasons for gender differences in self-assessing performance, such as confidence.
The paper suggests simply telling women to promote themselves won’t help. Instead, we should avoid self-assessment where we can and find more objective ways to measure performance.
If your company is growing fast, you’re probably faced with the same problem as the team at Gusto: how do you hire fast while keeping the company culture?
In this presentation (there’s a video, audio or article) Gusto CEO and co-founder Josh Reeves shares how their approach to hiring helped them stay true to their values and traditions as they scaled.
Central to their hiring is a belief that the company and candidate need to be aligned along three dimensions: values, motivation and skill-set. In the presentation Reeves provides a lot of detail about the tactics they use to find this alignment:
You may have heard of the rule that to get good at something you need to dedicate 10,000 hours to it.
But what if this dedication is misplaced? Is it actually better to be a generalist than a specialist?
In sport, Tiger Woods has come to symbolise the idea that single-minded devotion from a young age leads to success. However study after study in sport and business has found him to be the exception rather than the rule.
For example, research found technology innovators and artistic creators benefited from focusing on breadth of experience, rather than depth, as their careers progressed. On the other hand, studies found experts can become so narrow-minded they actually get worse with experience.
This article is an excellent argument for the benefits of seeking broader knowledge and embracing diverse experiences and perspectives. Well worth a read if you're thinking about your own career development. Or to help guide managers when they’re deciding what kind of person they need to hire.
👉 You can find more on this topic in the article, ‘Why some people are impossibly talented’
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And you can find all the past newsletters here.